When it comes to vintage, there’s more to Paris than musty grape juice. Whether you’re on a sustainable style mission or hoping to uncover one-off buried treasures, La Ville Lumière is the leading light in global vintage vogue. Here’s our list of top fashionista-approved vaults.
If you can get past dour Monsieur Didier and his exquisitely honed but ever-watchful eye, take your time and have a good rummage in his drawers for some of the world’s best vintage haute couture, perfectly preserved in a rainbow of hues and styles from daytime to evening-wear, as well as immaculate leather shoes, handbags, and accessories. When you’re done, skip across the Palais Royal gardens to Didier’s sister store, La Petite Robe Noire, for a once-in-a-lifetime crack at the perfect couturier-crafted LBD.
We challenge you to leave this vibrant showroom empty-handed. The passion project of Carole Bigielman (Paris’ answer to Patricia Field), outfits are thrown together in a quintessentially French way that could only be described as ‘effortlessly chic’. Rare vintage and gently used garments vary wildly in style, so you could be browsing anything from a pair of Yeti-esque Chanel lamb-fur boots to a green checked latex trench by Balenciaga.
A refreshing break from the cram-packed Marais vintage crawl, TGV is an airy emporium of Dior, Chanel, Saint Laurent et al, with clothes pleasingly organised by colour, and astonishingly friendly, helpful staff – a rarity in Paris. Dip downstairs for some bargain basement steals.
Featured on the pages of Vogue and frequented by the likes of Kate Moss, Pretty Box is essentially an extension of owner Sarah’s well-travelled wardrobe. Desirable duds dating back as far as the 1920s have been reasonably price-tagged, and unlike most of the aforementioned, here you’ll find a wealth of treasures for both guys and gals. The rare-skins handbag selection is particularly resolve-weakening.
Didier Ludot / Jardin du Palais Royal / 24 galerie de Montpensier, 1st / 11am-6.30pm Mon-Sat / didierludot.fr
La Mode Vintage / 12 rue Rochebrune, 11th / +33 1 43 55 72 04 / by appt or 11am-7pm Fri-Sat / la-mode-vintage.com
Thanx God I’m a V.I.P. / 12 rue de Lancry, 10th / +33 1 42 03 02 09 / 2-8pm Mon-Sat / thanxgod.com
Pretty Box / 46 rue de Saintonge, 3rd / +33 1 48 04 81 71 / 2-7.30pm Mon-Sat / prettybox.fr
For more insider’s shopping tips in Paris…