Inspiration Black Book à la Parisienne
Yolanda Edwards shares her absolutely favorite Parisian shopping sources.
Shopping—or window shopping—in Paris is something I do for inspiration. Of course, I like their “souvenirs” more than a museum’s…but really, beyond the object side of it, I take so much away in the way of color, light, layers, and textures. Besides the basic, but equally inspiring, the hardware store of the BHV department store in the Marais (think: leather cords and sheepskin insoles) and the weekend flea markets of Vanves and Clignancourt, here are my favorite places to visit.
When Ramdane and Victoire Touhami opened up their first Buly shop on Rue Bonaparte several years ago, I fell in love. The idea of a place that looks like it’s always been there, but was actually created from scratch, seems surreal.
Since its debut, they’ve opened in Korea, New York City, Japan, and China. They also just opened a second store in the Marais. It is so much more than a Buly store, it’s an onigiri shop, a Café Tortoni, a dried flower store, and soon to come, a clothing store called Hors Saison. Every detail is perfectly considered. Their delightful snacks are served on a tray from Japan, with a vintage napkin from antiquing they did in the French countryside.
Astier de Villatte:
Some people talk about their last meals, but if we were to talk about last shops, I would say Astier de Villatte. How do they do such an amazing curation that I can find even a plate to be sexy?! Their notebooks, the ceramics they do with John Derian, the candles…all of it.
It’s the most romantic delight of a store and I find something I’ve never heard of—or seen before—every time I go. It is truly an inspiration.
My new contender that falls into the same ranking now as Buly and Astier has to be the brand-new Brigitte Tanaka. There’s definitely a common thread between the three: a hyper-curated experience that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside and the realization that the world is a place filled with makers creating the most wonderful things. Most of which you absolutely don’t need, but want, will buy, and will adore when you get home. Two friends, one from Tokyo, one from Paris, opened the store several months ago, and it’s possibly the tiniest, and sweetest shop I’ve seen, right off of Rue Faubourg Saint-Honore.
You can find everything from the world’s tiniest eraser and a beautiful cotton work robe that doubles as a dress to espresso cups you can get monogrammed and some really great jewelry (most of it has secret compartments or can have a dual look.) I brought my friends Mimi and Oddur Thorisson here, and they fell hard for it, too.
Get here before everyone else does. – Yolanda Edwards