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Illuminating. Sensual. Daring.
Fashion Capitals - Paris
by Stuart Haggas
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Duo, 11 rue du Temple, Marais, 4e. Tel: 01-42-72-72-22. Ideally situated for the shops and gay bars of the Marais, this chic and contemporary hotel has 58 rooms and suites decorated in rich chocolate tones. Room rates from €140.

L’Hôtel, 13 rue des Beaux-Arts, St Germain, 6e. Tel: 01-44-41-99-00. This Left Bank hotel has a colorful history. Oscar Wilde stayed here until his death in 1900, and it’s since hosted glamorous celebrities including Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. The 20 rooms are individually decorated in frivolous Beaux-Arts style. Room rates from €250.

Mama Shelter, 109 rue de Bagnolet, 20e. A hip new destination hotel in the newly fashionable 20th Arrondissement, designed by Philippe Starck with popular bar, restaurant, and pizzeria. The 172 rooms have black and waxed concrete walls, and feature 24-inch iMac TVs and kitchenettes with microwave and coffee machine. Room rates from €99.

Murano Urban Resort, 13 boulevard de Temple, Marais, 3e. Tel: 01-42-71-20-00. This futuristic design hotel boasts high-tech amenities and a happening bar and restaurant. Its 52 brilliant white rooms and suites are decorated with unique pieces of Pop Art. Room rates from €350.

Hôtel du Petit Moulin, 29-31 rue de Poitou, Marais, 3e. Tel: 01-42-74-10-10. Created by French fashion designer Christian Lacroix, this charming hotel in the heart of the Marais is a wealth of history and creativity. The 17 rooms are individually decorated and full of surprising details. Room rates from €190.

Hôtel Plaza Athénée, 25 avenue Montaigne, Champs-Elysées, 8e. Tel: 01-53-67-66-65. Deluxe five-star hotel decorated by interior designer Patrick Jouin. With a restaurant overseen by acclaimed chef Alain Ducasse, an award-winning tea salon, a fashionable bar, and a Dior Institut spa, it’s the preferred Paris address for fashion editors and supermodels. Room rates from €450.

The Ritz Paris, 15 place Vendôme, Palais Royal, 1e. Tel: 01-43-16-30-30. Dating back to 1898, this legendary Paris hotel provides palatial five-star luxury. Guests include royalty, Hollywood stars, and world-renowned fashion designers. Room rates from €550.

Baccarat, 11 place des Etats-Unis, 16e. A flagship store of the famous crystal brand. The interior was recently redesigned by Philippe Starck, so the original chandeliers and mirrors now sit beside more contemporary elements.

Balenciaga, 10 avenue George V, 8e. Futuristic, interactive boutique of this famous old label, currently under the inventive design direction of Nicolas Ghesquière.

Balmain, 44 rue Françios, 8e. Classic old French label, now hot once more thanks to new designer Christophe Decarnin.

Colette, 213 rue Saint-Honoré, Palais Royal, 1e. Paris’s original lifestyle store opened in the nineties, and today is still the city’s best multi-brand designer option. Its basement Water Bar is famous for stocking dozens of types of bottled water.

Christian Louboutin, 38 rue de Grenelle, Saint-Germain, 6e. This French shoe designer, known for his killer heels, became a household name thanks to Carrie Bradshaw’s shoe obsession in Sex and the City.

Fleux, 39 rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie, 4e. This spacious store in the Marais is packed with contemporary interior design. These range from stylish furniture, lamps, and mirrors by leading designers, to novelty teabag holders illustrated with caricatures of fashion designers Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, and Donatella Versace.

Jean Paul Gaultier, 44 avenue George V, 8e. (further store at 6 rue Vivienne, 2e). This flagship store, carrying Jean Paul Gaultier’s prêt-a-porter collection, was designed by Philippe Starck to resemble a sexy boudoir.

Lancel, 127 avenue des Champs-Elysées, 8e. A classic French brand, purveyors of luxury gifts, luggage, silver, crystal, and porcelain.

Lanvin, 15 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 8e. Famous French label, now under the design direction of Alber Elbaz, with designer Lucas Ossendrijver overseeing the invigorated menswear collections.

Legay Choc, 17 rue des Archives, 4e (branches at 45 rue Sainte Croix de la Bretonnerie and 33 rue Rambuteau). Gay-owned and run artisan boulanger and pâtissier, best known for its “La Baguette Magique”—a penis-shaped loaf.

Lucky Records, 66 rue de la Verrerie, 4e. This record shop has an amazing amount of Madonna collectables for sale, as well as rare releases by other gay favorites like Bananarama and Kylie Minogue, plus French popstars such as Amanda Lear and Sylvie Vartan.

Sonia Rykiel, 175 boulevard Saint-Germain, Saint-Germain, 6e. Regarded Parisian fashion designer, best know for her stripy knitwear.

Tout a Loisirs, 50 rue des Archives, 4e. This button emporium, founded in 1984, is full of trays and jars crammed with buttons, beads, and trimmings—a great place for a rummage.

Vintage Bar, 16 rue de la Verrerie, 4e. Vintage clothes and accessories shop in the heart of the Marais, great for discovering fashion treasures from the sixties, seventies, and eighties.

Ladurée, 16 rue Royale, 1e. Famous tea salon dating from 1862, said to be the first of its kind in Paris. Larger and even more luxurious branches later opened at 75 avenue des Champs-Elysées 8e and 21 rue Bonaparte 6e. Their opulent décor and proximity to the most upscale shopping areas in Paris make each one a fashionista favorite.

Kong, 1 rue du Pont Neuf, Palais Royal, 1e. Fashionable bar and restaurant designed by Philippe Starck occupying the top two floors of the Kenzo boutique. Both the décor and menu are a stylish fusion of Paris and Tokyo.

Open Café, 17 rue des Archives, 4e. Busy gay café bar open from 11 A.M., with good value lunch and popular evening happy hours.

Cox, 15 rue des Archives, 4e. Popular bar attracting a butch crowd, know for its sexy interior décor that changes each season.

Raidd, 23 rue du Temple, 4e. Fashionable video bar, with basement dancefloor and smoking room, famous for its revealing showerboy shows.

Freedj, 35 rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnarie, 4e. Hip bar with DJ, a sexy and stylish crowd, glass-walled smoking room, and basement demi-club.

Les Bains Douche, 7 rue du Bourg l’Abbé, 3e. Open since 1978, this Paris clubbing stalwart is the biggest in the Marais and has an array of themed nights including weekly gay parties.


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