Seeing the latest and the greatest

Paris, France. Having previously endured the long lines at the Louvre, the enormous crowds at the Eiffel Tower, and the past glory of Notre Dame, we thought it was time to see what’s new, what’s happening, and what’s hot in the world of retailing. Where better to explore than Paris?

And there seemed no better place to do our exploring than the new Galeries Layfayette on the Champs-Élysées, which just opened at the end of March, and is now the destination for the style-conscious.

There probably wasn’t a single thing I would or could buy in there, but what amazing eye candy! From the building itself to the staging of each designer’s clothes, to the general sense of fun (Snoopy’s dog house in the lobby?) the store delights in the way it just turns everything slightly sideways or upside down.

The staff seemed to all come from the same special set, leading me to believe the application form would never past muster in the U.S. The questions must include:

  1. Are you gorgeous?
  2. Are you under 25?
  3. Are you delightfully bi-racial?
  4. Is your sexuality a bit mysterious?
  5. Can you exude a whiff of superiority while maintaining a great customer-service attitude?
  6. Would all of our clothing look fabulous on you?

….and so on.

Yet we reveled in the fantasies, all seemingly geared to rich young Asian women, who could both afford and fit in the clothes. What a gorgeous place, and what fun they must have had designing it.

We had some other stops on the Metro (which we rate somewhere between London and New York) and had some nice moments walking to Anne et Valentin, the mothership of our favorite eyeglass purveyor, where we looked at all the latest glasses and bought new frames for Don.

Lots of gay pride spirit evident in the Marais.

A very satisfactory retail day – yet without spending a lot of money.


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