With its highly acclaimed couture houses and their unique savoir faire, Paris has set the world's fashion standards making it the most important fashion capital of all. While the city has its fair share of couture boutiques, fashion lovers will want to delve a little deeper under the surface and travel back in time inside these top vintage lairs.
Didier Ludot, Jardin du Palais Royal
The famous vintage fashion king Mr Ludot has been dressing the stars since he opened his shop in 1975 within the hidden Jardin du Palais Royal, formerly the Louvre Palace gardens. Here shoppers find a range of very upmarket second hand designer apparel for women and men including ball gowns, furs, suits and accessories by top Parisian fashion designers like Chanel, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent as well as key Italian designers like Prada and Gucci. The fashion addict has an impressive collection in stock too, which he regularly puts in at much anticipated auctions. The next sale is set to take place on 8th July at Sotheby's in Paris.
Ludot Sothebys sale left: Pierre Balmain dress winter 1953 right: Christian Dior. Louveciennes dress Winter 1957
Thanx God I'm a V.I.P.
Open in 1994 by bonne vivante fashion fiend Sylvie Chateigner, this 200m2 haunt is a favourite of Caroline de Maigret, the Parisian par excellence and co-author of the bestselling How to be Parisian Wherever You Are. Located in the trendy Canal Saint Martin neighbourhood, the second-hand boutique is a real gem for celebrities looking for unique finds at reasonable prices. You will find high-waisted Alaia trousers to Hermès accessories, and for more modest budgets the basement brims with well-priced garments. Look out for the store's DJ nights for a real insider's view of the Paris vintage fashion crowd.
© Thanx God I'm a VIP
Mamie Vintage and Mamie Blue
For the real vintage fan, this is the place to come. Comprised of two shops that are both specialised in European and US vintage wear from 1900-1980s and are popular with the professionals including stylists, collectors, couturiers, filmmakers, and costume designers as well as the lay fashionista. Owners Brigitte and Yannick also provide several services like complete vintage makeovers, tailoring, and made-to-measure creations.
The hip 600m2 store is a firm favourite among the locals and sells urban casual wear for women, men and children. Although a fairly large selection of the garments on sale here are second-hand, a large fraction of the stock is new, including Kiliwatch's own branded line. Among the finds on offer are faded Levis jeans as well as hoodies, t-shirts and a large range of casual shoes by brands like Fred Perry and Puma. The bustling neighbourhood of Montorgueil/Sentier is also worth checking out for its bar-lined cobbled streets and trendy eateries.
Fashion blogger Dulceida wears Teddy bomber at Kiliwatch © Facebook/Kiliwatch
Right in the heart of the newly fashionable SoPi (South Pigalle) area, is Célia's treasure trove of vintage pieces dating from the 40s to the 90s by established designers as well as lesser-known createurs. All the garments are sourced mainly from France and Belgium and Célia even customises a handful of pieces. Although the owner stocks couture brands like Paco Rabanne, Dior and Jean-Paul Gaultier, prices are reasonable and rarely go over the €300 mark.
Célia Darling © Paris Mieux Mieux