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Archipel: Sébastien Cordoleani’s New Range of Locally Made Leather Bags

Archipel Paris; Handmade leather bags by Sebastien Cordoleani

Tucked away in a secluded garden on top of the hill of Montmartre is the joint home-studio of Sébastien Cordoleani, sole designer and craftsman at Archipel, a new Parisian brand presenting a range of innovative and elegant leather bags.

Sébastien, an industrial designer, holds a dominant presence within the French design scene. After having trained at the ENSCI – Les Ateliers, for more than ten years he has profited from major collaborations with French furniture designers such as Tolix, Moustache, and Ligne Roset. He also continues to develop research projects with prominent craft workshops both locally and across the globe, most notably at Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto and the Villa Noailles in Hyères.Archipel Paris; Handmade leather bags by Sebastien Cordoleani Continue Reading »

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August Events in Paris: Rosa Bonheur’s Birthday, Music Festivals, Urban Culture & More

August 2016 Events in Paris, Rosa Bonheur's Birthday

Rosa Bonheur, Phil Beard

August is known as a quiet vacation month in Paris, but there’s no shortage of fun events to pencil in. Take in that exhibition you’ve been meaning to visit, catch an outdoor concert… this month is all about relaxed enjoyment. Hey, you can even indulge in Barack Obama’s favorite burger thanks to this week’s much-anticipated Five Guys opening.

August 2016 Events in Paris, Godspeed You! Black Emperor at Le Trianon

Godspeed You! Black Emperor, close to 94 blog

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French Menswear: Three New Brands to Know in Paris

French menswear brand Études Studio

Études Studio

Workweek: cashmere jacket, chambray shirt, cotton trousers, and leather brogues.

Casual weekend: cotton t-shirt, cuffed selvedge denim jeans, and sneakers.

Parisian men certainly have an enviable ease when it comes to fashion, a skill presumably learned over years of cultural grooming. However, for the fashion-conscious dude new to the city, finding unique, quality garments outside the sea of luxury fashion houses can be tricky. Fortunately, three new-to-the-scene French menswear brands are reinventing the idea of classic style for the everyday man.

French menswear brand AMI

AMI

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Made in Paris: Local Designers in Paris’ Haut Marais

Shopping local designers at the chicest boutiques in Paris' Haut Marais with Kasia Dietz

French Trotters, Jean-Marie Heidinger

Living as a local designer in the uber-chic North Marais gives me insights into not only the most fashionable cafés in the neighborhood, of which there are many, but of the most noteworthy boutiques. Designers both French and foreign have chosen to call the Haut Marais home, perhaps due to its history as a small-scale manufacturing hub. You can still stumble across the odd zipper or ribbon shop. More likely, Paris’ 3rd arrondissement attracts the independent fashion elite for its contagious creative energy and strong local vibe. The area is a bit lesser known to tourists, as most frequent the more commercial, albeit charming, cobbled streets of the 4th.

Shopping local designers at the chicest boutiques in Paris' Haut Marais with Kasia Dietz

French Trotters, Jean-Marie Heidinger

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La Cantine de Merci. Lunch in Paris’ Trendiest Concept Store

La Cantine de Merci: Light Lunch in Paris' Premier Concept Store

Paris abounds with design galleries, chic clothing boutiques and tile-floored bistros serving market-fresh cuisine, but rarely do you find more than one together under the same roof. Merci is a delightful exception.

La Cantine de Merci: Light Lunch in Paris' Premier Concept Store

Founded in 2009 by Bernard and Marie-France Cohen, Merci is a concept store that rolls the best of fashion, design, household goods, lighting, and lunch into one stunning space in the Haut Marais neighborhood. Spanning three light-filled floors of a former wallpaper factory, the gallery-cum-boutique is run a bit like a magazine: roughly 15 “exhibitions” held throughout the year highlight diverse themes that have included herring, urban sports, wax-dyed batiks, and urban gardening.

La Cantine de Merci: Light Lunch in Paris' Premier Concept Store

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Spring Street Style in Paris: Five Tips to Take Away from Paris Fashion Week

Fabulous street-style tips from this spring's Paris Fashion Week

They say the show outside is better than the show inside during Paris Fashion Week, and I’d have to agree. While designers unveiled their Fall/Winter 2015 collections (designs you won’t be able to get your hands on for months) inside venues like the Grand Palais and the Palais de Tokyo, fashion bloggers, models, and starlets showed what’s fashionable right now outside. I spotted some definite spring fashion trends and investing in these five pieces will certainly help reboot your wardrobe for a stylish springtime in the City of Light, or wherever you may be.

Fabulous street-style tips from this spring's Paris Fashion Week

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Caroline De Marchi: Chatting Luxury Handbags in Her Hidden Paris Courtyard

Caroline de Marchi Boutique: Pick up one of these unique luxury Parisian handbags

On a recent rainy Paris afternoon, I found myself in a secret courtyard off the fashionable rue Saint-Honoré. A haven from the crowded street, lined with haute couture boutiques, the showroom of Caroline De Marchi, luxury handbag designer, offers a respite for the weary shopper as well as a welcome change from the typical Paris shopping experience.

Caroline de Marchi Boutique: Pick up one of these unique luxury Parisian handbags

I had the opportunity to sit down with Caroline, catching her just after she had returned from a trip to Milan, where she splits her time between stays in Paris. Caroline is of Belgian origin, but has spent most of her life in Paris, with stints in other locations around the world. She followed her Italian husband to Egypt, where she lived for four years, and has also called Sao Paulo, Brazil home. And influences from these séjours abroad are wildly evident in her bag’s styles. The stunning Bali sac, for example, is in the shape of a pyramid, a direct reference to Caroline’s time in Egypt.

Caroline de Marchi luxury handbags and a hidden courtayard in the heart of Paris

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Fashion Outsider: On Paris’ Spring Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week: Reflections from a fashion outsider during the fashion shows this spring

I’m fairly certain the entire quartier heard my squeals of joy when I opened my mailbox to find invitations to Paris Fashion Week resting inside. Rather than watching fashion’s elite strut by from one of the reclining chairs in the Tuileries, I was going to be one of them. Paris Fashion Week was here, and I had arrived.

After almost a decade of watching Project Runway, and obsessively re-watching The Devil Wears Prada, I thought I was primed and ready. However, while waiting to have my bag inspected at my very first fashion show, I began to have my doubts. The security guard smirked at me as he inspected the contents of my bag and I had to face the facts: I was probably the only person here with cookies in their purse.

Paris Fashion Week: Reflections from a fashion outsider during the fashion shows this spring

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Inside Frank Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris’ Newest Architectural Sensation

Art Exhibitions, Concerts, and Performances at Paris' Fondation Louis Vuitton

Art and culture are such an integral part of French society that even in English we use the term chef d’oeuvre, and these are the words that swarmed through my thoughts as I visited the Fondation Louis Vuitton last month. Fashion not your thing? It is not the museum’s either. The Fondation was built by LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault to celebrate contemporary art and French crafts, but for now, the most thrilling thing about the building is the building itself.

Art Exhibitions, Concerts, and Performances at Paris' Fondation Louis Vuitton

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Le Comptoir Général: African Food, Drinks, and Dance Along Paris’ Canal Saint Martin

Le Comptoir General: Celebrating African with a Coffee Bar, Street-Style Thrift Store, Cocktail Bar, and Reggae Dance Floor Along Paris' Canal Saint Martin

Behind a street art mural along the Canal Saint Martin hides one of Paris’ best-kept secrets: the self-titled “Ghetto Museum” Le Comptoir Général. This multi-purpose treasure trove celebrates Franco-african culture through music, film, fashion, and dance, and has a steady following among in-the-know Parisians and expats.

Le Comptoir General: Celebrating African with a Coffee Bar, Street-Style Thrift Store, Cocktail Bar, and Reggae Dance Floor Along Paris' Canal Saint Martin

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