The Jardin du Palais Royal is a perfect spot to sit, relax and picnic between boxed hedges, or to shop in the trio of beautiful arcades that frame the garden: the Galerie de Valois, Galerie de Montpensier and Galerie Beaujolais. However, it’s the southern end of the complex, polka-dotted with sculptor Daniel Buren’s 260 black-and-white striped columns, that has become the garden’s signature feature. This chic urban space is fronted by the neoclassical Palais Royal, constructed in 1633 by Cardinal Richelieu. The Galerie de Valois is the most upmarket arcade, with designer boutiques like Rick Owens, Stella McCartney and Pierre Hardy. Across the garden, in the Galerie de Montpensier, the Revolution broke out on a warm mid-July day, just three years after the galleries opened, in the Café du Foy. The third arcade is crossed by Passage du Perron, a passageway above which the writer Colette lived out the last dozen years of her life. Here are the four “secret” spots that I loved the most in this intimate, quite underrated place in Paris.
Of course. Owens’ flagship store is two floors of dark fantasy. From the wax sculpture of the designer himself and raw furniture created by his life-partner, Michele Lamy, to the wearable disco-ball dresses (see the above photo) and the staff dressed head-to-toes in Rick, you just don’t want to leave this place (and you really, really want to belong to this universe!).
130-133 Galerie de Valois
This place has been on my list of places to visit since I discovered it in Hamish Bowles’ video guide around the best Parisian vintage stores. Ludot’s namesake shop at the Palais Royal gardens is the go-to destination for museum-quality vintage haute couture – it’s where Reese Witherspoon’s stylist found the 1950 Christian Dior duchess satin gown embroidered with rose garlands that the actress wore when she won the Best Actress Oscar in 2006. Designers often make appointments here to browse through the archives. Vintage Schiaparelli, Prada, Madame Grès, Lanvin, Christian Lacroix, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent… this place is intense. No photos policy!
24 Galerie de Valois
The cult, hand-made book-clutches created by Olympia Le-Tan (the designer is no longer behind the brand) feels like an enchanted apartment, which happens to front the Palais Royal. From Mondrian and Van Gogh motifs to covers of Agatha Christie criminals and vintage Paris guides, find the clutch you love the most (and eventually keep it on your bookshelf).
Passage des Deux Pavillons
Developed by a world-leading expert in stem cell research, Professor Augustinus Bader has spent thirty years unlocking the body’s innate processes to self-heal. The result? Game-changing skin care that uses a unique, patented Trigger Factor Complex – TFC8 – to help visibly reduce the signs of ageing and damage caused by environmental stressors, and leave skin looking restored, regenerated and glowing. The beautiful store – which looks more like a fancy salon than a regular cosmetics store – also happens to sell Victoria Beckham’s beauty line that isn’t available pretty much anywhere else in Europe.
84 Galerie de Beaujolais
All photos by Edward Kanarecki.
(P.S. If you are inspired by my Parisian coverage, I’m really happy about, but please have in mind that now isn’t a safe time for any sorts of travelling. Stay at home!)