Le Marais’ 7 rue de Moussy is the address that gives me those good goosebumps. It’s Azzedine Alaïa’s flagship store, which is also the brand’s headquarters (and as well used to be Alaïa‘s home and studio, just above the spacious boutique). I love this place so much and I will never forget seeing the man himself here few years ago, taking a run through the racks and disappearing behind the doors of his atelier. His spirit is all over the place. This didn’t change at all throughout the time. And what’s most important, the soul of Azzedine is preserved by the maison, and thankfully not “rebranded”. There’s the untouched Julian Schnabel artwork leaning against the wall. The fitting room, where I imagine Naomi Campbell tries on her dresses. All the design treasures Azzedine hand-picked himself for the space. For me, it’s one of the most sentimental places in Paris. A post on Association Azzedine Alaïa and its foundation is coming up!
7 rue de Moussy / Paris
The magic of Dries Van Noten oozes in his Antwerp flagship store and at his two, close to each other locations in Paris. The women’s and men’s stores, located on the Left Bank, could actually do accomodation services, because they are so gorgeous and it would be a fantasy to stay here for a day or two (ok, a week). Dries’ clothes look great, that’s a well-known fact, but in his stores they reach new dimensions of refined, eccentric elegance. It’s visible that each detail, from the tapestries to the flower bouquets, are well-considered and fit for Van Noten’s universe. Love.
7 Quai Malaquais & 9 Quai Malaquais / Paris
Photos by Edward Kanarecki.
You actually start to love Lucie and Luke Meier‘s Jil Sander when you see the clothes (and bags!) in the store. The brand’s boutique in Berlin, designed by Andrea Tognon (the same architect who did the Phoebe Philo-era Celine stores) is a true slice of heaven. Each detail feels as tactile, balanced and beautiful in its simplicity as the garments on the hangers.
Kurfürstendamm 185 / Berlin
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
In addition to my Prague addresses I discovered back in autumn (read about them here), here are three more places I found worth visiting in the Czech capital.
What makes Prague locals and well-informed tourists go to the rather sleepy Karlin district? One word: Eska. It’s a restaurant with a bakery which brings together the traditional and the modern – on the plate, and in its arty/industrial interior spread across two floors. It’s a spot from Ambiente (Prague’s leading culinary collective) that brings you food made of Czech ingredients with the daring touch of the head chef Martin Štangl. Here, you will enjoy breakfast, a lunch or an intimate evening meal made of several courses. When you leave, don’t miss the fire-baked bread, organic dairy, selected meats from Naše Maso and a take-away coffee at the Eska store.
Your culture time should be spent at the Veletržní Palác. At the time of its construction (completed in 1928), this was the largest building of its kind in the world and the first ‘Functionalist’ building in Prague. Today it serves the needs of the National Gallery. A unique collection of Czech and international contemporary art, it includes some well-known examples of French and European art, including major works by such names as Picasso, Toyen, Renoir, van Gogh, Klimt, Gauguin, Cezanne, Rodin and many more. Take your time to see all the four floors and the temporary exhibitions.
Kantýna is another address coming from under Ambiente’s wing. The concept is quite surprising – it’s a literal canteen, but aesthetically pleasing. With a butcher store in the front and a restaurant space in the back, this place is for true meat lovers (or even, maniacs). I wasn’t really impressed with the sausage I ordered, and I’m not a beer-loving type of person, but I guess there are people who enjoy this sort of culinary ‘adventure’. I came here for the interior!
Photographs by Edward Kanarecki.
Schwarzhogerzeil will definitely please you with it’s very personal selection of Dries Van Noten (some autumn-winter 2018 pieces I haven’t seen anywhere else to be honest – like the white pony hair boots), Cedric Charlier or Lemaire. The big, industrial space feels surprisingly warm thanks to hand-picked furniture and a custom-made, wooden table standing near the entrance. Fun fact: Nicole Hogerzeil, owner and founder, was the one who introduced Isabel Marant to Berlin, having been the first shop to offer her collection (back in the days when Schwarzhogerzeil was still on Mulackstraße).
Torstraße 173 / Berlin
Photos by Edward Kanarecki.