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Penelope In Paris

by Coco Ochwada

Italian boutique Penelope is known for its daring fashion choices and eye for must-have pieces, so we were thrilled when the store’s Roberta and Coco agreed to let us in on their buying secrets on a trip to see the collections in Paris. Here’s buyer Coco’s diary...

Coco photographs herself in an outfit she describes as a mix of Les Chiffoniers, Margiela and Officine Creative boots

First stop on the tour, Dries Van Noten’s showroom. The collection was a mix of modern and antique prints, a mélange of Scottish tartan and flowers, either embroidered in matelassé or printed on silks! We always adore working with the lovely Manuela, our sales rep, and one of the sweetest people in fashion and of course, we were very happy with our order!

Penelope owner Roberta ponders the new Dries Van Noten collection, modelled on the right

Next stop was the Acne showroom, where we were pleasantly surprised to find a sleek, minimal Nordic view of the S/S 13 – striped, beautiful neutrals and a gorgeous ambience. Aren’t the tote bags cute? That day's hastily assembled outfit was a mix of Les Chiffoniers, Margiela and Officine Creative boots (all here from Penelope at farfetch) and captured in a stunning bit of street style photography!

A look from S/S 13's Acne collection

Whilst wandering down rue Charlot in the Marais to another appointment we discovered this lovely wall which belongs to the photography shop located right next to it -they regularly cover it in a mural of some sort which changes every couple of months!

The mural next to the photography shop

The highlight of Friday in Paris was without doubt the Lanvin S/S 13 fashion show, the collection was a mix of elegant jewel tones, discreet and not-so-discreet embellishments and embroideries - plus a booming, energetic soundtrack. Also spotted in the crowds, the very elusive Ms. Anna Wintour.

The catwalk at the Lanvin show, with Vogue US editor Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington in attendance

Later in the week we visited the Lanvin showroom, to have a closer look at the collection. Our conclusion – c’est tres chic! From the sharp lines and colour palette ready for a yacht in St. Barts, we were hypnotized. Of course, they also have some of the loveliest and warm house models – thanks Lucie and Georgiana!

A Lanvin look as modelled in the show-room

When the tradeshows opened, we jumped right into Tranoi – where Armand Haidida, owner of (farfetch.com’s) L’Eclaireur and organizer of the Tranoi tradeshow had outdone himself with a gathering of great designers, an upbeat environment and an outdoor installation from the design world.

Roberta checks out Tranoi

Then it was off to the Vionnet S/S 13 presentation, where we met the lovely Ms. Goga Ashkenazi, the new creative director of the brand, to see her vision for the house. Paging all red-carpet attendees! The sumptuous fabrics, colours and elegant cuts of the collection were a nice change from the tradeshows.

Some of the looks at Vionnet

We stopped by a wonderful exhibition space in the Marais which held the some works by American artist, Robert Montgomery to get some inspiration and see what was new and exciting in the art world

The exhibition space in the Marais

One day’s appointments started out with the inspirational and fantastical creations of Rei Kawakubo at Comme Des Garçons. The sales’ team is always just as colourful and ironic as the collection! 

The showroom at Comme Des Garçons

Then on with a visit to the Christopher Kane showroom, to see the collection up close after having seen the show in London, and it certainly didn’t disappoint – check out the reflexive mirroring on the walls and the sweet candy colours!

The Christopher Kane showroom

Maison Martin Margiela, has the most amazing interior décor team ever! I fell in love with the neon welcome sign and of course, what is possibly the last telephone cabin in the whole of Paris…how can you resist!

The neon welcome sign at Maison Martin Margiela

Unfortunately, we did manage to interrupt a top secret photo shoot – they wouldn’t even tell us what it was for – on the way upstairs to the showroom. The collection was an ode to sexy women everywhere as we were informed that the design team had been very much involved in researching things which were obviously sexy (décolletage and sheer paneling anyone?) and putting their hyper-modern Margiela twist on it. Ooh la là, la là!

The shoot at Maison Martin Margiela that Penelope accidentally interrupted

Whilst walking down the street attending some appointments in the St Germain-de-Prés neighbourhood on the other side of the river, we came across the most amazing florists shop which had crafted a pair of shoes from dried rose petals! Genius.

The rose petal shoes

The Cité du Art et de Design is a bustling area filled with curious shops, little cafés and an exhibition space which was hosting two amazing shows simultaneously – Comme Des Garçons and Balenciaga – how could we not go and take a look?

The Cité du Art et de Design

Thanks for taking some time to follow us on our Paris adventures and if you’re in Paris next season, we might run into you!
Penelope and Coco
Visit Penelope’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Penelopestores


Roberta enjoying Paris
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