23 March 2014

Happy 17th Birthday Colette!

(Paris)

Every time I visit Paris, it doesn't seem complete until I've visited the lifestyle/fashion concept store Colette on Rue St-Honore (it's not far from Rue Cambon - Chanel HQ - so you might see Karl Lagerfeld having a browse). The store opened in 1997 and has enjoyed great success, selling major designer labels and expanding to do it's own compilation albums, with a busy agenda of events going on instore. Last week, around the same time as it's 17th birthday, 600,000 euros of stock was stolen in an armed robbery, showing the covetability of the products it sells (some of the watches are worth upwards of 12,000 euros).

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The sheer choice of established couture designers plus the latest batch of streetwear is mind boggling and quite frankly a nightmare for your credit card. Current designers include Carven, Olympia Le Tan, Valentino, Givenchy, Christopher Kane and Comme des Garcons. Menswear favourites include Maison Kitsune, Missoni, Valentino, Raf Simons and Moncler.  The jewellery is bang on trend and on the pricey side, but it's worth it to stand out. Names include the tribal Aurelie Bidermann ,  Perlota's bangles adorned with precious and semi-precious stones, and Brooklyn based Arizaga's cool cotton bracelets with mini lettering (for men but I would wear them). They have the best streetwear around; right now you can get your Vans Beatles sneaks, Adidas x Raf Simons concept trainers and I Am Other tees.

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You can also update your watch and [pick up your new shades here. Timepieces include Triwa, Itanano and the stunning Romain Jerome offerings with space station technology. Shielding your eyes from the Parisian sun are the retro stylish L.G.R shades, alongside the Barton Perreria brand hailing from LA and made in Japan. They sell the most forward thinking fashion magazines from around the world including Another Man, A Magazine, Lodown, Paper and Cereal.

If you want to know what the cool kids in la Belle Ville are streaming right now - check out the music section - CD's, vinyl and downloads are available as well as Colette's own compilation albums (the latest being French Kiss and Gym), which are French house-tastic. What's hot right now: Haunted by Hallucinations, Catfish, The Pirouettes for synth pop and hip hop Sisyphus.

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I adore the website. You go on and immediately are treated to the latest tracks from the albums being sold at the store (there's a mini Musique player where you can skip through the latest tunes). The site also tells you what's going on in store over the next few months, and features blogs, video clips of previous launches/parties/events and a variety of podcasts.

It goes without saying that there's also an exhibition space, currently playing host to Kenny Scharf, an American "Pop Abstract Surrealist" artist who uses images from pop TV culture in his work. I particularly like his doughnuts :) The three floor, 8,000 sq ft building also boasts an extremely well stocked book shop on all things culture and a hyper-cool water bar serving over a hundred different brands of the  stuff.

They are quick to sell the hippest products around - recent linkups have involved a lipstick designed by Kylie and USLU airlines to promote the release of her new Kiss Me Once album (she also made an appearance at the store). Todd Selby is a photographer and author who is selling his new tome, The Fashionable Selby at Colette and will there on 26th March for a book signing. The Fashionable Selby adds to his previous works, The Selby is in Your Place and Edible Selby, giving us an insider's view of the lives of creatives.  The new book profiles the the top people in fashion right now.

Whilst writing this piece, I felt compelled to start organising my next trip to Paris. Listening to the music, reading about upcoming events and mentally listing other exciting things that are going on right now all got a bit too much. I'm sure you'll understand.

www.colette.fr

 

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