Le Marais: Paris ‘Soho’ 2011 Report

The “Soho Style”, familiar to most New Yorkers is very distinct. But Le Marais, in Paris, is to my mind, the heart of this style, and the true expression of this idea of “Bohemian Chic” with shops that are like art galleries; spare but elegant. A friendly group of young fashionistas are there to help you put your Fall look together with an array of interesting choices, which is, Le Marais, the new place to be in Paris.

With an interesting history, people, a great cafe life, its truly the new “Left Bank”. Le Marais brings all the great things of that experience to life, which I remember from growing up on the Left Bank.

My advice: Just start walking; then stop for coffee, and after a few glances into the windows of these interesting shops you’ll be right in the mood to shop. This unique street or ‘boho chic’ style or the “street look” is in each shop, one more elegant than the next. The energy of the cafes, the sheer exuberance of the fashion, make this Paris area unique. This is where things start then find their way, across the fashion map of the world. What makes this area thrive, is the soul of the artists who began their migration to this area from the Left Bank and while there are some major fashion labels in residence, the artistic touches are everywhere.

The fashion trends found in Le Marais, are unique in that they are softer than typical New York “Soho” Fashions. There is an interesting combination of fabrics, textures, and colors, and a mix of leather separates which take the look up a notch. These clothes are edgy but very romantic. This look is easy to wear, for all figure shapes and sizes. Then add Jeans, or a mini with your leggings and a great handbag, boots, and your done. Oh, and if you are a “fur lover” or want to go “faux” just add a dash of that as well around your collar, or as cuffs on a rough hewn knit sweater, or for the truly brave, a fur trimmed hat or handbag.

Accessories are key to this look, and vintage style, ethnic or metallic touches make the earth tones of this look come together. Here is a short list of shops in this Quartier to get you started, when you take that walk down Etienne Marcel towards the Place des Voges, and also the rue de Vielle Temps, there are many more. Please let me know if you have any other favorite places, we’d love to hear from you. A short walk in the opposite direction takes you to the Place de la Victoire, as well, under construction presently but there are several great shops along this street as well.

  • All Saints Store
  • Paul et Joe
  • Sandro
  • Claudie Pierlot
  • I Love, Boutique
  • Kookai -Les Halles (and everywhere)
  • Barbara Bui

Thrown on your Ballet flats and get shopping, its going to be a bit chilly this Fall, and this is a great way to get started!

2010 Update:  We have logged in many visits to our favorite area, and, as a side note, we’re noticing that the “Pop UP” stores are taking over the area, and, we’re thrilled to see fun designer merchandise “on the spot” and ready to put in our shopping bags and “go”.   Most of them are on the main boulevard, rue de Vielle Tempe….so be looking out for them!!


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