Cole Porter may have written the classic “I Love Paris,” but perhaps someone ought to think about penning a new song: “I Love Paris Fashion.”
OK, it might not have the same ring, but when it comes to style, nobody does it better. At once classic, effortless and supremely confident, French women are known for their impeccable sartorial sensibilities.
So, in honor of April in Paris (another classic tune!), we highlighted a handful of our favorite French stores right here at home to help you acquire that certain je ne sais quois.
France’s fashion darling made a move toward the mainstream with the opening of her first U.S. boutique in SoHo last summer. The industrial space — packed with Marant’s signature cool-girl staples — embodies the effortlessness typical of Parisian style. Whether it’s the designer’s miniskirts, loose-fitting knits, fringed boots, cropped leather pants, breezy scarves or mounted cases of boho jewelry, New York’s stylish young things have been coming out in droves — and spending big bucks — to score a piece (or 10!) of Marant’s modern-meets-classic stock. (PS)
469 Broome St., 212-219-2284
Comptoir des Cotonniers
Established in France in the mid-‘90s, the brand approaches fashion with an interesting utilitarian POV: To design classic, chic clothing that appeals to women of all ages who appreciate style. To drive the point home, the company smartly produced ad campaigns that starred real-life mothers and daughters. The brand’s Spring/Summer collection is a joy to behold: A mix of billowy white dresses, sailor shorts, stark white tuxedo pants, tied silk shirts a la Loulou de la Falaise, and slouchy canvas bags. In these clothes, it’s not hard to picture summering on Cap Ferret. (PS)
155 Spring St., 212-274-0830
Les Toiles du Soleil
The name of the shop means “cloth of the sun” in French, and everything about the goods at this boutique reflects that spirit. Bright, colorful fabrics are the basis for the store’s offerings: Everything from espadrilles, furniture, window treatments and home accents. Smaller items, as well as shoes, are available for immediate purchase, while larger pieces can be custom-ordered. The NYC outpost of Les Toiles has been around for about three years. The company, however, began 150 years ago in the Catalan region of France as a producer of the type of look-at-me espadrilles it still sells. (Julie Gordon)
261 W. 19th St., 212-229-4730
Provencal native Ludivine Gregoire aims to bring effortless Parisian chic to the women of New York with boutiques in the West Village and the Upper East Side. The picturesque shops — dotted with French accents such as an Eiffel Tower statuette — are filled with clothing, shoes and handbags from European designers including Vanessa Bruno, Jerome Dreyfuss and Maison Michel. (JG)
172 W. Fourth St., 646-336-6576;
1216 Lexington Ave., 212-249-4053