Don’t we all want to know the favorite Paris picks and tips from savvy celebrity shoppers? Follow IKALP as they tell us what they reserve for friends.
Praised as the “Master Colorist,” glamorous Parisiennes keep Joel Villard, and his salon devoted to color, on their private A-list. JV tells IKALP what inquiring minds want to know:
IKALP: Your best shopping bargain?
JV: One Sunday I was wandering down a small street in Montmartre and saw a sign for APC. I went inside just to browse but right away found some beautiful trousers that fit perfectly. They were 50% off the regular price and I grabbed 3 pairs.
IKALP:Your worst shopping mistake?
JV: Once in Ferragamo, I saw a marvelous pair of shoes – it was a “cri du couer.” I tried them on and thought, well they don’t exactly fit but with wear they should be OK. That turned out to be an impossible dream. I can’t put them on the poubelle (trash) because they were too expensive. They are still sitting in my closet and I still love them but, I look at them now as art objects.
IKALP: Who would you most like to go shopping with – your dream shopping companion?
JV: Author and designer Carolyn Roehm because of her great eye for beauty.
IKALP:When the January and June city wide sales begin, what’s your favorite shopping destination?
JV: The Bon Marché without question.
IKALP: What’s the Parisian secret to savvy shopping?
JV: There are three rules: Quality, Need, and Price. First – always first — look for Quality. Second: Ask yourself “Will I really use it or will it just sit in my closet?” “Do I need it or is it only a passing flirtation? After that, consider price. Is it a smart value? Is it worth more than the cost to me?
IKALP: When you need a break from shopping where do you go for some refreshment?
JV: On the Right Bank, I go to Colette, the café downstairs where the food is fresh and light, or I go to Angelina on the rue du Rivoli for anything – especially the sweets. On the Left Bank, I go to Emporio Armani Caffe, it’s not too expensive if I have a plate of pasta and a glass of wine.
IKALP: For people coming to Paris to shop, what items do you suggest they look for?
JV: Luxury items, fashion, of course, and fine linens, I particularly like Porthault at 50 Avenue Montaigne and Noel at 1 Ave Pierre in the Place de Serbie. Often overlooked are the great items for cooks. In addition to the famous Dehillerin, I also like Kitchen Bazaar. There are several around town, I go to the one at 11 Avenue du Maine.
IKALP: Is there something that sets Parisiennes apart on the street as opposed to other shoppers?
JV: Yes, Parisian women have a particular look – they are not really perfect. There’s some certain little bohemian quality. In New York or London, women are always perfect: the clothes, shoes, hair, make-up – everything in place and nothing missing. For the Parisienne, chic is not striving for perfection but has more to do with individuality.
IKALP: How do you prefer to shop, by Metro? Taxi? Bus? Or on foot?
JV: Paris by foot is always best.
IKALP: Do you prefer the Right Bank or the Left Bank for shopping?
JV: Right Bank for clothes and shoes and Left Bank for antiques and art galleries.
IKALP: What would be your idea of a perfect shopping day in Paris?
JV: I’d start on the Right Bank and spend a leisurely morning , making sure I stopped at Prada and Ferragamo (remembering not to be tempted buy shoe that don’t’ fit, no matter how handsome). I’d lunch at Café Colette, and then move on to the Left Bank and spend hours walking through the Carre´Rive Gauche.
IKALP: What do you collect?
JV: From the time years ago when I first saw one in an antique shop, I’ve collected what the French call “Pyrogène” or “match striker” in English. I find them charming and, happily, they are very inexpensive. I also like wine glasses of all sizes and vintages. However, I don’t like drinking champagne from stemmed glasses and prefer using tumblers.
IKALP: What’s your greatest extravagance?
JV: My little house in Provençe where I escape every August when all of Paris is on vacation.
16 rue de Saint-Simon
Metro: Rue du Bac