Fetneh Blake's Paris
Fetneh Blake's Paris
Fetneh Blake is one of a kind: independent, dynamic, a fashion pioneer, just like her splashy eponymous boutique in Laguna Beach. She’s also a very lucky woman – and she knows it. “I always wanted to do exactly what I’m doing; I dreamed about it since I was a little girl.” Blake opened her high-end clothing shop in 2001 (427 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, fetnehblake.com). It wasn’t long before she became known as a trailblazer, a woman who discovered talent long before the rest of the world. “Trends come and go,” she says. “Style is forever.” Her favorite city is Paris, of course, where she spends time annually. She spoke with Rosemary McClure.
It goes without saying that Paris, the city of light, is the most beautiful and romantic city in the world. It’s also a center of fashion, art and culture. I have been going to Paris twice a year during fashion weeks for the past 15 years. It is a visually stimulating, beautiful place that really does have it all: food, fashion and art.
Time is Right
I go to Paris during fashion weeks, which happen towards the end of September and the end of March. But Paris is lovely any time of the year. We all hear about spring in Paris, when the City of Light is blanketed with shades of pink and puarple as trees and gardens burst into bloom. But it would also be just as magical to go during the Christmas holidays.
Saint-Germain-des-Prés is a swanky, upscale neighborhood known to have the best bars and night scene. Other traditional suggestions: Cap a visit to the Pompidou Centre with a twilight session at its rooftop bar and restaurant, Georges; order a cognac at Le Bar at the Four Seasons George V Hotel; or try a Ritz Side Car at Bar Hemingway in the Ritz Hotel.
I like to spot fashionistas taking a walk on Rue Saint-Honoré, where there is no shortage of shopping options. I always pop into Merci, the concept store on Boulevard Beaumarchais, to pick up some housewares and browse; you also can have lunch there. The place to shop for hip fashion and unique items is the boutique-filled district Marais.
Le 404, 69 Rue des Gravilliers in the Marais, and the hip little neighboring bar Andy Wahloo are favorites with the fashion crowd for delicious Moroccan food. For a treat or special occasion, La Fontaine Gaillon, the restaurant owned by actor Gérard Depardieu, is renowned for its superb food.
The cozy ambience and cool decor at Hôtel Costes is unique and is known for attracting Europe’s super-chic. Go for lunch, sit in the garden, and afterward take a five-minute walk to the Jardin des Tuileries or a 10-minute walk to the Musée du Louvre.
My indulgence in Paris is pastry, either from Angelina, where the excellent signature chocolat chaud is to die for, or from Le Bristol Paris, which offers exquisite mocha chocolat eclairs.
For me, a trip to Paris isn’t complete without a walk along the Seine River, checking out modern art at the Centre Pompidou and visiting the Place des Vosges area where the Musée Picasso is located. And I can also happily while away time enjoying a cafe espresso or glass of vino in a traditional French brasserie.
Visit a regular French pharmacíe for lotions and potions. I always go to stock up on sun creams and lovely French soaps. You’ll save money and find some wonderful things.