Travel: Paris couture tour

In Paul Gallico’s Mrs Harris Goes To Paris (1958), a London burn lady, Ada ’Arris, sets her heart on shopping a Dior dusk robe after glimpsing such a origination in a habit of one of her rich clients, Lady Dant.

After years of scrimping and scraping Mrs Harris travels to Paris. Once there she puts adult a energetic quarrel opposite a initial influence she encounters during France’s excellent haute couture house, demure to perform her. Gallico’s allegorical story shows usually how distant someone will go to grasp their dream and that a genuine bargain of what matters in life can be surprising.

Inside a Yves Saint Laurent Museum.

Looking during a faces of those queueing in a torrential sleet early on a Sunday morning to see a Christian Dior Couturier du Rêve (Designer of Dreams) exhibition, with their expressions of obedient astonishment and delight, it is apparent a suggestion of Mrs Harris lives on.

The exhibition, celebrating a 70th anniversary of a House of Dior, facilities over 300 dresses and some-more than 1,000 accessories designed between 1947 and a benefaction day, including some by Dior’s some-more new artistic directors such as John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri.

But a fantastic during a Musée des Arts Décoratifs also brings home a fact that Dior (1905-1957) saved a French conform attention and easy inhabitant honour after a Nazi function of many of a country. One quite relocating vaunt is a minute combined by Dior to his father about his younger sister Catherine, a member of a French-Polish Resistance, detained in Ravensbrück women’s thoroughness camp.

In 1947, when Dior suggested his insubordinate New Look, he also launched Miss Dior perfume, in honour of his sister.

The exhibition, interspersed with a horde of masterpieces by artists such as Monet, Renoir and Salvador Dalí, film footage and works by photographers trimming from Cecil Beaton to Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, leads adult to a fantastic grand finale.

A gymnasium of mirrors, like that during a Palace of Versailles, facilities a gorgeous array of fantastic dusk gowns and a light uncover – starting during “dawn” by a Palace windows and finale with a arrangement of a night sky constellations and a cascade of bullion stars.

The Dior exhibition, along with Fortuny, a Spaniard in Venice during a Palais Galliera, runs until 7 Jan 2018.

A singular provide is to see Mariano Fortuny’s (1871-1949) argumentative Delphos gowns. The silk, loose, finely pleated “Grecian” dresses, rhetorical with Murano potion beads were ragged but underwear and combined a prodigy when launched in 1907, pardon women from a corset. When rolled adult into a round a Delphos springs behind into figure when unfurled.

An ideal hotel, usually 200 yards from a Louvre and a Dior muster is a five-star Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal on a charity de Valois, a still side-street subsequent to a Palais-Royal, a former Royal Palace that was scandalous for a festive gatherings, gambling, amour and debauchery.

Architect Pierre-Yves Rochon totally renovated a 18th-century 68-room hotel, a member of Small Luxury Hotels that has 520 small, independently-owned hotels opposite 80 countries. Rochon has taken as his impulse a ancestral buildings around a hotel, a dark garden yard breakwater of a Palais-Royal, and a Louvre’s artworks. Its many contemporary facilities embody a Le Lulli grill and bar, a Carita spa, aptness centre, and a Turkish hammam.

Many of a bedrooms and suites have balconies with views opposite a Paris rooftops to a Eiffel Tower.

Rooms are elegantly furnished and guest are welcomed on attainment with nominal treats such as a image of French macarons, flowers, fruit juices and bottled water. The spoiling continues in a bathrooms that have a operation of lush Atelier toiletries.

Cats, dogs and children are also welcome. There’s a kids’ room with toys, scooters accessible for family walks, and a children’s menu.

Completing a contingent of conform destinations, and one that allows visitors to set feet by a commanding opening gymnasium and into a glamorous salons where clients watched shows or came for fittings, is a Yves Saint Laurent Museum on Avenue Marceau.

At a heart of a museum is a pattern studio, where Saint Laurent (1936-2008), famed for his signature creations that reimagined menswear in styles for women – such as Le Smoking, a tuxedo-style trouser suit, safari suits and ditch coats – worked during his table cluttered with postcards, pencils and paperweights, not forgetful a dog play on a floor.

If a day of heady high conform is too many of a enlightenment startle after an Air France moody of usually dual hours from Scotland, finish with coffee and croissants, afterwards a ideal remedy is a night out during Oh My God She’s Parisian! – a one-woman comedy show, in English, combined and achieved by Julie Collas, a former lawyer.

Collas’s one-hour uncover each Friday and Saturday dusk during a Théâtre BO Saint-Martin, debunks a parable of a superb Parisian, pokes fun during domestic couples such as President Macron and Brigitte and Donald Trump and Melania, and takes a assembly into a essence of a bold Parisian, waiters, and metro users, childcare hassles and many more.

Despite being a visitor to a comedy scene, Collas, who motionless to change her life after a Bataclan apprehension conflict in Nov 2015, is attracting audiences from around a universe fervent for a waggish pile-up march on a “real Paris”.

After such a fun-filled dusk a revisit to Spoon 2, Alain Ducasse’s new grill during a Palais Brongniart, a former French Stock Exchange on a Place de la Bourse, will keep a “alternative Paris vibe” going. Ducasse, who is one of a world’s many flashy Michelin-starred chefs, speckled a niche in a marketplace with a flourishing ambience for globetrotting cuisine.

Dishes served in a relaxed, spontaneous grill where diners set their possess cutlery, embody Zahtar shoulder of lamb with yogurt, shrimp cake and dusty bonito fish from Taiwan and Tahitian vanilla ice cream.

But any revisit to Paris, a universe collateral of fragrance, would be deficient but some discuss of redolence – Dior said: “a woman’s redolence tells some-more about her than her handwriting” – and a revisit to a Grand Musée Du Parfum housed in an 18th-century mansion, formerly Christian Lacroix’s couture house.

The museum, that non-stop in 2016, 
is upheld by a Syndicat Français 
de la Parfumerie, representing 66 redolence houses. It tells a story of redolence from a origins thousands of years ago, tracing a story as a ultimate aphrodisiac from Cleopatra and Mark Antony to their latter-day avatars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

Diane Thalheimer, a museum’s olfactive profiler, says when it comes to memories and smell “everyone has their possess truth” and associations.

The museum’s hands-on interactive exhibits also offer whiffs of cannabis, tobacco, absinthe and “boudoir liberator” (we are in Paris…) and it has even hold a blockade profiling workshop, so it would seem that accessorising a Dior origination competence not be so formidable after all.


Air France offers 42 weekly approach flights from Scotland from Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports. Fares start from £89 including taxes and charges. To book revisit or call 0207 660 0337.

Book a stay during a Grand Hôtel Du Palais Royal with Small Luxury Hotels of a World from £327 per night (two sharing) on a room usually basis. or call 08000 0482 314.

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