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Paris: Secrets to Scoring Big at the Summer Sales

Parisian Garb + Big Summertime Sales = Bliss Breakfast at Tiffany's with Holly by Fifi Flowers

Parisian Garb + Big Summertime Sales = Bliss Breakfast at Tiffany’s with Holly by Fifi Flowers

Parisian Perfume, Fifi Flowers

Parisian Perfume, Fifi Flowers

By Theadora Brack

It’s almost that most wonderful time of the year for shoppers in Paris. This year, “Les Soldes d’Eté” launch on Wednesday June 25. So in celebration, I’m not only updating my big summer sales tip sheet, but I’m also shining a bright spotlight on one of my favorite artists, Fifi Flowers.

Inspired by artists like Henri Matisse and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Fifi paints the City of Light in bright hues, bold strokes, and intricate curlicues. Possessing retro whimsy, her signature brand of wit and charm captures Paris’s shapely Art Nouveau street furniture, sleek black iron balustrades and manicured flowerbeds, along with cocktails, poodles, and scooter bikes—all girly, glamorous, and gussied-up to the nines in nifty, fifty shades of pink.

As Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening!” Mais oui!

La Vie en Rose
Fifi is also a romance writer. Her Falling in Montmartre will make its debut in October 2014. “My books are a bit racy!” she says with a wink, and before giving the scoop, “The new book is part of a series called ‘Encounters.’ A book collector, Avril Claudette Paulson, has stumbled onto something more than an interesting book. She has stumbled on the cobblestones, and into the arms of the very handsome Parisian Emilé Zola Capet. Book shop owner Emilé has no problem coming to her rescue!”

Sigh. Now who hasn’t dreamed about being THERE before?

Pink Parisian Vespa Rider By Fifi Flowers

Dig her work? Then pop by her online shop. Original art and stationary are available. Through September 30, Fifi is generously offering us a 25 per cent discount. “Paris25” is the magic code! In the world of texts and emoticons, a little handwriting will feel good to the hand, spirit, or paramour!

Now, let’s get down to popping some discount tags. And get the printers cranking!

1. Prior to your trip
I highly recommend having a “quest” in mind, since visualization will help narrow your hunt while increasing your chances of finding the object of your desire. What’s missing from your closet? A trench coat? Ballet slippers? Both are timeless French classics, and quite souvenir-worthy.

Covet nautical wear? Who hasn’t been struck by the bold stripes of the traditional nautical shirts of Brittany? This look not only touched appealingly rugged-types like Picasso, Hemingway, and Gaultier, but also lured Jean Seberg, Brigitte Bardot, and Audrey Hepburn. Described by Hemingway as “very stiff and built for hard wear but softened by washings,” you’ll find beaucoup de Breton stripes throughout Paris.

2. Cents and Sensibility
Consider your basic shopping tool kit: water bottle, pre-cut moleskin, chocolate (for energy), gum, eye drops, Métro tickets, maps with targeted shops circled, and a few coins for WCs. And don’t forget an oversized bag for your treasures. Most French grocery store chains sell them for just a few cents. Lightweight and good-looking, they make perfect souvenirs, too.

Fashion Friday Café By Fifi Flowers

3. Do your homework
After your arrival, while waiting for a taxi or before jumping on the RER train, pick up a few fashion magazines at Les boutiques Aéroports de Paris. You can’t miss their bright red signs. Getting you coming and going, there’s usually one located just outside of baggage.

Here’s a great way to find out what’s happening on the streets of Paris before actually hitting the cobblestones. Often magazines like Be, Elle, Marie Claire, and Vogue include a free gift with purchase. I recently scored a scarf and cosmetics, along with a chic Édition Limitée Nuisette (nightie) by Princesse Tam Tam in a drop-dead burgundy. Talk about a win-sin.

4. Get smart
I spy. If time permits, visit your favorite shops just before the sale. Memorize the layout. Take note of “rack formations.” Also, try on clothing—you’ll avoid the lines later.

When should you pounce? In France, “smalls” fly out the door first, but “large” and “X-large” stick around a little longer. On the other hand, prices drop as the sales progress, so it’s a gamble. Know your European size numbers.

Tip for the road: Avoid the masses by shopping weekday mornings or early afternoons. My friend Véronique beats the crowds by scooting around by bike. “I’m able to visit at least twenty shops by 10 AM,” she boasts, while installing her new jumbo-sized basket just in time for the sale. Need a bike? Rent a ‘Vélib’!

Pouring the Bubbly By Fifi Flowers

Pouring the Bubbly By Fifi Flowers

5. Study the classics
I also recommend kicking off your hunt for garb around Paris’s centuries-old shopping districts like Place Vendôme, Avenue Montaigne, and Rue du Faubourg St-Honoré. Perfect for window-shopping, take note of what’s hot in the high-ticket vitrines, and then commit the designs to memory. Rest assured, you’ll be able to find similar styles in the more affordable “indy” boutiques and trendy chains.

However, if you’ve got the cash to splash, make it rain! If the shoe fits, dear Cendrillon, then I say wear it! Just hold on to your umbrella and necklace while making your entrance at Dior, all you Carrie Bradshaw wannabes.

6. Solid as a rock
Who says money can’t buy you love? Befriend the staff. Throughout the year, my friend Dominique drops off chocolates for the sales team at her favorite shops. Guess who hears about the bargains first? Don’t live in Paris full-time? Send thank-you notes after each visit.

Repeat business is highly valued and often rewarded with a “carte de fidélité” (fidelity card). Restaurants and shops give them out to their patrons as a way of saying thanks and “come again soon.”

Looking very much like a business card, each time you make a purchase, the card gets hand-stamped or punched, soon adding up to super discounts or delicious prizes! Didn’t receive one? Just ask. It will be taken as a compliment, and a signal that you’ll be back. (Tip: Often the cards don’t have expiration dates, and can be used for years.)

Pink Tights Ooh la la By Fifi Flowers

7. ”Un carnet, s’il vous plait!”
For the love of sanity, don’t buy your Métro tickets (good for both the bus and Metro) one or two at a time. Purchase a “carnet” (10-pack). With a thick stack of tickets in your hot little hand, you’ll not only save about €3 over the single-ticket price, but you’ll also be able to focus on more pressing matters, like shopping, museums, and most importantly, food!

Tip for the road: When grand touring, time is precious. However, it is possible to visit two fashion-related exhibitions, three historical monuments, four department stores, and five prime (and affordable) shopping districts—all on one day. It’s true! My eyes have seen the glory. What’s my secret? Get on the bus, Gus! Paris’s great mass transit system (a.k.a. the RATP) helps me feed my passion for bargain fashion, especially during big annual winter and summer sales.

For the mere price of a Métro ticket, you’ll not only cruise between the shopping havens with the greatest of ease, but also brag about your first scores of the day while the panorama of Paris rolls by en route to the next shopping district.

There are several shopping meccas long the “95” bus route, to cite just one example: rue de Rennes, rue de Rivoli, Carrousel du Louvre, Montmartre-Abbesses, the grand magasins along Boulevard Haussmann, and the neighborhood surrounding the Opéra. Dear Black Swans, the historic Répetto ballet shop is just a hop, skip and a pirouette from the old Opéra Garnier (of Phantom fame). Sometimes it is possible to have your historical cake and take-away bling, too.

Parapluie Magasin By Fifi Flowers

8. Retro active
Vintage shops often reduce prices, too. You’ll find pockets of boutiques scattered through Montmartre (start at La Caverne à Fripes at 25, rue Houdon) and the Marais, where at Vintage Désir (32 rue des Rosiers) you’ll find a vast collection of striped shirts.

Also, don’t miss Paris’s 19th century shopping arcades (a.k.a. “dream houses”). Flooded with natural light, their narrow tiled halls are smartly dressed in glazed roofing, cast iron, mosaics, and marble pillar columns, along with sculptures and frescoes, giving a whiff of old-fashioned Parisian glamour. Hives of activity, here you’ll find art galleries, bookshops, antique stores, shoe cobblers, boutiques, cafés, and bars.

9. Don’t forget the obvious
Discount shops like Sympa in Montmartre and TATI on Boulevard Rochechouart take their already bargain basement prices to new lows. Sympa’s bargain bin shops (which were once dance halls and brothels that Pablo Picasso frequented during his “blue period”) are also where the famed terpsichorean, La Goulue (“The Glutton”), made her debut.

Now you can nab your own knickers in the very room where she once flashed her heart-embroidered bloomers so fetchingly at the absinthe quaffing crowds. “When I see my behind in these paintings, I find it quite beautiful!” La Goulue told Toulouse-Lautrec when she saw his drawings of her. Strike up the band!

Frou Frou Lingerie Window By Fifi Flowers

10. Keep your cool
Pick a handful of boutiques and one or two shopping districts, or you’ll end up overwhelmed before the get-go. For instance, I focus on the Spanish marque, Zara, which slashes prices like almost no other store (I once scored almost 400 euros-worth for under 50 euros!).

My Personal Strategy
You’ll find clusters in busy shopping districts throughout the city. Boulevard Haussmann, for instance, has five Zara’s in a six-block radius. Two are inside Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, and one even has a view of the Opéra! Divine, yes, but their proximity also saves you time.

The Zara location in the Félix Potin building on rue de Rennes is a personal favorite because it usually serves as one of last stops for the chain’s closeout clothing sales. Also, the fair sight of the stunning Art Nouveau dome topping off the bargains inside is heaven. So gaze up, but do look both ways before crossing!

Now, let’s take a breather at the Moulin Rouge! For kicks, I’ve meshed Fifi’s works with some fine vintage art created by Marcel Vertès for designer Elsa Schiaparelli. Love IS in the air.

Clipping from Christian Dior: “In this machine age, which esteems convention and uniformity, fashion is the ultimate refuge of the human, the personal and the inimitable. Even the most outrageous innovations should be welcomed, if only because they shield us against the shabby and the humdrum!”

Or as “Schiap” used to say, “Buy only the best or the cheapest!”

Fifi Appearing at the Moulin Rouge By Fifi Flowers

Shocking de Schiaparelli By Marcel Vèrtes

By Fifi Flowers

Dancer on a Swing in Paris By Fifi Flowers

Shcoking de Schiaparelli By Marcel Vèrtes

Ooh la la Eiffel Champagne By Fifi Flowers

By Fifi Flowers

Love is in the Air By Fifi Flowers

Model with Red Balloons by Fifi Flowers

Model with Red Balloons by Fifi Flowers

Stop. Did we just spy Virginia’s bicycle? (Bardot Bike by Fifi Flowers)

BRACK Ladies 50

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116 thoughts on “Paris: Secrets to Scoring Big at the Summer Sales

  1. Ring-a-Ding-Ding………..I am dashing off to fetch Virginia and the magic bicycle……..we shall certainly need it on this trip! Theadora, please arrange a luncheon with Fifi, she does sound such a delight……..my and her leading man sharing the Tin Man’s first name…..oh the heart is a flutter!!! We just attended a party at the local Museum of Art for a Matisse opening…….you know Tinny has an original Matisse graphite lying about unframed……for the love, get that baby on the wall, I say!

    I have packed Chocolates from Argentina (for energy) they have a bit of hot pepper in them to put a punch in out step. I have picked up 4 carnets of tickets for I am sure we will be dashing hither there and yonder, with Virginia clutching her hat against the breeze. You can drop me at Sympa for hours, darling…………oh, and TATI…yes, yes, yes. For the love……VIRGINIA…..let’s get a move on.

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    • Ring-A-Ding-Ding!! Dear Monsieur Tin Man, I think I spotted Virginia’s magic bicycle by the Seine. The little basket was choc-full of goodies: bread, wine, and cheese. Bubbly, too! No sight of Virginia or her fabulous ruby-soled Christian Louboutin shoes. Perhaps she is still visiting with Matisse? She’s a time-trekker!

      (Original Matisse graphite? For the love art, yes, get that baby on the wall today, I say. Green with envy!)

      You are so thoughtful. Thanks for packing the chocolates with the hot pepper. My favorite. I’ve got the water. While you shop the bins at Sympa, I’ll stop by Matisse’s studio in Paris on the quai Saint-Michel. You know the one. With the view of Notre Dame. He’ll help us find Virginia! I’ll keep you in the loop.

      Big Hugs,
      T.

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    • Ah, thanks, Violet! I love Fifi’s art. There are so many beauties in her collection. It took me weeks to make the final selections. And then work out the sequence. She was a complete joy to work with throughout the process. What fun! They sing. They dance! T. (Enjoy the weekend!)

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    • And here’s another favorite illustrators! Bonjour, Bradley! Say, are you still working on your art? Thanks again for such a fabulous banner. Clipping Audrey Hepburn in the “Roman Holiday” flick, “I will cherish it as long as I live!” It’s true. T. (Have a productive and creative weekend!)

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      • Um, I took a break from my art.. it started out as a planned short break and ended up a lot longer. I’ve been doing a few doodles recently but nothing too advanced. I think you were my only fan, lol. Thank you for that! 😀

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  2. Ahhhh, my heart jumped for joy when I saw your post in my in-box! And of course, i wasn’t disappointed. I wish I were going to be shopping in Paris, but I’ll settle for Dijon and Beaune. I love Fifi’s paintings (and Marcel’s as well.) They go perfectly with your inviting tips.

    janet

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    • Well, Merci, Janet! Say, I owe you some information on Dijon and Beaune. Forgive me! I’ll send something tomorrow. Have you purchased the “France” tour guide by Rick Steves? Back in December, I took hi “Rome” guidebook to yes, Rome. Great insider tips. And he’s witty, too! I highly recommend his books. Have you started to pack? I’m looking forward to your reports and photographs, of course.

      Bon Voyage!
      T.

      (And thanks for your kind words about Fifi’s works. Yes! I think my words and her art dance well together. I thoroughly enjoyed the collaboration.)

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      • I’ll look forward to your info. The “France” book has come in handy, although it only has Beaune, not Dijon. I haven’t really started to pack, but will be doing that in the next few days. I’m getting the important things done, though–getting to and from the airport, have tickets and car rental, called cc company and bank, put mail on hold, etc. 🙂 I’m looking forward to it myself, although I’ll miss Provence a bit.

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      • Of course, you’ll have to visit the Maille mustard shop (open since 1747). A must-see! 🙂 I’ll shoot you an email over the weekend! T.

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    • Brilliant words!! T. (It was fun to mesh Fifi’s works with Marcel’s. It had pining for days when magazines were full of great illustrations and not just photographs. My mile-high collection of vintage rags grows by the day!)

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  3. I am sure I will never be able to shop in Paris, but it has been fun to dream of it with your wise tips! And I am inspired to go shopping somewhere even if it is only here in Texas. Fifi’s art is delightful!

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    • Texas! Do you have a favorite shop in Texas? I think Zara has a few boutiques in the Lone Star State. And YES. I agree! Fifi’s works are delightful. The moment I spotted, I tumbled flat. I love the energy. Each time I see them, I smile. I was pleased as punch when she agreed to share them. What a gift! T.

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    • Merci! It was very difficult narrowing down the selection, and figuring the sequence. She has hundreds of works in her shop, gallery, and online portfolio. I spent weeks on the post, studying each image. And of course, she was a delight to work with throughout the month. Very patient! You should check out her shop. Prices are affordable! T.

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    • HA!! Thanks for the giggle, Kim!! By the way, thanks to your recent post about the Le Train Bleu, I’m now working on a post about the Le Train Bleu ballet. Thanks for the inspiration! And of course, I’ll include a link to your post. The meal sounded incredible! T.

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  4. Pink, pink, and more pink! La vie en rose indeed. Let There Be Pink, I say. Thanks for showing us just how it’s done, Fifi and Miss T!

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    • Dear Martino! OH, dear. Good. Golly. Now I’m humming the “Think Pink” song from Stanley Donen’s Funny Face movie (1957), starring Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, and Kay Thompson. Strike up the band!!

      Think pink! Think pink! When you shop for summer clothes.
      Think pink! Think pink! If you want that quel-que chose.

      Red is dead, blue is through,
      Green is obscene, brown’s taboo.
      And there is not the slightest excuse for plum or puce —or chartreuse.

      Think pink! Forget that Dior says black and rust.
      Think pink! Who cares if the new look has no bust.

      Now, I wouldn’t presume to tell a woman what a woman ought to think,
      But tell her if she’s got to think: Think pink—!

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      • Thank you! In Paris, I love visiting l’Elaireur, Repetto, Goyard plus just browsing small shops along Faubourg St Honore and Maubeuf. One of my favourite things to do in Paris is food-shopping; there I find beautiful fruits, wonderful selection of cheese, delicious chocolates, macaroons & cakes…Love love Hediard, Bon Marche food mart…Have a nice weekend.. Mrs. J

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      • Fabulous tips, Mrs. J.! I’m digging your list. Repetto is one of my favorite shops. I love studying their vitrines. And macarons. I am hooked, I confess! They’re also fun to photograph. It’s another win-grin! T.

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      • You are most welcome! Love your tips too! Have a fab weekend! : )

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  5. Every one of Fifi’s pictures took me right back to Paris! What a discovery. Wish I was there for the sales, but did pick up an Audrey Hepburn top here in Italy – I won’t ever look like Audrey of course, but at least I have something that I could imagine her wearing!

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    • What sweet words, Mary! Fifi will love them. I know it! Say, where did you score the Audrey Hepburn top? What does it look like? Confession: While recently in Rome, I re-enacting beaucoup Audrey Hepburn scenes from “Roman Holiday” movie. Sigh. What a trip. I try to channel my inner-Audrey on a daily basis! T. (Fifi does have a few Italy paintings in her AB-FAB stash works.)

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      • Hi Theadora. I bough the “Audrey” in a fab little boutique here in the tiny Umbrian town of Spello. The shop employs a seamstress and weavers and all of their things are one-offs. The top is black and white with a black boat collar and matching sleeve cuffs – adorable! Before I leave (boo hoo) I will post a few photos of some Italian shop windows so you can window shop by proxy! By the way, Fifi’s work is a perfect match for your writing. I enjoy it all. Mary

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      • Yes, Mary! Please photograph some Italian vitrines. We’d love to see them! Post-worthy, I do believe. Keep me in the loop. Your handmade shirt! Very stylish. Very Audrey. She would have approved! I love the black and white. I love a boat collar with matching sleeve cuffs? Oh, my. You definitely should include it in the post. Signed, T. (Green with Envy)

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    • What a thoughtful and stellar comment!! I will pass on your words to Fifi. The moment I spotted her retro-rocking works, I thought to myself: Collaborate with this gal. She was great partner in crime! T. (Have a lovely weekend!)

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  6. Dearest Theodora
    ‘Les Soldes’!
    How I adore the French for – among so many other things – sticking to the idea that sales should start on a defined date rather than dribbling in confusingly as they do here, so that some stores have finished whilst others have yet to begin!
    It reminds me too that our Parisian cousins do things so much better retail-wise at Christmas time with those little platforms to allow little folks to see into the displays.
    Well, I suppose the city did, if not invent, then definitely perfect the department store, has kept couture when les autres have lost it and created the concept store when practically every other big destination is becoming decidedly homogenized.
    Vive la vie au magasin… and a very happy ete to you.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

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    • Dear Perfumed Dandy,

      Ah, thank you for the visit! I agree. I agree. I’m already looking forward to the Christmas lights and vitrines. I usually try to attend their big launches. It’s always thrilling. Festive, too. I also appreciate the little platforms for the little ones. Very considerate! For the love of a close-up, sometimes I use them!

      Paris. Paris. And YES. The city still has its iconic darlings: The Grand Magasins. They’re gorgeous. Pinching from Zola: My cathedrals! I always encourage folks to visit. Another confession: I’ve never failed to look up the stained glass dome at Galeries Lafayette without weeping. It’s true.I get goosebumps.

      Big Hugs,
      Theadora

      (Say, have you written a post about Elsa Schiaparelli or Marcel Vertès?)

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      • Dearest Theodora
        yes, the dome. It bring a lump to The Dandy’s throat. A friend worked there when I lived in Paris many years ago and became the source of many fragrant pleasures in sample form.
        Now, I’m not sure I’ve ever written about Elsa… surely something to be corrected, but Mae I’ve opined on many a time.
        I have been enjoying your spring clean!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

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      • Dear Perfumed Dandy, My fingers and toes are crossed. “Schiap” would be pleased as shocking pink punch! T. (AND YES. I’m also a big time fan of Mae!)

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  7. The magic bicycle bumped over the cobblestone streets. The paniers and the wicker basket filled to overflowing with pink champagne, mysterious packages, drop cloths and liters of Schiaparell’s pink paint. Inspired by FIFI FLOWERS Tinny and Virginia were decorating The third floor Paris apartment. What a day it had been. Shopping the sales. Lunch with Fifi and Theadora. A rest while Virginia shopped for a pair of Louboutin shoes (she so loved the red soles). They watched the dawn breaking over the roof tops as Tinny put down his paint brush, pounded a nail into the wall with his silver axe, and hung FIFI FLOWER’S PINK TIGHTS.

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    • We found you, Virginia!

      And your third floor Paris flat is as gorgeous as your newly-acquired Christian Louboutin shoes. I also scored a pair, in sky blue with ruby red soles, of course. Lunch with Matisse, Fifi, and Monsieur Tinny was divine. What a day it had been, indeed! With a sunrise, to boot. From head to toe, I’m covered in the Schiaparelli’s Shocking Pink paint, but I don’t care. Good. Glory. It’s now high time to go out and purchase some baked goods and coffee, while the paint dries. We’ll then help you gather the drop cloths. I’m tuckered but inspired.

      In the words of Matisse, “With color one obtains an energy that seems to stem from witchcraft.”

      Big Hugs,
      T.

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      • I’d love to walk along the River Seine or stereotypically climb the Eiffel Tower 😉

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      • Fabulous Plan! Have you seen Adele’s “Someone Like You” video? Shot in exquisite black and white by Jake Nava, both Adele and the Pont Alexandre III look (along with the River Seine!) glamorous. In the video, you’ll spot the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Palais, Les Invalides and the Place de la Concorde. If you squint! T.

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  8. Another fab post and Fifi’s work is grand – complements your writing so well! What a pity I missed the sales – but I did manage a little shopping on my recent trip. Paris is beguiling .. I still have things on my to do list that I made from some of your posts – Pere Lachaise and Rue des Abbesses for instance – I shall have to return …

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    • Merci, Shelley! And apologies. I’ve been working in the “field” again. I think missed the second part of your France series. Heck, I know I did. \I’ll catch-up over the weekend. So you managed a little shopping? What treasures did you find? Did you spot anything at Shakespeare & Co.? And speaking of wonderful, I also thoroughly enjoyed your nod to Monet’s Garden. Dreamy place. Your photographs are beauties! T.

      http://sherievon.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/monets-garden-absolute-magic/

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      • Thanks T – Monet’s garden was certainly dreamy! I surely did a little shopping – , I was very taken with “And Other Stories” in Paris, the upmarket H&M – have you looked? I wanted to do Clignancourt and some second hand clothing stores as you suggested . I am in the middle of writing a new post about the things on my bucket list I missed and this was one of them. My bucket list was based on many of your suggestions and those of Bryan Pirolli – you both do such useful and interesting posts! But as my impending post will say “Je ne regrette rien” – we did so much in an action packed four days and now I have an excuse to return in 2016!

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      • Confession: I’m a fan of H&M. There. I said it! Did you find any treasures? And speaking of your France trip, you covered a lot of ground! Je ne regrette rien, indeed!

        I’m looking forward to your bucket list post. Have I missed it? Keep me posted! We’ll include a link here. And I agree. Bryan Pirolli is pretty darn fabulous. And witty, too.

        Here’s to a productive week!
        T.

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      • I did find the most gorgeous grey leopard longline cardigan in H&M- very cheap! Have you looked at COS which is another of their upmarket stores – lovely! Still working on the post…. coming soon.

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    • I agree, Richard. Fifi’s works do capture the spirit of the city! T. (And speaking of beauty and positive energy, I loved seeing all of your street photography portraits in one gallery. You capture your city like no other. It’s true!)

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  9. What a fun post!! I’m wishing I were there following all your tips. (maybe next summer for our both anniversary when I’m hope, hoping to make it to Paris to celebrate!) Happy shopping!

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    • YES. YES. Start planning a jaunt. Again, you’d love the bookshops, of course. Enjoy the week! T. (I’m currently reading “The Excruciating History of Dentistry: Toothsome Tales & Oral Oddities from Babylon to Braces by James Wynbrandt. It’s fascinating! The father of modern dentistry was French. Post-worthy, I do believe!)

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  10. Beyond the approaching Tour de France, I rarely spend time considering Paris. However, Fifi’s fun drawings and your zest are quite appealing to a guy that rarely gets out of denim and flannel. Very nice.

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    • Oh, what sweet words! Merci! By the way, your daily photographs always inspire me. It’s true! ~Theadora (And you’ll find beaucoup denim and flannel in Paris. It’s currently the rage!)

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  11. Theadore,
    A great column. It is full of tips and “inside” info… I am sharing with many of my friends. While I am not into shopping you almost have me wanting to take that bus ride. I adore your selection of Illustrations.
    Enjoy your summer
    Thom

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    • As always, thank you, Thom! Fifi will adore your words. I know it!

      There are quite a few scenic bus lines in Paris. The “80” bus line is another favorite. Along the way, you’ll spy the Champ de Mars, the Eiffel Tower, and Le Mur pour la Paix created in 2000 by artist Clara Halter and architect Jean-Michel Wilmote. Here, the word “peace” is inscribed in 49 languages. Seeing it moves me every time! It connects two of my favorite shopping hoods: Rue des Abbesses and Rue Commerce. Does your wife still have her Zara coat? I love that story.

      Enjoy the week! And thank you for spreading the word about the post. I really appreciate it!

      T.

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  12. I am so sorry for this very late response to the publication of your latest and totally thrilling post! I had been in the midsummer doldrums until I bought some vintage Champagne coupes and your latest post arrived in my inbox!
    What a perfect combination! reading your great column and seeing Fifi Flowers artwork! How stunning are you two together?!
    Holding a coupe full of fizz and doing a virtual tour of the Parisian sales is enough to make any girl giddy and I just loved it!
    Thank you Theadora for making life just so much more exciting!.
    Bye for now,
    Karen

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    • Oh, la la!!
      Perfect timing, Karen! And you arrived with Champagne and thoughtful words. I’m now feeling giddy. Your positive energy is contagious, always. I’m happy when you stop by for a visit, always. Thanks for lifting our spirits!

      Thinking of your kitchen photo shoots and attractive linens, you’d love the fabric district in Montmartre. You’d also love the kitchenware shops, I think. I’ve spent entire afternoons in these havens. After all, this is where Julia Child fell in love with the art of cooking. (Over the weekend, I plan to try your corn soup recipe.)

      Have a creative and productive week!
      T.

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  13. What a fun post! It’s always such a pleasure to come here for a breath a fresh air. Fortunately, I’ve not been bitten by the shopping bug and so I’ll live out these sales the same way I do non-sales periods: in a park with my writing journal! 😉 That said, I did post a “sales” collage over at Paris by Cell Phone, though my photo is by no means as light and fanciful as the drawings here or the text that accompanies them!

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  14. Pingback: Paris.. Tips for the summer of 2014 | thombradley

  15. I can’t believe I am going to bother you with this, but I so thoroughly enjoy your blog that I have to ask; are you having trouble posting images where you want to post them on your blog. WordPress has changed the formatting again and have just made it harder to blog. I just gotta know and as always, much love from Baltimore.

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      • Yeah, it’s weird. Now, it seems, that you have to add the photos that you want to use in a ‘Gallery”. Before, I could just upload any photo that I had saved on my computer. Hell, I could just do an image search while writing the blog and insert it into the post.

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  16. Wonderful shopping tips Theadora, what a great list for anyone visiting your beautiful city. Love reading your writing. Beautiful showcase of Fifi’s artwork perfect for the theme to your post – ooh la, la!. I was away during May and have only recently realized that many blogs that I’ve been following are not loading into my Reader, so I’ve un-followed and re-followed your blog.

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    • Oh, Fifi will love your thoughtful words, Mary! As you know, I’m a fan of your art works. How is the “dancer” doing? Where are you in the process? Enjoy the week! Theadora (And apologies for delayed response!)

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      • Not to worry Theadora, blogging takes a bit of time and we have a lot on our plates. You bring magic to all of us with your wonderful suggestions and uniqueness in introducing us to everything Parisian. Good question, I finished the ballerina, if you look under Thursdays Drawing – Category, you’ll find her. I’m not totally satisfied at how she turned out – the frisket really gave me problems for her legs and feet, but I enjoyed the process of drawing her. I have started a new drawing, called “Waiting” a seascape which I’m loving the project. I’ve never drawn waves before, so this is an exciting drawing to work on – I can feel those waves coming on shore. I’ll be posting an update this Thursday. Thank you dear Theadora for your lovely comments – I hope you have a beautiful week.

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  17. I knew I shouldn’t read this. Now I want to nip over to Paris to expereince all you are talking about. Tip one is a goodie for me – know what you want. So simple but thereby hangs the success of the day.

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  18. Thank you for this post. I so love Fifi’s artwork. I have three pieces, and oddly enough, just today I was thinking of purchasing more! Perfect timing! I save your shopping and sightseeing tips for the day when I may visit Paris again.

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    • Apologies, apologies for my delayed response, Anny! I also dig Fifi’s work. So you have three pieces? Lucky you. Interiors or exteriors? How to chose. They’re all fabulous. Not a dud in bunch! ~Theadora

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  19. Merci beacoup! Great tips…I will be in paris next weekend, hope there us something left for moi!

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  20. Great post! I always return to Paris for the twice-a-year soldes – much more and better shopping options than here in Brussels. My secret is to focus on independent designers who produce small but quality items as the savings for these can be significant. Some of my favourite shopping haunts are in the north of le Marais.

    As much as I dread going to the grand magasins like Printemps & Galeries Lafayette (regardless of whether the sale is on or not), these are good options for shoppers who are pressed for time as they have a wide selection to choose from,. Plus you could almost get anything and everything you might need/want – e.g. shoes, lingerie and even lingerie – at massive discounts!

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    • Apologies for my delayed response! I also love shopping in the Marais. Great vintage treasures, too! Do you have a favorite shop or designer? I love the rooftops at Printemps and Galeries Lafayette. Fabulous, fabulous views of the city! ~Theadora

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