Avenue Montaigne… In Paris, the street name alone is the quintessential expression of Couture, the most sophisticated form of fashion. Now more than ever.
Located in the “Golden Triangle” of Paris lies one of the most prestigious avenues in the world. Haute couture houses such as Madeleine Vionnet established on Avenue Montaigne in the 1920s to dress their worldly clientele, in Vionnet’s case with the famous technique called the “cut into the bias”. In 1946, Christian Dior fell in love with a building on the corner, located at 30, avenue Montaigne, and established his iconic fashion house; this is where the extraordinary couturier launched his celebrated ‘New Look’ which established the new rules of Parisian chic.
Ever since then this avenue has become the epitome of high fashion, with stores such as Chanel, Celine, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Nina Ricci, Saint-Laurent and many more. Strolling down this tree-lined street with its black iron fences and their bright gold tops that guard the exquisite green landscaping feels like experiencing a journey combining timeless beauty and modern fashion.
The visitor’s eyes will automatically be drawn to the visual merchandising that each and every store has in the windows. The display of the outfits showcases great creativity and extreme attention to detail. The story of a collection seems to start here and is continued inside the stores, with a genuine layout and style identity for each brand. For instance, Monsieur Dior’s heritage is still palpable, with many references in all departments, such as his color palette, his favorite flowers, not to mention the lines of the garments. And yet, the collections clearly exemplify the modernity of the house, whose homage to the grand couturier is applied in a subtle way. Another great couturier’s store, Saint Laurent, with its white and grey marble floors that continues onto the walls, as well as their mirrored walls, showcase the fabulous pieces that are perfectly spaced on bright metal rods hanging from the ceiling. Another example of the art of combining modernity with classic codes, Chanel’s cozy living room atmosphere inside the boutique exemplifies Coco’s passion for comfortable couches. Shopping here is like getting a piece of Mademoiselle’s time.
But not only are there splendid stores on Avenue Montaigne; there is also L’Avenue, a restaurant where the fashion elite and celebrities, like the Kardashians, dine on delicious French food.
As for “the” Plaza Athénée, with its famous Michelin starred restaurant, this celebrated landmark hotel is one of the most fashionable venues in Paris. The lovely balconies on every window are covered with bright red awnings and, during the right season, boast beautiful flowers. A regular scenery for photo shoots and movies, the Plaza Athénée was the setting for the final key scene of Sex and the City, where Carrie Bradshaw stayed with her lover before being reunited with the love of her life, “Big”.