Top Ten Places in Paris to See Fashion
Being one of the fashion capitals of the world, it doesn’t take much to track down some very stylish scenes in Paris.
Whether you’re looking to buy fashion or simply observe it, almost every district in Paris offered a unique style experience compared to the next.
One thing that this French capital teaches us, is that fashion need not be unaffordable or inaccessible to be significant. On the contrary, fashion is a means of self expression and the streets of the Parisian districts fully embrace this notion.
Sometimes seeing fashion in Paris is as easy as walking out your door and observing an old man in a beret reading his newspaper on a bench nearby. The beret has been one of the most indicative elements of Parisian fashion for over a century now and remains prevalent today.
A city that turned a peasants cap into a global fashion phenomenon almost overnight must hold far more than meets they eye when it comes to the fashion world.
On days when old men in berets are in short supply, there are many other Paris based locations to head to to enjoy the creative fashion choices of locals and visitors alike.
Here are the top ten places in Paris to see fashion; if you value the art, try visit at least one or two while in town.
1. Musée de la Mode et du Textile in Paris
107 Rue de Rivoli
You’ll find this collection of fashion deep within the walls of the Louvre museum in the 1st arrondissement of Paris.
Once inside the Louvre, head to the Rohan and Marsan wings of the museum; the Musée de la Mode et du Textile can be found here as part of a rotating collection in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, also located in the Marsan.
A museum, within a museum, within a museum — yes, you are following correctly.
As the name suggests, this collection is centered around textile and fashion and boasts an impressive collection of each ranging from as far back as the 7th century.
Fashion moguls throughout Parisian history are known to exhibit works here on a rotational basis. The museum has seen the likes of Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Balmain, Christian Dior and Jeanne Lanvin to name a few.
I enjoy venturing to this part of the museum, because unlike the rest of the Louvre, you can do this section completely in just one day. You’ll leave having absorbed an abundance of visuals and knowledge surrounding the history of fashion as we know it.
You’ll also enjoy seeing fashion in all its different forms; from initial sketches, to textile processing to completed garments. It’s a full circle experience of what the biggest names in the fashion industry work through before creating their final masterpieces.
In short, fashion is an art. Paris understands this and is inclusive about the nature of this industry within the walls of the most iconic art museums in the world.
2. Le Marais in Paris
Taking a slight detour from the high-end fashion names that we’ve just explored; we now head over to Le Marais district for a different experience.
Not all fashion needs to land up within the walls of the Louvre to be considered as such. Le Marais is one of the trendiest and most expressive districts in all of Paris; a place where you’ll see locals and tourist in full flair when it comes to what they are wearing.
Shopping in Le Marais is alternate too, with the neighborhood being a popular spot to hunt down thrift fashion and second hand items for repurposing.
From the minute you walk into Le Marais district you’re aware of the sense of self expression simply by observing the people on the streets. A free guided walking tour is a great way to navigate the cobblestone roads and observe the people going by in their chosen attire.
Expect colors, print and patterns in Le Marais; and join in yourself if you can. If there ever was a time to invest in a raspberry colored beret as you walk the streets — its now!
3. Wild and the Moon in Paris
55 Rue Charlot
If you’d prefer to sit and do your fashionista watching then Wild and the Moon in Paris is where you want to be. There are a number of these vicinities located in and around Paris but if you’re in search of the trendiest then head to their Charlot location.
Located just north of Le Marais, Wild and the Moon is an organic health food style restaurant that is frequented by all of the fashion elite in Paris. Essentially, its the go-to spot for all of the designers, models and crew that work the Paris fashion weeks at various points in the year.
The food is fresh and the vibe is wonderful. Enjoy scanning the room for the hippest individuals as you indulge on avo toast, acai and pressed juice. The space is both a feast for the eyes and the taste buds.
Average Cost: Under €15
4. Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris
High-end fashion stores are not hard to come by in Paris. Many of the districts near the city centre offer their own array of elite fashion brands for tourists to stock up on when in town.
Sometimes, however, a less touristy experience is preferred when shopping for this kind of fashion. Even window shopping can be a more enjoyable experience in a space less crowded by others.
The Boulevard Saint-Germain is where you’ll go for a more private fashion experience. Start this shopping strip by the Notre Dame Cathedral near the 6th arrondissement and slowly work your way up to the 7th.
The Boulevard Saint-Germain is one of the most iconic streets of Paris’ Left Bank — well away form the tourist crowding that the rest of the city centre holds.
5. Le Montana in Paris
28 Rue Saint-Benoît
Nightfall in Paris sees some of the most fashionable individuals taking to the town. You won’t find them trolling the streets of Oberkampf nightlife, however. Paris’ most fashionable A-listers flock to the hidden gems of the city for their entertainment fix.
Le Montana was once one of the coolest jazz bars in Paris back in the 70s. The venue was recently reopened to the public, and is now frequented by the likes of Kate Moss and Lenny Kravitz.
During Fashion Week in Paris, Le Montana will be packed to the brim with Chanel’s models and Alaïa’s VIPs.
Even on less lavish nights, everyone at Le Montana makes an effort in the name of fashion. Being here is a transportive experience into the Parisian fashion world; its also a great place for a night cap and a dance.
The Saint-Germain-des-Prés district in general is a fabulous place to explore fashionable Paris both by day and by night.
6. Galerie LaFayette in Paris
This gorgeous art nouveau building in the heart of Paris is a renowned icon in itself. Tourists come from far and wide just to observe the structure of the space and the impressive infrastructure dating back to 1912.
Once inside Galerie LaFayette, architecture takes a back seat and fashion becomes the main focus of the space. This upmarket department store is a fashion lovers paradise and is often referred to as the ultimate shopping destination.
All of the luxury brands you’d expect from around the world all in one place. As you work your way up the multitude of floors that make up this property, you’ll come to realize the magnitude of fashion that Paris has to offer and why its title of one of the fashion capitals is well deserved.
Sometimes Galerie LaFayette holds independent fashion shows in the main areas for patrons to enjoy. You’ll have to check their website for more information about when to expect the next.
Tip: This place can get packed! If you’re prone to crowd induced anxiety you’ll want to visit early morning or late evening!
7. Palais Galliera in Paris
10 Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie
Palais Galliera used to be known as Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris. It is a museum dedicated to fashion and fashion history. You’ll find it in the 16th arrondissement of Paris near the Arc de Triomphe.
If you’re in the mood to see some fashion, this is probably where you should start. The collection is extensive and impressive. The museum features an array of one-of-a-kind garments that you wont find anywhere else in the world.
Need more convincing? Remember the little black dress that Audrey Hepburn adorned in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? It’s a Givenchy original and now calls the Palais Galliera home. You can view the dress in the museum’s permanent collection.
When Brigitte Bardot got married she wore a custom Dior gown; the garment is also found in the Palais Galliera today.
I could go on all day. The point being that historically this is one of the most inclusive collections of fashion in all of Europe and a must for any lover of the art.
8. Fashion Week in Paris
During the first few months of every year the streets of Paris’ city centre are alive with the presence of the worlds most fashionable individuals who flock to the city for the Paris fashion weeks.
From models to designers, stylists to crew, Paris is bustling with the fashion industries finest creatives. When they’re not making magic at one of the shows based at various locations around the city centre, these individuals can be spotted on the streets and around the hot spots of Paris’ main arrondissements.
Wild and the Moon is one of them, as mentioned earlier. However many of the restaurants and bars in the 4th, 5th and 6th districts see the arrival of these fashion A-listers in their droves.
If you aren’t able to get yourself into on of the official shows on the program, the streets are an equally as good opportunity to see some of the world’s latest trends.
9. Chanel Boutique in Paris
31 Rue Cambon
A true institution in terms of Paris’ fashion history, Chanel’s boutique is a must visit for anyone looking to see some authentic works of the industry.
The Chanel name holds a lot of weight on the streets of Paris. Coco Chanel paved way for huge movements in fashion in Paris during her heyday.
This particular boutique on Cambon road is the only one where Miss Chanel ever set up her own personal office space. She worked from the top floor, unbeknownst to many of the customers who would frequent the store below.
10. Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris
For a more extensive array of flagship stores displaying an eclectic collection of fashion, head to the Faubourg Saint-Honoré that stretches through the 8th arrondissement of the city of lights.
This famous road is also the location of the élysée Palace where the President of France and First Lady live.
The road is filled to the brim with some of the finest fashion trends of our time, both inside the stores and on the bodies of the visitors and locals who walk the streets.
People come to the Faubourg Saint-Honoré to see and be seen. This is not a place where you want to be caught in last years sneakers or grandpa’s flannels.
Where not to see fashion in Paris might have been a much shorter list to compile — in such an expressive, passionate city fashion comes standard. Some hubs are simply more saturated than others, and navigating the districts in search of the exact type of fashion you desire to see can be the tricky part!
Make a note of these top ten places in Paris to see fashion so that you aren’t left wandering aimlessly. In times of doubt, a guided walking tour is always an option too!