Paris: Through a Fashion Eye

Image of Paris: Through a Fashion Eye
Release Date: 
October 16, 2017
Hardie Grant
Reviewed by: 

It is possible that there is an audience of readers for Paris: Through a Fashion Eye but they would have to be rather or hugely uninformed with no Internet access or maybe some starry eyed adolescent from the cornfields that doesn’t know that Paris is in France. It is almost guaranteed that any seasoned traveller or well-read and informed fashion person will scoff at the contents—and that’s being polite about it.   

This reviewer finds it difficult to believe that anyone who might spend $24.99 on a book about “fashionable” Paris would require or seek out a book to tell them to shop at Dior, Chanel, Cartier, and such, nor do they need to be told to see the Louvre, Versailles, or the Eiffel tower.

What is proffered here can be found in any travel guide and surely online in abundance. Granted, these supposedly great “fashion” hints are accompanied by kitschy cute cartoon illustrations and less than innovative text, but why? The glaring omissions are just as offensive as the inclusions such as the Musée D’Orsay, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Musée Picasso, Goyard, Delvaux, JAR, Boucheron, Lydia Courteille, Joël Robuchon, Benoit or Caviar Kaspia to name just a few of the wildly fashionable places to eat, visit, and shop.

It's conceivable to think that one of the worst nightmares of any author would be for a their book to be out of date by the time it reaches publication, and yet there are three glaring instances just within the shopping segment: Montaigne Market no longer exists at the address given in the book, Collette has closed up shop, and Bouchra Jarrar has been relieved of her duties at Lanvin.

The astutue reader and follower of fashion and or style will realize that when it comes to shopping, Miss Hess feels that the brands you shop in Paris are the same ones you can shop in New York City (as well as any major city in the USA) and any other capital or resort in Europe, not to mention throughout the Middle and Far East with extremely rare and marginal exceptions.

Even a first time “fashion” visitor to Paris in search of where to go and what to see might consult a Fodor’s travel guide as well as Ines De la Fresange’s Parisian Chic City Guide for far more original and authentic destinations. At least Ms. de la Fressange offers you Paris as seen through the eyes of a Parisian rather than as a very banal and unimaginative tourist.

The bottom line here is read at your own risk!