Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Edgy French Brands...Antik Batik and Zadig & Voltaire

When I was in Paris back in June I told myself that everything I would buy on my trip would be items that I could only find in Paris and not back home in Montreal. I started off at Les Galeries Lafayettes on the third floor where I found the Antik Batik boutique full of ethnic inspired clothing drowning in sequins, beads, silks, embroideries, and velvets. I wanted everything in the store from the chiffon scarves with sequin details, to the signature tunics, to this grey suede long handbag with silver and cream sequins on the flap. I however ended up buying a see-through, long sleeve chiffon dress, but it was a tough decision and I regret not buying more. Antik Batik's founder/designer Gabriella Cortese originates from Italy and moved to Paris when she was 18 years old so that she could learn French and make some money. She started dancing at the Crazy Horse Saloon and was inspired by that old world style, which is shown through her loose and flowy clothes that have an ethnic and antique feel. She started the brand back in 1994 with only accessories, but then quickly expanded towards tunics, sweaters, and sarongs creating a new definition of Parisienne chic by replacing black and lace with earthy tones and jewels forming a luxurious, rich, and eccentric style. (www.antikbatik.fr/ you can shop the brand online at http://www.shopbop.com/)

Following my experience shopping at Antik Batik, I made my way to Saint Germain des Pres where I had a cafe and croissant at Les Deux Magots (where Hemingway used to write), I noticed many chic young Parisienne women carrying these gorgeous big white bags with Zadig & Voltaire written across in red. I was curious as to what this store had and where it was and so I asked a young girl and she said that it was on rue du vieux Colombier. My cousin Sabrina, my brother Nick, and I eventually found the huge, two floor boutique complete with edgy, trendy, and fashionable street-wear. Their logo is of a butterfly which is placed on some of their sweaters and bags. The fabrics were what made it unique and more high end than any other trendy street-wear brand. They had silks, leather, cashmere, wool, and sequins. It was fairly expensive, but worth it because of the quality, fabrics, and cuts of the items. I bought a camel colored leather bag that I wear almost everyday and my brother bought the softest black dress pants I had ever seen and a black dress shirt that looked as if it was made especially for him. Zadig & Voltaire reflects writer and philosopher Francois Voltaire's rebellious ideas that went against tradition. The brand is all over Europe and fortunately just opened their first boutique in North America located on Washington Street in New York City. (www.zadig-et-voltaire.com/eu/)

1 comment:

  1. Love all of this, if only we had these stores here :(