Elegant Paris: Fashion, Art and Etiquette

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Advisor - Valeriya Vygodnaya
Curated By

Valeriya Vygodnaya

  • Paris

  • Arts & Culture

  • Luxury Travel

  • Boutique Travel

  • Architecture

  • High-end

  • Fashion

Paris has been crowned as the most elegant city of the world.
Curator’s statement

Paris - the most beautiful and mysterious city on the planet is delighted to open the doors for you to the 'crème de la crème' of aristocratic society. It enchants not only with its architecture, culture, and style, but also with the people you encounter here. In some enigmatic way, while living in modern reality, they remain bearers of culture and past grandeur. Being in their presence makes you want to straighten your shoulders, slow down your pace... If you study etiquette, perhaps you're a designer, artist, or stylist, after visiting Paris, you'll have new ideas and, of course, inspiration. If you simply love to travel and discover something new, then Paris is always a good idea

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Day 1: Arrival in Paris - unveiling the elegance

Musée Cognacq-Jay is a Parisian gem housing an exquisite collection of 18th-century art and decorative treasures.

Welcome to the City of Love and Elegance! Upon arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport, your private chauffeur will escort you to your luxurious hotel in the heart of Paris. Why not make your stay at the iconic La Réserve Hotel, where elegance and sophistication intertwine seamlessly? Nestled in the heart of the city, this luxury haven promises an experience that goes beyond accommodation. Here, opulent refinement is the norm, and every detail speaks to a harmonious blend of timeless aesthetics and contemporary comforts.

Start your immersion in Parisian life with a breakfast, hosted by the Countess Maria Beatrice Pierre de Malre de Barr in her exquisite Parisian salon, nestled at the epicenter of aristocratic life in the 7th arrondissement. Here, amid the opulence of Paris' aristocratic heart, you can delve into the essence of the title "Countess" in the modern world and within the context of France. With a focus on the nuances of French social interactions, uncover the art of communication in this refined society. Unravel the intricate connections between history, fashion, and style by exploring why these pursuits hold such significance in our quest for understanding.

In the early afternoon stroll through one of the most enchanting districts of Paris. Immerse yourself in the architectural tapestry that defines this aristocratic enclave and unveil the secrets of its elegant facades.

After lunch, continue your day stepping into the world of Théodore-Ernest Cognacq and his spouse Marie-Louise Jaÿ, the founders of the renowned department store, La Samaritaine. The Musée Cognacq-Jay's collection boasts over 1200 pieces of French art, including masterpieces by Chardin, Boucher, Watteau, Canaletto, and sculptures by Lemoyne. Marvel at exquisite 18th-century furnishings, exquisite porcelain, intricately designed tobacco boxes, and the crown jewel of the collection - Madame de Pompadour's vanity table.

No Parisian evening is complete without an unforgettable dinner experience. Sip on champagne and savor exquisite French delicacies, allow yourself to be enveloped in the charm of Paris at La Reserve's The Duc de Morny Library bar.

Day 2: A glimpse into savoir-fare and arts

Saint James Paris' Bellefeuille Restaurant is a culinary haven where artistry meets gastronomy.

Embark on your day with the philosophy that a true woman can fashion three things out of nothing - a salad, a hat, and a scandal (it's said that this adage belongs to the illustrious Coco Chanel). While we set salads and scandals aside, delve into the world of hatmaking at the atelier of a renowned milliner situated in the heart of bohemian Paris. After an introduction to the intricate world of hat design, create your own headpiece to wear for the next Chantilly races. As you immerse yourself in this captivating atmosphere, you'll discover the stories and inspirations behind each headpiece - a fusion of artistry, culture, and individual expression.

In the afternoon, stroll down the renowned Avenue Montaigne, home to some of the most prestigious fashion boutiques. Or head off to the Samaritaine department store overlooking the river Seine. Here, among the curated array of over 600 brands, including Europe's most expansive beauty department, a realm of possibilities awaits.

Experience VIP private shopping in the exclusive chic apartment in the inviting ambiance, resonating with the spirit of 19th-century Haussmann style. An experienced personal stylist will anticipate your arrival, meticulously preparing an assortment of fashion garments and accessories. As you step into this private haven, a journey through luxurious threads commences, guided by your stylist's expertise, revealing the essence of French elegance and refinement.

In the evening, enjoy your dinner at the Michelin-starred restaurant nestled within the Saint James Paris palace grounds – a timeless tradition favored by the aristocracy.

Day 3: Unveiling the threads of fashion history

Visiting fashion exhibition

This morning, explore the Louvre Museum in true VIP fashion – skipping the line. Delve into the exquisite tapestry of history and fashion through the centuries on an exclusive journey titled, "History of Costume in the Masterpieces of the Louvre." Embark on an exploration that transcends time, where the intersection of art and style becomes a captivating narrative. Admire the Mona Lisa and other masterpieces in tranquility, accompanied by an art historian who will illuminate the stories behind these treasures. Marvel at the captivating masterpieces, including sculptures from ancient civilizations, the brushstrokes of Italian and French painters, and the jewels of the French crown – each a testament to the intricate connection between art and attire.

Afterward, allow the city to unfold before you in a symphony of elegance as you embark on a leisurely Seine River cruise. As you glide along the tranquil waters, a panorama of Parisian grandeur unfolds, with iconic landmarks casting their reflections upon the gentle ripples of the river.

For dinner, venture to one of the city's nicest restaurants, a culinary gem where dishes are presented exclusively on Baccarat crystal. Before dinner you can also explore the legacy of Baccarat, where history and innovation collide to create treasures that embody timeless beauty. This is dining elevated to an art, where taste and style converge in a glamorous rendezvous.

Day 4: Aristocratic Saturday - vintage treasure hunt at the Parisian Flea Market

a table setup

Step into a truly aristocratic Saturday, where your adventure leads you to the captivating heart of Parisian antiquities - the legendary Saint-Ouen flea market. Originally founded by resourceful rag-and-bone traders in the 1870s, the Saint-Ouen flea market has transformed into a sanctuary of treasures that transcend time. 14 antique pavilions beckon, each a portal into eras gone by, echoing with stories from various corners of the world.

Spend a day wander through the Paul Bert-Serpette Antiques Market, a haven of inspiration that celebrates the artistry of the past. Pause in awe before the Futuro "flying saucer" at the Dauphine Market, an iconic landmark that marries art with architecture. But it's at the Jules Vallès Market where the spirit of original Saint-Ouen thrives, offering a treasure trove of textiles, vintage garments, and charming trinkets. This is where fashion trends were birthed, and where hidden gems reveal themselves, waiting to be unearthed. Unleash your inner aristocrat as you venture through the ages, embracing the allure of vintage elegance and sophistication.

Skip the lunch and enjoy delectable snacks and savor the finest coffee the market has to offer, but prepare yourself for the evening's elegance, for an enchanting dinner experience awaits at the renowned restaurant of Le Meurice hotel under the guidance of renowned Chef Alain Ducasse. The ambiance of the restaurant is a seamless fusion of timeless elegance and contemporary sophistication, where every glance reveals the allure of historic grandeur amidst modern luxury.

Day 5: The empress's haven - a stately retreat to Château de Malmaison

Château de Malmaison, located a few miles west of Paris, was once home to Josephine and Napoléon Bonaparte.

Following a delightful breakfast, embark on a countryside journey to the enchanting domain of Château de Malmaison, where history intertwines with elegance. Here, the gracious Josephine de Beauharnais (Bonaparte) once resided, a place where Napoleon himself sought refuge before his exile to the island of Saint Helena. The château witnessed the strategic minds of emperors and the artistic heart of empresses. This is where Napoleon planned his grand strategies, and where Josephine adorned the castle's halls and orchestrated the splendor of its gardens.

Malmaison is celebrated as one of France's most elegant country houses, and as you explore its rooms and gardens. Dive into the secrets of royal dynasties, and immerse yourself in the allure of fashion that graced the grandeur of courtly balls.

Epilogue Evening: A Toast to Elegance - Raising Champagne Flutes at the Ritz

As your Parisian odyssey draws to a close, gather once more to honor the triumphant finale of your elegant sojourn. Surrounded by the timeless elegance of the Ritz, celebrate the culmination of your odyssey with the same flair and sophistication that have graced your every step. It's a toast to memories made, connections forged, and the embrace of Parisian allure.

Need to Know

For more travel inspiration, check out Fora Advisor Ann Tan's guide, Classic Paris for Fashionistas and Foodies.

Advisor - Valeriya Vygodnaya

Travel Advisor

Valeriya Vygodnaya

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Paris.