A Dilettante's Dispatch: Paris Couture

A Dilettante’s Dispatch is a series of posts from a jet-setting friend of ours, Arturo. Watch for more in the coming days.

Just got in to Paris for my first couture, eating a croque monsieur on Charlot, admiring the cute scrawny French boys (though really wanting the fresh, curly haired and slightly brawny youth covering the street in tar).

I’m staying at my favorite hotel, Hotel du Petit Moulin on the rue de Poitou, a block from Tanya’s apt. It has been around for about 5 yrs , but stays fresh and grumpily friendly. It is in the oldest bakery in Paris, and was designed by Christian Lacroix, whom despite bankruptcy is showing this week.

Actually, tar boy is more chunky than brawny, which is better and less obvious, and highlights his angelic countenance.

Anyway, coming to town for Chanel and Gaultier couture is an awfully big deal for me. I’ve been to Paris many times for fun and work, but never for anything so specifically cool.

So I celebrated by breaking my recession-imposed buying ban, and went to the l’Eclairuer store on the rue Mahler, still among the most progressive stores around. They were having a huge (and rare) sale, and among I picked up a serious horse leather duffel, with discreet and rugged hardwear, by Japanese designer Daisuke Iwanaga. I also saw great coats by new designers, Christian Peau (weirdly, he’s Japanese) and French designer Issac Sellam. Low-key, slim and hand crafted pieces; masculine and unique.

- Arturo