France: Paris: Where to Shop: Fashion & Accessories: Le Bon Marché
Le Bon Marché
If you only do one department store in Paris, make it this grande dame on the Left Bank. It may be the city’s oldest department store—it was founded in 1848—but don’t be fooled by the 19th-century exterior (in the Rue de Babylone entrance, note the mosaics of goods once sold here). Following its acquisition by LVMH, the French luxury-goods conglomerate, ten years ago, it’s evolved into one of the most exclusive stores in Europe. The company has shrewdly edited down its once encyclopedic fashion inventory to the chicest must-have brands.
The ground-floor beauty department is a true temple to vanity and the menswear department should not be missed. Take a break at the Delicabar (www.delicabar.fr), with a contemporary look by Claudio Colucci and offering a sweet-and-savory menu by chef Sébastien Gaudard. It’s easily the coolest in-retail restaurant to be found anywhere. La Grande Épicerie (www.lagrandeepicerie.fr), Le Bon Marché’s sprawling food hall, is just across the street from the main store. Closed Sunday. Métro: Sèvres-Babylone.— Sandy Flick 05/16/2007