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A Vogue Editor’s Paris: Style, Shopping and Dining Tips from Rickie De Sole

With a résumé that includes Prada, W Magazine and Vogue, where she is currently the Head of Fashion Initiatives, Rickie De Sole has spent years traveling between her home in Manhattan and Europe’s most stylish cities, including Milan, Rome and—bien sûrParis. This spring, she is leading Indagare’s second Insider Journey in partnership with Vogue, A Fashion Lover’s Paris, where she will open doors to the ateliers of Lanvin, Schiaparelli and others. Here, the fashion insider shares her favorite spots in the French capital, what it’s like to experience Paris Fashion Week and style tips learned while on the road.

Rickie De Sole will co-host A Fashion Lover’s Paris, a group trip curated in partnership with Vogue, offering behind-the-scenes access at the flagship ateliers of legendary French fashion houses (March 8 – 12, 2020). Click here to book your spot today—there are only a few left!

Last year, you led our inaugural Vogue x Indagare Insider Journey to Rome. What surprised you most about the experience?

Rickie De Sole: I was blown away by the mix of people and how well everyone got along—the magic of the group that came together. Everyone who came had the shared love and curiosity for fashion, which was very special to experience. We had quite a few people who were there solo, but the storytelling around fashion sparked conversations easily and the group bonded immediately.

What were some of the highlights from the Rome itinerary?

RDS: Going behind-the-scenes at the ateliers—Fendi, Valentino, Bulgari—was the most exciting for everyone. To get to see the mood board of a respected designer, meet with craftsmen and watch these beautiful pieces being put together right in front of you is remarkable. It’s a completely different experience from shopping in the store or even seeing the runway show.

Related: Just Back From a Roman Holiday with Vogue 

What makes Paris different from Rome in terms of fashion and style? 

RDS: For me, Rome is very classic in style. I always think of the A-line dresses Audrey Hepburn wears in Roman Holiday. When I think of Paris, I think of effortlessness—women who look put together without looking like they’ve spent a lot of time on it. I look to the French Vogue editors as a brilliant presentation of Parisian style; they wear jeans, but they always look so elegant. It’s all about the classic wardrobe staples there: striped sweaters, button-down shirts. That’s quintessential Parisian style to me. 

As it relates to the fashion houses, Rome is steeped in antiquity, and designers can’t help but play with that association. So much of the culture of Rome is infused into the product itself. So when you think of Bulgari, you think of the Serpenti and the coin designs, which are iconic to Rome. But when you look at Cartier—which we will visit during the Paris trip—again, you’re talking about that effortlessness. The Tank Watch and the Love Bracelet are classics that will never go out of style; they are the pieces you’ll wear forever. I think that Cartier is a true reflection of the taste and the culture of Paris.

What experiences are you most looking forward to on the Paris Insider Journey in March?

RDS: I’m a total jewelry aficionado—it’s my passion, and I used to be the Accessories Director here at Vogue, overseeing jewelry. So of course I’m thrilled that we are visiting Cartier; I wear a Tank Watch every day. But I’m truly so excited for all of the atelier visits, from Lanvin and Schiaparelli to Givenchy. Our itinerary presents such an interesting mix of houses—and this balance is essential when you’re thinking about the history of fashion. 

Related: Shopping with a Teen in Paris

What is your favorite thing about traveling to Paris? 

RDS: I love walking around in Paris. There’s always the possibility of turning a corner and seeing something more beautiful than the thing that was behind the last corner. There’s something about the light when you’re driving from one bank to the other, and you catch a glimmer of the sun breaking through a cloud—you always stop, and no matter how many times you’ve been to Paris, it does make you get out your phone and take a picture. Paris is made for Instagram! And on a more personal level, I’ve always thought that there is something very romantic about Paris. 

What is it like to attend Paris Fashion Week? 

RDS: The venues for the shows are unparalleled. For example, Saint Laurent does their show on the Trocadéro, and it begins while the sun is setting. Then, when it’s over, you have this view of the twinkle of the Eiffel Tower as you’re exiting. So, really, just having the shows against the backdrop of Paris is amazing!

Who are some designers that you’re looking forward to seeing in the spring shows this year?

RDS: There’s incredible creativity in Paris, and we as editors look to the city to define the season. You’ve been on the road in New York and in London and Milan, but everything comes together in Paris. There are classic designers that I always love—and that you go to Paris for—like Nicolas Ghesquière at Vuitton. I also really like what Clare Waight Keller is doing at Givenchy, and the Balenciaga show is always one that I am most excited to see. And then there are some young designers that I’m really looking forward to hearing from, including a young man named Guillaume Henry, who used to work at Carven and Nina Ricci. He has just taken up a new Creative Director position at Patou, which is an old house that he is bringing back. His work has a very charming sensibility.

Related: Shopping Guide: The Left Bank in Paris

What fashion trends are you most excited to see out in the spring?

RDS: I think the biggest takeaway for this season was optimism. There were a lot of prints and bright colors in the fall, and that’s something that is really resonating with us here at Vogue. Sustainability is also very much on our minds. There are some wonderful sustainability-minded designers in Paris like Marine Serre, a young designer who has been gaining a lot of traction for her work with upcycling. For instance, she has made these beautiful dresses out of upcycled scarves. That’s one very clever example for the fashion industry to follow as it attempts to marry consumerism with sustainability.

Do you have a favorite café or restaurant in Paris? Must-order dish? 

RDS: I love the Chez Georges on the Rue du Mail. They have delicious french fries!  

What are your favorite items to shop for in Paris?

RDS: I have a one-year-old son, and I love going to Paris to buy him clothes—especially because I know that at some point he’s not going to let me dress him in these French clothes anymore! I’m enjoying it while I can. There are two stores that I always go to: Bonton (they have a few locations around the city) and Les Enfantines. For myself, it varies based on what designers I’m most excited about at the time, but I’m currently obsessed with Celine. I plan to beeline it to the Celine store when I get to Paris in a few weeks! 

Related: Indagare Picks: The One Place in Paris Where I Always Return

Do you have any secret spots or hidden gems that you always visit in Paris?

RDS: For shopping, I love Astier de Villatte. They make beautiful plates, table accessories and other giftables like notebooks and candles. I wouldn’t call it a hidden gem, but Ferdi in the first is the perfect spot for when you’ve been in Paris for a week and you just want a hamburger! Finally, there’s a hairstylist that I love to visit, David Mallett, whenever I need to sneak away from the shows and get a haircut.

What is your favorite neighborhood to explore in Paris?

RDS: Saint-Germain is probably my favorite. There is nothing better than stopping at Café de Flore, getting a table outside and ordering their smoked salmon. And then after, there are great stores. I also always think it’s fun to explore the Palais-Royal. 

What are your must-pack items for a springtime trip to Paris?

RDS: Layers and a good raincoat. I always bring a classic trench and ballet flats for walking.

Do you have a favorite hotel in Paris?

RDS: I love the Hôtel Ritz. The Chanel Suite is the dream! The Ritz is a classic. There is something so magical about staying there and even dining at the restaurant. Plus, you’re right in the Place Vendôme. 

Rickie De Sole will co-host A Fashion Lover’s Paris, a group trip curated in partnership with Vogue, offering behind-the-scenes access at the flagship ateliers of legendary French fashion houses (March 8 – 12, 2020). Click here to book your spot today—there are only a few left!

– Elizabeth Harvey on February 11, 2020

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For shopping, I love Astier de Villatte. They make beautiful plates, table accessories and other giftables like notebooks and candles. I wouldn’t call it a hidden gem, but Ferdi in the first is the perfect spot for when you’ve been in Paris for a week and you just want a hamburger! Finally, there’s a hairstylist that I love to visit, David Mallett, whenever I need to sneak away from the shows and get a haircut.
~ Rickie De Sole, Vogue's Head of Fashion Initiatives and the co-host of the Insider Journey to Paris

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