From Lauren’s vintage street style in La Marais to Chloé’s 1940’s vintage look in St Germain, the adventures in vintage continue…
I met Chloé while exploring Ralph Lauren’s beautiful Hotel Particulier in St Germain. I was immediately taken by her original style that captures the very essence of Ralph Lauren’s vintage label. An inspired, very individual look.
Exploring Ralph Lauren
Chez Ralph, there is a totally different climate that you won’t find anywhere else in Paris. A special ambience breezes throughout. A Summer lunch on the terrace at Ralph’s restaurant will spirit you away to South Hampton on Long Island. Inside the store, the atmosphere is even more evocative, it creates an impression of a small private museum rather than a traditional boutique. The decor is classic and of the finest quality. A magnificent old black iron lift will take you elegantly up five floors. A staircase leads to a curious journey of wonder, taking in the gallery and collections as you climb.
When you reach the summit, there is a slight change of mood. Turning the corner, you can stop for a pause to take in an iconic view of the Parisien rooftops and La Tour Eiffel. To the right you enter the room for the RL Double collection.
Ralph’s Parisien Ranch
The resemblance to a wild west ranch is striking and there is something purely nostalgic and spirited about this room. It evokes the atmosphere of an early 1990s Levi’s add. There is a feeling that everything here is authentic, individual and will age gracefully. The collection is heady and obsessively contagious; leather jackets, hand-woven heirloom quality sweaters, hand-tooled leather belts, lace waist coats, rough denim jeans and shirts, cowboy boots and hats, messenger bags, breton t-shirts all evoke the adventures of cowboys & indians of the wild-west, marines of the 1940s and surfers of the 60s & 70s.
What’s also really unique and interesting about this room is that in fact, it’s a vintage destination, only for those in the know (I’ve yet to hear a Parisien whisper this address). Here, you will find non-label one of a kind vintage trésors at quite reasonable prices. Each piece is discreetly placed around the room. It’s only the little beige label and the handwritten historical description on the back that signals it’s a vintage piece. A nice touch as If you buy vintage it should always tell a good story.
The art and style of vintage
There is a real art to the vintage merchandise you see on display in this room. The savoir faire behind the style is that of a discreet vintage buyer who has worked with Ralph Lauren for over fourty years. The buyer travels extensively to handpick pieces that accompany the collection. It works so well. In a recent visit, I noticed great marine pieces dating from world II that compliment the current collection seamlessly. It’s the perfect blend of the old and the new to create a very timeless modern sensibility.
From a styling perspective Chloé can offer great ideas on how to mix vintage with more modern items. In her own style she teams a vintage Ralph Lauren dress with Converse and adds her own touch with a 1940’s up-style hair do. A stunning ageless look proving the point that while fashion is ephemeral, vintage is timeless.
What I love about vintage style is the story it tells, the perspectives it can change and the journey it takes you on.
Ralph Lauren (Top Floor at Ralph’s), 173 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris