There's nothing like Christmas to bring out the child in all of us! In Paris, there is much to see and do at the end of the year as it relates to dolls. Quite naturally, a visit to the doll museum (Musee de la Poupee-impasse Berthaud 75003 Paris--behind the George Pomidour Centre) is a must. Not that you have to see the exhibit, but the gift shop is definitely worth the trip. New on the shelves this year....formally owned Fashion Royalty dolls (male and female)! Of course they still sell, Tonner dolls, vintage Barbies and an assortment of other types of dolls and accessories.
Another major must-see are the department store windows on Boulevard Haussmann (behind the opera) at Christmas. Paris' premiere stores traditionally fill their windows with animated toys and dolls. While Galeries Lafayette entertained tiny tots with stuffed animals, Printemps department store used rag dolls to help hawk Burberry products.
Sophie Hong, a superstar Taiwanese fashion designer with a store in the prestigious Palais Royal arcade (3 Galerie de Montpensier, 75001 Paris) , uses dolls(all year long, actually) instead of full size mannequins to show off her luxurious line of jackets and coats cut from shellacked, texturized silks resembling more like distressed leather. Below are the dolls that reside on the shelf and desktop, but you can see more of Sophie's work on her website.
On the 224, rue de Rivoli next to the Hotel Bristol is the Librarie Galignani 75001, Paris. For the moment, in the windows are 1/3 scale reproductions of Christian Dior couture garments. It's all about promoting a new book on the iconic French designer. One word: AMAZING!!!!!
We also visited "Paris Creation," a doll event organized by Dollexpo. For one day at the Novetel hotel just outside Paris in Bagnolet, you turn back into a kid again as you stroll through aisle after aisle of artists' dolls, teddy bears, miniatures anddoll making supplies. I do wish it lasted a tad bit longer. Incidentally, they also organize a fashion doll fair which, next year, takes place at the same hotel on March 15.
The girls and I also enjoyed watching Barbie and friends make an appearance on France 2 TV's "C'est au programme" starring Sophie Davant. The discussion was centered around the worth of vintage Barbies and their clothes.
And so, our trip has come to an end. But before me and the girls board our plane back to the U.S. to join the rest of the doll family for the holidays, we'd like to share you with a few addresses, should you visit Paris anytime soon:
Haute Couture fabrics at reasonable prices:
Au Bonheur des Dames 8, rue Pierre Picard, 75018 Paris (Metro: Anvers) at the Marche Saint Pierre. There's another in the neighborhood at 1, rue Charles Nordier, 75018. Minimum purchase is 50 cm.
There are lots of fabric stores around Marche Saint Pierre (metro Anvers). The two largest stores are: Dreyfus (2, rue Charles Nordier) and Tissus Reine (5, place Saint Pierre 75018 Paris), both of which are five stories tall. Dreyfus also has a separate trims store just next door.
Gentleman des Cuirs 4 bis, rue d'Orsel 75018, Paris. (Metro Anvers). This is also situated in the Marche Saint Pierre.
BHV-Marais: 52, rue de Rivoli. 75001 Paris. (Metro Hotel de Ville). Downstairs of this department store on the basement level near the Metro exit and the shoe repair supplies, you'll find a small corner hung with fancy leathers. Underneath is a bin with scraps priced at rock bottom prices.
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