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book coverThe Riches of Paris

Book Review
Continued from Page 1

Excerpts from The Riches of Paris: A Shopping and Touring Guide:

"My love for shopping in Paris was born out of a desire to discover boutiques full of charm, authenticity, and a uniqueness that is intrinsically French. I'll never forget the time I stumbled on a centuries-old Left Bank antique shop at the tender age of sixteen, the day I crossed the threshold to a great Paris couture house, or the cold grey Sunday afternoon I made my first trip to the flea markets. Each time I made a new discovery, I realized that I was experiencing something far more unique than the places I knew back home in America."

"The idea of a boutique is inherently French, and even more so, Parisian. In the United States I am accustomed to shopping in large, impersonal shopping malls and neon-lit department stores; in Paris I relish the idea of entering a boutique that is quaint, enticingly decorated, and, most important of all, has a soul of its own. I am continuously enchanted by the ambience created within each boutique, whether the setting is in an old seventeenth-century townhouse in the Maris or in a new, glittery showplace on the rue de Faubourg-Saint-Honoré. The French have a flair for personally embellishing their goods, and it's rare to find the same carefully selected assortment of merchandise in more than a handful of stores throughout town."

Les Olivades
"Kitty corner from Souleiado is this other Provençal fabric manufacturer, Les Olivades. Just like Souleiado, the fabrics here embody all of the vibrancy of Provence both with their color and patterns. The typical paisley motifs of the Provençal fabrics find their origins in India. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, light cotton fabrics bearing whimsical designs were imported into the port of Marseilles from India. The French to his day refer to these types of fabrics as indiennes. The Provençal people adopted them, particularly since they were well suited to the generally warm climate of that region. For special occasions or uses, the fabrics would be top-stitched or quilted to add extra embellishment, which is why today so many products made from Provençal fabrics are traditionally quilted. After a while, the French started to manufacture their own indiennes, which accounts for the many different Provençal fabric manufacturers throughout Provence. Les Olivades is one of them, and as for how it compares to Souleiado, I'll let you be the judge. Generally speaking, prices are lower here."

- Maribeth Clemente, The Riches of Paris

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