Could this be the most beautiful shop in the world?

Stylefile: The Louis Vuitton flagship store in Paris’s Place Vendome and the best tote bag

The colourful plaster sculptures of Annie Morris in the Louis Vuitton flagship in Place Vendome, Paris

The colourful plaster sculptures of Annie Morris in the Louis Vuitton flagship in Place Vendome, Paris

 

It is being called the most beautiful store in the world. The Louis Vuitton flagship in Paris’s Place Vendome is a historic building sharing a heritage with the palace of Versailles that has been returned to its sumptuous 18th century grandeur by Peter Marino, the celebrated New York based architect. Housing couture, ready to wear, jewellery, watchmaking, leather goods, shoes, accessories and fragrance, it also has artisanal workshops and breathtaking light-filled spaces showcasing a selection of artworks from all over the world.

A stone’s throw from where the young Louis Vuitton opened his first store 160 years ago, the interiors of the Maison are an artful mix of neoclassical with contemporary with no expense spared in the choice of materials and restoration. Quite apart from the fashion, some of the art that caught the eye were an imaginative portrait of the young Vuitton by the Chinese artist Yan Pei-Ming and the colourful monumental plaster sculptures of Annie Morris, stacked on one of the building’s four floors. Worth a visit in Paris, to wander and wonder.

The Amberley Hobo tote by Mulberry €1,695 in Brown Thomas
The Amberley Hobo tote by Mulberry €1,695 in Brown Thomas

Bags of style

In a recent survey conducted in the UK of a number of totes priced from £35 to £1,495, what came out on top was the Amberley Hobo by Mulberry. It was the most expensive (though a Marks & Sparks faux leather for £39 also came in for praise) but the argument was that it ticked all the boxes for practicality, style and comfort, being two bags in one and supersoft. Using Italian leather and Swiss zips, Mulberry bags are made in two UK factories by some 600 craftworkers and the company is the largest manufacturer of luxury leather goods in the UK. The Amberley Hobo takes 396 minutes to make and has been described as a “kitchen sink” bag in that you can fit everything into it bar the kitchen sink. In Brown Thomas €1,695 and online.

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