Antique dealer, interior designer, artist—Alexandra Zeana is all of these things, and her tiny shop in the 6th is a study in design savvy.
A vitrine displaying handsome jewelry—bold pendants, colorful rings, and unconventional silver bracelets, most made in France—caught my eye from the narrow, cobblestoned rue de l’Echaudé.
Entering the boutique, I found myself in an inspired French country house/marché des puces. More bijoux were complemented by scarves and assorted linens, a wire dressmaker’s model, plant stands, a lovely bird cage, small wooden cabinets, bibelots, sculptures, and objets.
The tasteful and eclectic arrangement layers color, texture and romance, and Mme Zeana can acquaint you with the history of each piece.
This is just the place to find an original accessory for your home or yourself, and to ponder the fabulous French art of presentation.
19, rue de l’Echaudé, 6th
Of the two Fabrice boutiques on rue Bonaparte, I knew the larger one, had stopped in often and admired their gorgeous clothing. But the jewelry shop, a multi-layered, multi-colored sliver of a shop a bit nearer the Seine was a recent – and welcome – discovery.
Multi-layered because bracelets, necklaces and pins are displayed at every level from table to ceiling. Glittering woven bracelets cozy up to vintage-looking resin bands and metallic beads on stacked hangers made from wood and steel. And don’t think you’ll get away with just one bracelet! They are meant to be worn together in groups of 3, 5 or 7.
Necklaces hang in multiple strands; many are collars, made from an exquisite layering of contrasting pearls that range in size from beads to small balls (and are surprisingly light).
Some necklaces incorporate pins, but the selection of stand-alone brooches is dizzying. They are attached everywhere you look – bright resin flowers on pillows, sophisticated, bejeweled metal sculptures on black velvet.
Plan to spend time here – trying pieces is encouraged, and the owner puts pieces together in original and stunning combinations.
Dreaming of a designer handbag at a reasonable price? A high end piece of jewelry for a special event?
Check out Mate Mon Sac (Look at My Bag) – an innovative business model, and a treasure trove of new and vintage accessories for sale and for rent.
Owner Maud Fourier-Ruelle, a 35 year old Parisienne, spent the last 12 years working as a buyer for top fashion houses, including YSL and Sonia Rykiel. Her new web-based boutique is brimming with gorgeous wares, and she makes it easy to find what you want.
Search by type of product, shape, event, budget or designer – and if you’re not sure what would go best with your wedding dress or evening gown, email or call Maud and she’ll advise (she speaks fluent English).
Items can be shipped (call to get a price to delivery outre mer). Or pick up your bijoux at Maud’s office in the 7th.
On my wish list? A sparkly pink Sonia Rykiel vintage ring, 100 euros; a silver embossed YSL bag, 495 euros to buy or from 45 euros to rent for the week.