Paris women’s fashion magazines, ca. 1910
Parisians possess an unparalleled skill for topping off an outfit with flair, leaving the rest of us feeling fashion-challenged. Paris is the natural habitat of the flaneur, a brilliant term of French origin that describes someone who likes to be seen and show off in public. Is it any wonder then that this capital of couture has nurtured thousands of makers of quality accessories, including hats, canes, and umbrellas, through the centuries? After all, to hit the streets of Paris, you must be fashionably prepared.
In addition to hats, canes, and umbrellas, across Paris a handful of artisans turn out other fashionable accessories–shoes, canes, fans, flower pins, and other wonderful treasures–all by hand. Even in our world of mechanization and mass production, this handful of Parisians operates much the same as in centuries past.
You can still find a milliner who will create a hat or a bridal veil just for you, a cobbler who will measure your foot and custom make a pair of shoes from scratch, or an artisan who will produce a fancy walking cane adorned with your choice of ebony, ivory, bronze, or silver. Fantastique!
For more on authentic shopping in France, click here.