Colette: Where Street Culture and High-End Fashion Intersect [Gallery]
Located on the corner of Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris' trendy store Colette has held its spot in the hearts of many for 15 years now. To many of its fans, Colette isn't simply a shop; it's a lifestyle. And the inside of the store seems to stand as proof of just that, offering clothing, accoutrements for everyday life, various novelty knick-knacks, jewelry, high-end clothing and a plentitude of reading material in the form of independent art books and magazine all inside an environment that offers dining, art on its walls and a wide array of audio pleasure.
The shop attracts a diverse mix of people, from in-the-know hipsters, foreign tourists, children, music lovers, fashionistas and more who come to gather inside of its white walls. On any given shopping trip expect to hear wide variety of languages while browsing through the multi-level space. The ground floor holds the bulk of Colette's assorted goods. Upon entrance, lengthy extended racks of artful, yet basic T-shirts hang one after another. Colette's streetwear offerings includes pieces from Odd Future's foray into fashion as well as T-shirts from Commes des Garçons, Anything, Lazy Oaf, Brooklyn We Go Hard, Obey and the Levi's and Shepard Fairey collaboration. Buying a shirt can set a wallet back anywhere from €40 to €100. In August, Colette will debut its brand new T-shirt offering in collaboration with the brand PL Clothing featuring the phrase "It Feels Like We Made it to the Stars."
Large white tables hold art/coffee tables books offering readers/viewers a glimpse of Atlanta, a tome of Fafi illustrations, Diplo's 128 Beats Per Minute, Prom by American photographer Mary Ellen Mark among other hardcovers. Lest art books not be to ones liking, there is a huge selection of magazines lining the left wall for patrons perusing. The section crossing lines between fashion to design and includes a host of international titles.
Against the right wall is a listening station with headphones for guests' convenience. There's shelving holding a vast array of products from candles to cameras. Much of the space is dedicated to instant film and cameras including a wide array of Impossible Project films, the group that took over where Polaroid left off. Four polaroids featuring Colette staff members sit taped down to the shelf as an example of the different kinds of film on hand.
On the level below is the dining segment including Colette's world renowned water bar. Thirsty diners can be refreshed with an international selection in price ranges from €3 to 50. Of course, there's food too. Chicken salad, New York hot dogs and ravioli appear on the menu that's heavy on ingredients like basil and mozzarella cheese. Desserts include different tasty tarts, cheesecake and more.
The third level is where fashion comes to life with assorted mannequins stationed about the upstairs in two distinct sections dedicated to women's wear and men's wear. Top labels like Fendi, Alexander Wang, Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs are all available for purchase amongst many other brands. All the way to the back is where the art is on display including this month's exhibition of fine-inked black and white illustrations by London artist Clo'e Floirat featuring humorous municipal depictions.
The shop has strong brand ties and friends in fashion labels like Andrea Crews, leading fashion figures like Jefferson Hack and record labels like Parisian electro label Ed Banger. Through these and several regular events, Colette has evolved beyond a shop and into a lifestyle. Colette is a hybrid of a beast with knick knacks to appease any crowd and high-end offerings viewable to all, but only affordable for a certain contingent. Still, over-sized branded shopping bags full of recently purchased goodies make frequent trips out the door. The shop is a playground for those that want a well-curated shopping experience.
Images by Nilina Mason-Campbell