Rue de Turenne Part II

Part II

Rue de Turenne, Marais: The Coton Doux

My favorite store on this old strip of man’s fashion, Rue de Turenne, is called Coton Doux. It´s a man’s shirts store, or better said, a man’s OUTRAGEOUS shirt store, or as the French would say, a store for ˜chemises extraordinaires. It does sell some shirts and items for women but once you walk in it becomes immediately clear that most of the merchandise is for men ONLY and all are sufficiently outrageous: men’s shirts for about half the store, men’s PJ’s, neon colored men’s ties and men’s scarves, men’s boxers and briefs, (which are only sold with carrying ˜pochette or bag so that, should it come to pass, you can show your girlfriend or guy-friend, the morning after, that you are a proper man after all, in that you carried an extra pair of briefs or boxers haute finition in stylish little bag, just in case you were allowed to sleep over). How about that for making a first impression?

Coton Doux

At perhaps 15 square yards in size, Coton Doux is an absolutely incredible place. And even though the place is not a designer house per se, it prides itself on ‘haute finition’, which means that on the ladder of fashion, it ranks somewhere between ready-to-wear (pret-a-porter) and actual ˜couture or design. In other words Coton Doux offers a personalized and especially designed finishing touch on standard man’s items like shirts, boxers, briefs, scarfs, and ties (the only real woman-only item in the store is the so-called etiquette which is a quite sexily shaped woman’s PJ (low cut) with the original design of a man’s PJ as a blue print)

But it is not the real thing until you see haute finition live in front of you at Coton Doux. It’s not so much the outrageous variety of designs on the man’s shirts that bewilders (the oddest shapes & patterns from the very mundane (circles, stripes, & checkers) to the round-out hallucinating (defying my powers of description unless this would become a doctoral essay in shirt design), but the combination of the outrageous variety in design with a beautiful and personalized individualized touch.

In one birds-eye-view three second look one will notice the most improbable colors, prints, and designs possible on ANY collection of shirts one has ever seen together. You like a lady bug shirt on yellow cotton with the inside of the cuffs or collar in deep purple? How about a fire-truck design or, better yet, just fire ladders on your shirt but finished with tiny black buttons and tiny button holes with a brightly colored stitch.

Damian Hirst like skulls in tiny circles shaded on the spectrum between blue, red, and purple.

Coton Doux

Mundane cats in black on white but seated in some various very obnoxious poses.

Coton Doux

Stamps with the (young) Queen of England. Telephone booths or street signs from different large cities around the globe. Retro coffee brand marketing as a design. Wine labels. Post-modern pop-art cartoon characters. Cars, but only beetles, fiat minis, and other small cars. Retro radio-casette tapes. Of course butterflies.

Coton Doux

And now for my favorite item at Coton Doux: a white cotton shirt with tiny blue five-pointed stars.

Coton Doux

 

As if someone would have plucked the stars from the American flag, in the exact same shape of stars, and painted them navy blue, and then pasted them by the hundreds, the thousands perhaps, on one single shirt. And that is of course only the design. Because it is the finishing touch the haute finition which is just marvelous, outrageous yes, but marvelous nevertheless: A star-sprangled shirt with tiny pearly rosy buttons double-stitched in kryptonite-green Ouch! The kind of green that lights up your room at night if you have a vintage radium watch. The kind of green you can see with the corner of one eye when you least expect to see it. The glow-in-the-dark-post-nuclear-catastrophe-filmed-at-night-with-a-hand-held-camera-horror B-movie type of green. It’s outrageous. But it works! It rocks HAUTE FINITION the fashion equivalent of High Definition. Only on the Rue de Turenne! Only at Coton Doux. NO TECH NECESSARY.

For more information visit the Coton Doux Website, at http://www.cotondoux.com. They have five stores about the same size in Paris with the main one on the Rue de Turenne and they ship DHL and FEDEX within France within 48 hours.

Posted by: Sandro

Miharayasuhiro 1

Miharayasuhiro is a muted, monochomatic and overall, distinctly modern brand created by designer Miharaya Yasuhiro.

Miharaya Yasuhiro began designing footwear in Japan in 1994. In 1998 his first store was launched in Tokyo and by 1999 he had decided to expand into mens clothing and accessories. In 2000 he collaborated with Puma to create a funky line of sneakers and sports clothes, ¨The Black Line¨ which featured fur, studs and metallic on the shoes and clothing. In 2004, his success continued with fashion shows in Milan and eventually in Paris.

He´s been chosen by menstyle.com as one of the Top Mens Designers and he´s collaborated with not only Puma but also Husam el Odeh and Tasaki on jewelry and other projects. Miharayasuhiro stores are spread out over several countinents and many different cities. However, his flagship store in Tokyo is the biggest and brightest of all. Recently, he´s branched into womenswear as well which you can find online and in his shops.

Mihara Yasuhiro´s urban and trendy designs make him one of the world´s most fashionable designers. Make sure to stop into one of his boutiques or visit the Miharayasuhiro Webpage, Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

The below images are from the Miharaysuhiro RTW Fall 2013 Collection.

Slideshow

miharayasuhiro-fall-2013-5miharayasuhiro-fall-2013-2miharayasuhiro-fall-2013-1miharayasuhiro-fall-2013-4miharayasuhiro-fall-2013-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All photos from the Miharayasuhiro Facebook Page.

Posted By: Lori

 

Rue de Turenne

Part I

Rue de Turenne, Marais

I only first noticed the street when a camera man started following me when I was dressed up to go to work. I was wearing nothing special, just a man in black with black shoes, a casual pin-stripe Mexx jacket, a white shirt, a burgundy tie, and dress pants. So why did he follow me this camera man on the streets of Paris, in the Marais of all places no less? It made no sense — I am neither famous, nor well known, nor well connected and I am not a notorious lawbreaker –I have no scandals to my name so what was happening?  They were filming me like story-hungry paparazzi, but why?

It is a not a well-known street in Paris but it is in the Marais district, to be more specific in the old Jewish Quarter of St Paul and the street is called Rue de Turenne. If you went to Wikipedia you would only see a couple of monuments and a few hotels particuliers (old private residences) on the street, but something belies our modern virtual information because this rather unknown street, is very markedly and rampantly home to the largest collection of man’s clothing stores perhaps ON THE PLANET.

In a stretch of three blocks, in less than one mile, you will find the following kaleidoscopic variety of man’s pret-à-porter (ready-to-carry/wear), factory outlets, distribution centers, shops, tailors, retail stores, home brand manufacturing & brand name outlets, maisons (house brand stores), and one maison de haute finition, and yes, a single house that CLAIMS to be haute couture — a traditional designer only making individual & personalized collections. There are around 60/65 different outlets MEN ONLY and I listed as many as possible below, however I am sure I have missed some you´ll just have to visit in person.

It is well possible of course that Hong Kong, Milan, London, or New York have a larger collection of man’s clothing stores: But they are never going to be THIS concentrated in one small area; I highly doubt it; not on the stretch of half a mile like this. 

On the Rue de Turenne man’s suits go for as low 60 euros even though a more regular price is advertised ubiquitously on the street as between 140 and 200 euros.  Again, pret-à-porter, ready to carry it away, ready-to-wear, you walk in, give your measurement, and you walk out, and it is a good buy, you walk away content and happy.  Clothing repair is possible in every third or fourth store, and what is surprising is the low number of real tailors.  There is only one or two and to play a Where-is-Waldo with the list below, I challenge the fashionistas to find the one real tailor on the list.  And of course many of the stores are having clothing repair services or in house tailors. Many are just outlets or franchises, and there are two corner-anchor stores on both ends of the mile (Zadig & Voltaire on one side and IZAC on the other), but a large number indeed are original clothing manufacturing maisons houses who most certainly must have attracted all the other stores to come to the street to begin with. They were there first. Yet, no designers, no haute couture, no luxury, just pret-à-porter, a great place to be for the average man who likes to dress well, an average guy like me.

So what is it in the end that brought all these stores and outlets together on this small strip in Paris? To be short, I asked one of the store owners, who owned a store with its own brand name, a real clothing manufacturer of man’s clothes. Apparently some centuries ago when there were many Jewish tailors coming to the district from Eastern Europe, this is how it started. The tailors set up shop in the street because this was the heart of the Jewish quarter of the Marais.  Later many other brands other than just house brands started to set up shop, attracted by the concentration of quality of man’s clothes.  Then came franchises.  Corner stores.  Flagship stores.  Factory outlets.  Distribution centers.  You get the rest.

What is sad however is that the current economic crisis seems to have severely affected the sales in the street and seems to have sapped the energy and life out of it not completely of course, but the street seems notably affected.  A few stores are empty, and a few are closed, I listed below which ones.  The majority of the stores seem to be scraping by, you can tell by the faces of the people who work there, and few to zero tourists or others appear to come to the street on a regular basis so that probably most business is done by sales online or distribution to far regions around the globe. However, if you want a local shopping experience, stay away from all the touristy shopping areas, instead help these smaller shops out and visit Rue de Turenne.

So there you have it, the camera crew that one sunny day was doing a shoot for some or one of these brands, and I bet you they were looking for an average guy, dressed up well, while he happened to be walking in front of one of the stores. Probably for some commercial shoot; there are many in Paris all the time.

Rue de Turenne Rue de Turenne

Rue de Turenne

To be continued:  Part II A la recherche (in search of) a star-sprangled shirt on the Rue de Turenne.

List of stores/brands on the Rue de Turenne:

  • Aless Andro
  • Zadig & Voltaire
  • Pepe Jeans (London)
  • Vito (Lagerfeld, Hugo Boss, Cerruti)
  • Azzaro
  • Cotton Doux (Paris) Haute Finition (shirts)
  • XOOS (shirts)
  • B.garbo (shirts)
  • Palenzo
  • Cotton-Velours (Diesel, Tommy, D&G, Armani, Cavali, Marlboro, G Star)
  • Alless Andro
  • Walry (leather)
  • Melchior
  • Claude Riviera (outlet)
  • Alphi
  • FC Diffusion (fabricant / outlet) (E.khanh, Montana,  Lanifico Cerruti)
  • Linco (distribution / outlet)
  • Brzoza
  • Ceci est un tailleur
  • Jean de Sey
  • Kotazo
  • Guy Laurent
  • La Boutique
  • Mag One (Haute Couture hmm)
  • Zakoya (XXXL)
  • Kost, Azzaro
  • Malone (Joe?)
  • Barberini
  • Mac Lennon
  • Itris
  • Ray Club
  • Elios (Rochas, Azzaro, Ferre, Laroche)
  • Shakapour
  • Simon’s
  • Zed By (closed)
  • Massimo Boni (fabricant/manufacturer of parkas)
  • Julien (shirts, closed)
  • Woodfield
  • Brazzi (empty)
  • Plazza
  • Sam Daniel
  • IZAC (empty)
  • Ferre
  • Lâ Homme du Marais
  • Matt (sporty)
  • Yves Dorsey
  • Meynal
  • Virtuose
  • Virtuose
  • Marco Belli
  • Franck Michel
  • Giacomo
  • Portofino
  • Oscar
  • Diffusion (Cerruti, E.Khanh, Zegna – outlet)

Posted By: Sandro

Offbeat, chic, hip, and most importantly: unisex…I serve you with vocabulary used to describe The Kooples, which has, quite literally, taken over Paris and the UK, with 184 shops opened in just 4 years.  The Kooples brand has their main shops ¨The Kooples¨ and ¨The Kooples Sport¨ shops which feature a more casual look.

The brand was created by the Elicha brothers- Raphael, Alex and Laurent, who wanted to combine French style with a little bit of British edge.

It´s not just clothes…it´s a concept. The backstory on the Kooples (the french take on the pronouciation of the word ¨couples¨) is an interesting one: that clothes should and will be exchanged between couples, that after awhile couples begin to dress similarly, and of course promoting the boyfriend/girlfriend shopping together experience.  There are two distinct collections, one for men and one for women, however, the two collections complement each other and are meant to be ¨borrowed¨. As one might conclude, the clothes are more masculine than girly-with the idea that girls usually borrow a man´s blazer or jeans (hence the nicknames ¨the boyfriend blazer¨ or ¨the boyfriend jeans¨).  Their mottos include a closet for two and till fashion do them apart.

Their advertising campaigns, which feature, you guessed it-couples wearing similar fabrics and colors of clothing is original and intriguing one. I actually got lost during my Paris bike tour because I stopped to pull over and look at the window display of a Sport Kooples store on Rue Des Francs Bourgeois while the others biked ahead.

The stores launched France, spread quickly to the UK and then to Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and now have recently opened up in the USA in select Bloomingdales stores in New York and New Jersey.

For more information, visit the Kooples webpage or Facebook page.

Photo Credits: Couples Photos from the Kooples Facebook page.

Posted By: Lori

 

According to this Parisian vegan shoe company, good guys don’t wear leather. And why would they with these dashing animal-free designs. The sophisticated brand utilizes synthetic suede and leather to create 1950s style shoes with a modern twist . Their desert boots, dandygolf shoes, and oxfords come in an array of hues, from camel to pastel blue. All Good Guys products are made of fine microfibers, and are light, breathable, and water repellent. Prices range from $190 to $250.

For more information or to purchase, visit the Good Guys website.

Photos: Good Guys Facebook Page

Posted By: Jess

How to Get Moving in Style

How to Get Moving in Style Tip: Don’t be tamed by what you wear.

Akira Chatani, Graphic Designer & Founder of Nonusual

Bike: Tokyobike SS (repainted in mat black) with Gilles Berthoud saddle and Gropes handlebar wrap grips.

Wearing: Uniqlo top and jeans, Ally Capellino belt, Converse, Bagaboo standard messenger bag.

Image byYulia Gromova

Is bicycle merely a simple commuting tool?  Let me start with sparkling honesty – I am not a dedicated cyclist. Even so, in the light of this subject asking such a question almost makes me want to run away and hide like a child who did something wrong and is now too scared to admit to it. Of course, cycling in itself is a fantastic notion. It is fast, traffic-free and it gets you fit. However, leaving the obvious out, one has to be blind not to notice and become fascinated with the whole new dimension in cycling movement – a sartorial aesthetic.

Nowadays it becomes a struggle to look or even think about London cyclists without constant referral to style and fashion. The game is on and seeing the extent to which you gents are mastering and stretching the rules makes the head spin about as fast as your custom wheels do. So without further pondering, let me get on that saddle and embark on a small journey to discover what is stirring among London’s finest male cyclists and how to get moving in style.

In the same way a person treats clothes, choosing the best two-wheeled friend is directly conditional on your personality, occupation and general fashion preferences. Moving around the city, Tokyobike or Foffa bikes are the ones you are bound to spot immediately. Vibrant, sleek and modern-esque, they perfectly represent impeccable simplicity and strong fashion statement as well as their creative owners do. Condor or Pashley bicycles, on the other hand, are the ideal traveling partners of those who enjoy details and salute the best of British tradition. At last, London is a city of vintage. Vintage furniture, products, clothes – we embrace everything that is time-honoured. Bicycles are no exception. If having a thirty years old Pegoretti frame exhilarates your breathing pay a visit to Brick Lane Bikes or Sargent & Co.

Now, once you acquire a perfectly tailored suit, you probably should get a shirt, a belt, a pair of shoes and maybe even a set of cufflinks to make the ensemble complete. Drawing this analogy, there are more than enough choices in London for the cycle “accessory” admirers. Brooks, for instance, is a classic choice for saddles, while Walnut Studiolo offers leather crafted products varying from handlebar covers to can cages. However, if you are exceedingly choosy and currently looking for something truly Nonusual, Gropes might be an unparalleled option. Produced from high quality leather these handlebar grips are coming in two sizes and numerous colour combinations for all tastes and seasons. Not only eye-catching but also fun to fit they will certainly satisfy even the most jaded cycle and style enthusiasts.

At last, my exploration shows that you can ride a bicycle wearing just about anything: ripped jeans and Toms, parkas and Nike sneakers, geek style trousers and Prada hybrids – you name it. All depends on what you do, what you love and how far you travel. However, London has not been particularly blessed with pleasant weather. Therefore, more often than not we all have to overcome some ghastly obstacles such as rain, wind or hail within a length of a day. This means that style is bound to meet practicality at some points. Rapha, a brand very much favoured by Paul Smith offers cycling and style devotees everything from jackets to skincare. A sophisticated look is easily achieved with Criterion Cycling Jacket. Designed by Timothy Everest, it configures all the necessary cycling attire functions while resembling a classic trench coat. Ultimately, if the sky is promising tremendously heavy showers consider Oxford Roll Up Rain Cape designed by the finest Savile Row tailors or practical yet trendsetting Otto London urban style ponchos. Top it up with one of the Carradice classic bags, which leaves you at perfect terms with your city, your bicycle and fashion of course.


bove Images by applewayfarers.tumblr.com

The final matter to disclose that concerns followers of all things old-school. To make the most out of your passion for vintage fashion in combination with delights of cycling do be sure to keep a track of The Tweed Run. Think Sherlock Holmes style to achieve an appropriate look for this annual bike ride event. Harris Tweed jackets, merino wool jerseys, cycling capes, flat caps are most welcomed. Also do not forget about pocket watches, bow ties, pipes and well groomed moustache.

I feel like I can go on “pedalling” in this topic forever. Nevertheless, the journey should be coming to an end here. I hit the breaks and dismount by Look Mum No Hands (bar & bicycle workshop), a perfect place to catch London’s cycling trend-setters at a rare occasion of being more or less motionless.

Posted By: Tess

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