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A Meandering 8 Hours in Paris & My Dream Clutch

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A Meandering 8 Hours in Paris & My Dream Clutch

Danielle Greene

I arrived in Paris at 3:30 this afternoon. Thirty minutes later I was headed to the Galeries Lafayette with no idea what was in "store" for me there. In particular, three things stood out at this hybrid between a shopping center and a luxury version of the Paris flea market:

1. This massive building was marriage between Champs Elysee, Harrods, and the Parisian flea market. Many stores were without walls (or only had 3 walls).

2. There were lines marked by red velvet rope to enter many of the boutiques. The last time I remember waiting in a similar line was a girls' night out dancing!

3. While the Galeries Lafayette was buzzing with energy, full of people milling about, and absolutely huge, the boutiques each felt like a mini-oasis, complete with gorgeous fashion, refreshing beverages, and very professional sales employees.

So, when I made my way to the front of the line at the Louis Vuitton store there, without a thought, the first question I asked was whether they happened to have any of my dream bags in stock...I'm sure I'm not the only one who has seen a bag, immediately become starry-eyed, obsessed over it, looked for similar versions because said bag seemed to be sold out everywhere, tried moving on only to become reinfatuated a few months later. 

For me, it was the Louis Vuitton Frank Gehry twisted box clutch. Sadly, the sales woman kindly told me that not only had it been over a year since she'd seen one at this store, but that they seemed to be completely unavailable throughout Paris.

It was now 6:45 PM and I was not ready to relinquish my dream clutch. So I took the metro to the Champs Elysee Louis Vuitton store, arrived at 7:30 to another one of those curious lines with only thirty minutes until they closed. A few minutes later the last of us wandered in and I must have looked like an exhausted deer in headlghts after being awake for over 24 hours. 

I rushed to the upstairs, where they sold the hard-sided luggage with the hopes that they might have a small one with some sort of a handle. (As an aside and a future blog post, I am enamored with the vintage LV steamer trunks, I wish I had one as a dresser in my bedroom.) I shyly mentioned my love for the Gehry box clutch and the salesman disapeared for what seemed like an eternity. Deflated, exhausted, and long overdue for a glass of wine, I started to get up to leave. And then he returned with a twinkle in his eye and a clutch in his hand. There was a single remaining Gehry clutch at THIS store available. I could not pass it up. And now, I can't wait to carry it around London and then NYC next week. 

I have often found that luxury boutiques often have little surprises tucked away that are waiting to be discovered-you just have to ask.