Paris is one of those places that as Londoners already living in a big city metropolis, don’t think about taking the time out to visit often. I know people that live here that have never even been to France! Yes it’s similar to London, multicultural with lot’s of choice in gourmet food, unequivocally trendy and as hipstery as it can get, but that doesn’t stop it also being quite different in feeling. Whilst many major cities often knock down to modernise, Paris still somewhat feels like old-fashioned Paris. If we actually knew what that was like… This city is full of great art and architecture with many of it’s gothic-style structures still presently standing tall and proud. My personal favourite; whilst it may well seem like quite the obvious choice, will always be The Louvre; a former 12th century fortress and main residence to French kings in the 15th century, now the world’s largest museum and proud home to the infamous Mona Lisa by Leonardo di Vinci. If you’re planning to visit these glass pyramids, do make sure you check it out first thing in the morning at around 6:00am where you’ll literally have the whole place to yourself. And trust me it will get busy from 9:00am almost every day, being the second most visited museum in the world. I feel like most of these really touristy landmarks in Paris (or even anywhere in the world) can be ruined by the presence of other human beings… especially when there’s a heck of a lot of them! So jump in line for the museum at 8:30am if you also want to see one of the most extensive collections of relics and art dating back thousands of years. You’ll need almost the whole day to see it all!
Now i know what you may be thinking; what about the Eiffel Tower? I mean it’s a beautiful structure and all but for me being further away is better to fully appreciate it’s scale. The spot to be is at Pont Alexandre III bridge in the morning where you’ll be able to capture a great shot leaning over what’s known as the most ornate and extravagant bridge in the city. The location is also perfect as it connects some truly grand monuments such as the Invalides, Grand Palais, Petit Palais and Champs-Élysées. Or if you’re looking for a higher vantage point then there’s no place better to get a 360 panoramic view of the city than atop the Arc de Triomphe. Don’t try to cross this road, it’s one of the most dangerous roundabouts in the world.
Apart from the city’s rich history and grand architecture I still feel much of it is shrouded in darkness by it’s monotone colour palette, easy-to-spot poverty and lack of a road sweeper; as if to say the city has many secrets. If you could imagine what it’d be like to step foot into Gotham city after a riot foiled by Batman, that’s how i felt walking through the shadowy streets of Paris.
But I guess that’s the beauty of it, not knowing what you’ll come across and who you’ll meet along the way. It was this kind of atmosphere that made it the perfect setting for this editorial and an epic 15-year milestone catwalk show with Paris-based Japanese designer brand Y-3 known for it’s all black colour schemes, asymmetric pieces and layered looks which can only be described as a moody urban ninja.
The latest SS18 collection strips everything back down to it’s sports/streetwear roots opting for light oversized trackies, loose parkas and lot’s of logo-infused graphic tees and jackets over it’s usual utilitarian and military influences. But we’re graced with a heck of a lot more original footwear next season utilising the ever popular Boost and Primeknit technologies but also adding in some of that new adidas Futurecraft 4d printing tech to it’s offerings. It’s safe to say Yohji is making full use of adidas’s archive of styles this time round seeing the exit of the much beloved Qasa but still keeping it relevant and fun adding in spots of Indigos and Reds. It is streetwear after all and we can’t always be rocking black in the scorching hot summer sun.
Now you may ask what else there is to do in Paris that would make you want to visit? They don’t call it the city of love for no reason and my personal love for it is in the food; if you can afford it. What more do you need to ask for in the morning but a genuine French croissant and a cup of coffee. In my case; a croissant and an eclair from the oldest Patisserie in Paris; Stohrer. Really can’t big it up enough. It’s small but it’s selection is so vast that guaranteed you’d be staring at the glass for at least 15 minutes before making any sort of decision. Come on! They’ve served royalty including the Queen of England! Oh and don’t forget to check out La Crepe Dentelle for the softest, crispest crepes that will ever grace your lips. I’m drooling just thinking of it! I wouldn’t say you’ll need more than a couple of days to explore this city but it’s definitely an experience to remember.