Vicky Tiel’s Paris Journal: La Samaritaine Reopens Up Paris With Joy

Photo of outside of La Samaritaine
Photos Vicky Tiel

The city has waited for this moment for 15 years as the Parisian’s favorite store has been closed for a renovation of the century. Was the wait worth it?

Vicky can’t wait to go inside

The line outside coordinated with the reopening of Paris for foreigners to literally fly into the store. I’ve had a home here since 1964 but I was locked out of France for 15 months, but like many others, I was thrilled to be at La Samaritaine for the opening even in the rain.

I went straight to the top floor to look down and it was breathtaking turquoise blue and pale gold, sculpted very Art Deco by the celeb architects Franz Jourdain and Henri Sauvage a century ago.

I had lunch at the top and it was exquisite. My whitefish was 40 euro.

The view of the staircase. I went with my granddaughter Lucie Belle who is 14 and did not want to buy a thing.

I wanted to buy this mixed jean and nylon jacket and all four of these Hollywood beaded bags. I would wear these bags in today’s “jeans and sneakers go anywhere world”, not just to a ball or the Met Opening.

The store display on the ground floor is amazing like the open markets in Africa. It’s called The Boutique de Lou Lou inspired by Louise Jay who opened the store in 1870 with her partner Ernest Cognacj. Today thé store is filled with a boutique of every couture brand many owned by the LHMV group.

The mannequins display shows the mix and not match style of the fashion world of today. My blogs say “Mix and Don’t Match”

The chic clients were often beautiful couples as there is a men’s floor as well.

Artists are on display painting Paris murals. Having artists at work is the new trend, Le Bon Marche started it.

The newest happiest prettiest shoes were Louboutin on the shoe floor.

My Grandaughter fled La Samartaine for a cheap store on the Rue de Rivoli where she joined 100 other teenagers and bought 10 funky jeans and oversized tops and Lucie Belle was in pure heaven.

Yes, the wait was worth it if you are 45 and older and have lots of money. The lunch was très très cher — but super delicious…I even sat in the top floor dining room with a lovely woman who wore mega Elizabeth Taylor “day style diamonds”, gold sneakers, and her favorite jeans.

Ah, très cool et très chic!

Vicky Tiel

Vicky Tiel is an American born French couturier designing since 1964, when she went to Paris with her partner, Mia Fonssagrives. They created a storm with their miniskirts, hot pants and jumpsuits. Vicky did the costumes for 15 films and in 1975 she sold couture to Henri Bendel’s and 45 leading shops In 2011 she joined HSN TV, wrote her first book “Its All About the Dress” and has written a second book “The Absolute Woman It’s All About Feminine Power” which she recently launched on HSN.

  1. You are still doing it and You are The BEST …… certainly as good as when you changed Sears fashion and helped to make it # 1 in unit market share.

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