Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Paris' Luxurious Side

We'd heard murmurings of a fancy schmancy department store just a few blocks from our B&B that has spectacular views of the Paris skyline and decided to check it out. However nothing, not even a warning from our B&B owner that it was "expensive", could have prepared us for the over-the-top luxury and opulence of Galleries Lafayette.

Pure decadence
The intricate Christmas window displays (via)
Featuring furry friends, puppets, and Louis Vuitton luggage (via)

After passing lavishly decorated window displays and entering through the store's large glass doors, we navigated our way through throngs of excited shoppers taking advantage of some pre-advent sales. Initially shocked by people toting large Prada and Louis Vuitton shopping bags, everything seemed to slow down as we entered the inner workings of Galleries Lafayette.

The large tree that greeted us

Staring up in disbelief, we took in the scene in front of us. Multiple levels, stacked together like a beautiful layer cake, encircled an open domed ceiling of delicate stained glass, while a lush forty foot tree stood proudly in the centre, swathed in Swarovski crystals. A perfect blend of affluence, indulgence, and festive holiday cheer, it was incredibly beautiful and unlike anything I've seen before. 

The colours really were this amazing
Beautiful stained glass dome ceiling
Ceiling details up close

As we strolled through the store, passing luxury brands I'd only heard of in rap songs, I was intimidated by the beautiful items and the equally beautiful people buying them. Dior, Stella McCartney, Jimmy Choo, Gucci... Chanel; everywhere I looked designer bags, shoes, scarves, and clothes, were within touching distance. Although I was too shy to venture into the Chanel store, due my grungy backpacker garb, I did drool over their window displays a bit too long, it was probably quite awkward for the lucky shoppers inside. 

It was a bit more crowded when we were there (via)
Cosmetics counters on the main floor (via)

However more astounding was the fact that people were clamoring to snatch up these goods; there was a lineup at Louis Vuitton to purchase handbags, and at least half a dozen people seriously shopping in Chanel. I was confused, having never really realized that people actually spend $50,000 on a watch or $13,000 on a handbag, but here they were, in the flesh, spending as fast as possible.

After picking our jaws up off the floor we made our way to the rooftop and found the views as breathtaking as the interior. Not only were we able to study the stunning Opera Hall in detail, the Eiffel Tower felt close enough to touch, and amid the gray clouds we could make our Notre Dame Cathedral. Finally, growing tired of the crowds, we made our way out of the store and towards Starbucks - our version of splurging in the City of Light. 

The Opera Hall
Great rooftop views of the Eiffel Tower

By Calli D with 1 comment


Paris is indeed a perfect place to stay for some exclusive luxury holidays. Thank you for sharing its beauty through your blog.

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Calli and Travis returned from a four month trip through Europe more excited than ever to hit the open road. Who knows where they'll end up next...

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