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Unusual Shopping In Paris

Unusual Shopping In Paris

by Jeanne Valère

Have your hair cut on the night of the full moon, take a siesta while shopping, make a cast of your foot, top a birthday cake with your own photo, issue your own stamps, take pictures of your aura, visit a designer at home, join an art gallery open 24/24, buy shoes in a theatre, offer your cat or dog a massage or special cookies, relax in a flotation chamber, try out extraordinary Japanese toilets... Shopping in Paris has never been so stimulating, although you have to know where to go...
As a change from traditional retailers, here are over a hundred unusual places where you can find really original presents.

Extracts From The Book
Unusual Shopping In Paris: Dress your dog as Father Christmas Unusual Shopping In Paris: Hairdresser of the full moonUnusual Shopping In Paris: Have a siesta while you're shoppingUnusual Shopping In Paris: Wedding gowns made from paperUnusual Shopping In Paris: Snap your aura

Dress your dog as Father Christmas

Unusual Shopping In Paris: Dress your dog as Father Christmas Clothes shops for dogs are in fashion,
Paris is full of them. This one however
takes the concept further than the
others …

Although you’ll find the usual denim jackets, woolly jumpers, tweed coats, frilly dresses, rainwear, anoraks, T-shirts and vests here, you can also buy less traditional accessories: angels’ wings, Father Christmas outfits, sunglasses, bow-ties, material for duvets, baseball caps … Rummage through the shelves and you’ll come across other marvels. Staunch fans of animal outfits shouldn’t hesitate to have a good look round! Some joys not to be missed include an entire drawer at the back of the shop reserved for garments imported from Japan. In there, we dug out a classy outfit for a chihuahua (Paris Hilton wouldn’t say no for Tinkerbell). Of course the shop is owned by a Japanese woman, Mitsuko, with a Westie who likes to have her photo taken, provided she isn’t dressed up as Maya l'abeille* … *Maya l'abeille (Mitsubachi Maya no bôken) is an Australian/Japanese cartoon series created in 1975 by Nisan Takahashi based on a story by Waldemar Bonsels, which has also been shown on French TV.
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Hairdresser of the full moon

Unusual Shopping In Paris: Hairdresser of the full moon On nights when the moon is full, curious night birds who’ve managed to avoid the effects of alcohol or other illicit substances may be surprised to see people getting their hair cut at 4 or 5 in the morning.

In his ultracool hairdressing salon near Les Halles, Djelani Maachi is actually practising an old belief that hair grows back faster when the moon is full (and more slowly the next day).“Hair can grow as much as 2.5 cm instead of the usual one centimetre per month,” he says. One tends to believe him, and if you need further convincing, just go along to the salon one night when the moon is full.

While the street sleeps, Monsieur Maachi, scissors and comb in hand, cuts steadily through the early hours. His clientele come from all over: “Sometimes I don’t close all night”, claims the hairdresser. Recently, our friend Maachi, who also does hair for celebrities, took a gamble on another idea to make his business viable during the day – the relookage [make-over]. “I was the first hairdresser to use
information technology.” So his salon looks more like a film studio with its computers and
plasma screen. Starting from a simple photo and applying powerful software, he gives you a
whole new look based on the resulting picture.
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Have a siesta while you're shopping

Unusual Shopping In Paris: Have a siesta while you're shoppingPerched on the fourth floor of the Kenzo building at Pont Neuf, La Bulle Kenzo is a timeless place, intended to bowl you over, or at least make your senses more acute. Very clinical, done out almost entirely in white brightened with occasional touches of colour, this shop mainly sells the Kenzo line of beauty products. But you’ll also find perfume, candles, all kinds of cuddly toys, T-shirts to die for (little windows open to show off your skin) and other sensual objects: voodoolove, sensational sweeties, marshmallow necklaces …

Apart from the playful nature of some of these objects, the “bubble” boasts an amazing and original interior design: at the back of the room stand two white bubbles, one of them covered in plastic hair, containing massage salons bathed in yellow light. On the menu are treatments just as idiosyncratic as the setting: massage with candles and rice (€80), marshmallow massage (€70), or a face vitality treatment (€60). You can even have a siesta there (no appointment needed, €15): images, music, a good mattress and a gentle awakening …
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Wedding gowns made from paper

Unusual Shopping In Paris: Wedding gowns made from paper Installed in a former bakery in rue de Grenelle now converted into a boudoir, the astonishing Mireille Étienne Brunel has been creating magnificent paper wedding gowns since 1997.

Seeking to transform the whole business of fitting a wedding gown into an exquisite and romantic experience, the fashion designer has done her best to create an atmosphere worthy of Alice in Wonderland once the bride-to-be steps through her door. The profusion, eccentricity and sheer personality of the models on display are simply fascinating; like these light-filtering gowns, for example, that transport you into a world of poetry and plant-like purity.

They are in fact composed of two layers: a “secret” gown made from tearproof paper that serves as a support, and over that, a more evanescent “friponne” [cheeky] gown that plays with the light and transparency. Creations like these will make the occasion truly unique.
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Snap your aura

Unusual Shopping In Paris: Snap your aura Their advertisements might make you smile. Yet once inside the shop you want to believe them.As the name certainly indicates,Aura Photo offers to take pictures of your aura.

The dictionary definition of an aura is “a supposed emanation surrounding the body of a living creature, visible only to initiate.” Indeed, this is the case here, although the initiate in question is in fact a “Spectrometer” camera. Welcomed by Madame Danièle Laurent, a qualified practitioner trained in the United States and moreover a charming person, you sit down in her studio after a brief chat about the method. You place each hand on metal plates linked to the camera. Smile and it’s in the box. In the time it takes the Polaroid to dry, your aura is imprinted on paper. Other than its undeniable aesthetic qualities (some artists have used the same procedure), the photo can be very revealing. Depending on the colours, the size and the intensity of the halo produced by the aura,Madame Laurent can analyse your personality and give you some lifestyle advice (the session of around an hour costs €30 with photo).

There is in any case no shortage of customers. A mother even came along
with her two babies for a “halo-cinatory” family portrait!
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