Retail Remedy: From our resident Parisian contributor Richard Nahem comes a visit to milliner Marie Mercié’s charming boutique
Stephen Sondheim famously begged the question “Does anyone still wear a hat? ” in the song “Here’s to the Ladies who Lunch ” from the musical “Company”. If he walked by Marie Mercié’s eponymous shop near St. Sulpice, the answer would an emphatic yes!
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Mercié’s shop is a wonderland outfitted with ultra-chic feminine hats to feast your eyes on. For her summer 2012 collection (she designs two collections a year)she used straw and raffia and color is king. Vibrant shouts of fuchsia, purple, orange, sunshine yellow, and tomato red dare a woman to make bold statements with colorful headgear. For the subtler at heart, there are natural straw hats in paler shades such as lavender, marigold, pistachio and blush. A splash of fruit for whimsy and delicate veils adorn select models.
The shop’s interior resembles a movie-set hat shop so familiar and old-world that I expected Audrey Hepburn to enter at any moment to scoop up a dozen hats.
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Since opening her first shop in Paris in 1987 with a second to follow in London, Mercié’s designs have topped celebrity heads including Shirley Mclaine, Kristen Scott Thomas and Milla Jojovich. Fashion designers in the know admire her designs as well as she has collaborated with Hermés, Kenzo, Agnes B. and Jean-Paul Gaultier.
Anthony Peto, Mercié’s husband, designs men’s hats with the same distinctive style marks, making me consider a return trip to see if I am daring enough to pull one off…
Richard’s photo gallery of the Marie Mercié hat shop in Paris:
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Marie Mercié, 23 rue Saint Sulpice, 75006
Metro: St. Sulpice or Mabillon
Open Tuesday to Saturday 11AM-7PM Tel. 01 43 26 45 83