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"Travel Blog: Paris"
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Author:  planetpurl
Description:
The adventures of a yarn addict in Paris in desperate need of a fix.
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Beads and Buttons and Bows – Oh My! [Back to Blog]
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Maybe Paris’ status as the world’s fashion capitol explains the plethora of ribbon, button and fancy trim shops.  Have you ever seen a shop in the U.S. that just sells buttons?  Here, there are button shops everywhere.  I think there are more button shops than there are Starbucks in Paris.  And every little “mercerie” I’ve been in carries more buttons than my local mega-fabric chain store.  In Le Bon Marche department store (see Paris Day One post), the button counter is like stepping up to a huge jewelry display.  Not to mention all the silk and fabric roses and trims.  I’ve always been drawn to more architectural designs – clean lines in beautiful fabrics.  But the buttons, beads and bows on display in the shops have sucked me in and I fear I must embellish something now. 


When I was in Brussels in January 2007, I spotted a beautiful knitted bag in the window of a shop.  The bag itself was knitted but not felted, and then was semi-extravagantly embellished with silk roses, beads and gorgeous buttons.  I took a picture of it, which I’ll post when I get back to Orlando.  Now I’ll have to design a similar  bag to use all the trims and buttons I’ve been buying here in Paris.  The good thing is that they take up virtually no room in the suitcase!  Watch our site for a free pattern – the Planet Purl Paris Bag, once I drag out my stitch dictionaries, chart the pattern and knit up the bag.   

 
Paris Department Store

Paris Department Store

 

Mokuba

So, if you’re thinking “Hey, I want to go to Paris to buy some cool trims, too!” I found you just the place.  But bring lots of money, because this place is definitely not cheap.  I’m talking about designer ribbon and trim emporium, Mokuba.  With a location in Paris and one in Tokyo, this shop is like stepping into a ritzy high fashion designer showroom, with all the sales help dressed in big-city black and the entire shop in glossy white.  Aisles and aisles and even more aisles of the most gorgeous ribbons you’ve ever seen on racks and racks and even more racks.  This is the haunt of designers and decorators spending their clients’ money, looking for that something special.  There’s a section of handmade silk roses and bows in every color imaginable as well.  This is where all caution went the way of the wind for me.  Let’s just say my trim for my Planet Purl Paris bag will be very special.  Gulp!  Mokuba is at 18 rue Montmarte in the 1st arrondissement, walking distance to Les Halles shopping area and on the edge of the pedestrian shopping area at Montorgueil. 

 

 
Paris BHV

La Droguerie

And if you’re anywhere near Les Halles, of course you must go to La Droguerie, the yarn and trim shop next to the church of St. Eustace and the underground shopping at Les Halles.  Their private label yarn hangs in hanks along two walls of the first room of the store.  There’s every color of the rainbow here in cotton, wool, bamboo, silk, alpaca, and cashmere.  You order by the 100 grams.  I was surprised, given the popularity of hand-dyed and self-striping yarns in the U.S., that almost all of the yarns available were solids. 

 

The second room is for trims.  Beads and sequins in clear glass jars fill the shelves.  Don’t move them unless you want dirty looks or a sharp word or two in French from the staff, though.  Ask for help.  Purchase is by weight.  They also have a fair selection of ribbons as well as silk flowers and trims.  No photography is permitted inside the store, so you’ll have to use your imagination.

 

La Droguerie is easy to find.  If you are in the underground mall at Les Halles, exit to ground level through Porte du Jour.  Walk straight ahead onto rue du Jour and the shop is just ahead on your left.  From the gardens at Les Halles, walk to the round courtyard between the gardens and the St. Eustache church.  There’s a giant stone head and hand statue in the center of the courtyard.  Face the front of the statue, turn and look over your left shoulder – that’s rue du Jour.  Walk a short distance toward the street and you’ll see the sign for La Droguerie.  They are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 until 6:45 and Monday afternoon from 2:00-6:45.  Their website is in French at www.ladroguerie.com or in Japanese at www.ladroguerie.jp.

 
Enough button and trim damage done for the day, I was absolutely required to settle my nerves with French pastry and wine.  Honestly, what I go through for this job…..
06/08/2008 0 comments | add comment
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