Paris (75), France - I promised myself that my next trip to Paris would include a visit to the secret city. I am talking about the Puce de Paris (Paris Flea Market). Like the different arrondissements of Paris, the Puce de Paris St Ouen is divided into different markets with many alleyways and more than 2,000 vendors, so I enlisted the expertise of The Antiques Diva for a day of customised sourcing and touring.
'I stole her life' says my diva guide Danielle, as she drives me to the market, explaining that she moved into both the apartment and job of an Antiques Diva moving to Canada. Talk about serendipity, Danielle is now a professional diva with a talent for sussing your style and sharing the secrets you dreamt of discovering in the maze of markets, with only one weakness: antique Lalique.
Renowned for private Paris Flea Market tours, Antiques Diva offers bespoke buying trips in destinations across Europe with locally based 'Diva Guides' to suit your individual style and budget. My weakness: vintage fashion, so I was thrilled to discover Les Merveilles de Babellou at our first market, Paul Bert Serpette.
A rare edit including vintage Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Lacroix, Hermès and Chanel, Les Merveilles de Babellou's collection is available to shop from their website and they have also just started selling on 1stdibs.
My eyes sparkled so brightly at a particular pair of pink Chanel gladiators that Danielle excitedly whisked me to Artemise et Cunegonde. And there I saw a piece of fashion history in the flesh, or tweed if you will, in the form of an early original Coco Chanel suit.
See just a few of the secrets 'diva' Danielle helped me discover and my Puce de Paris in my pictures…
The markets are open Saturday to Monday. If you are planning a trip to Paris in the summer, it is worth bearing in mind that some vendors escape the city for the first few weeks of August.
I recommend taking a tour, if like me it is your first time or if you have something specific in mind that Antiques Diva & Co can help you source, barter and ship. Danielle's negotiation tips were to take the gentle appraoch, 'be nice, no aggression, if they can do a deal for you they will' she said. Plus, who could say no to a diva's demand.
I took The Antiques Diva Original Paris Flea Market Tour, but the Paris Antique Shopping Tour of the Marais and Bastille or the Vintage Chanel Tour sound equally divine.
Sara Morel, Reclaimed Woman
Salvo Directory 22 Jan 2015
The Antiques Diva & Co European Tours
Salvo Directory 11 Mar 2015
Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen
Salvo Directory 18 Oct 2005
The Antiques Diva; France Antique Tours
Story Type: Feature