by victoria berezhna | view previous articles
Amidst the Victorian era, when women wore exquisitely embroidered long gowns with meters of fabric on the skirts and petticoats shaped by a bustle and corsets, had magnificent chignons of all sorts and could only purchase clothes through couturiers, the Galeries Lafayette were built on Boulevard Haussmann . . .
. . . creating, for the first time, a place where Parisians could indulge themselves in clothing from designers like Paul Poiret, or all types of exotic goods and textiles imported from the East, creating little luxuries available to everyone.
Throughout the 20th Century, Lafayette progressed to being one of the most important department stores in Paris, after an iconic performance by Edith Piaf in 1951 and the installation of their extraordinary Christmas tree and decorations, reflecting the luxury of the store itself, and highlighting the architectural masterwork evident in every corner.
Upon entering the store bathed in golden and white light, one looks up to see la coupole soaring above the luxury stores, surrounded by intricate mouldings and gilded details . . .
Reminiscent of the opéra and la belle époque, one realises just how much history surrounds Galeries Lafayette and how once, travellers from around the world came to Paris solely to indulge themselves with luxury, whether it be a couture gown or an embellished candle douter.
[images 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 by victoria berezhna // 2 - haussmann // 3, 9, 11 - victoria on instagram // 8 - parisplus // 10 - flipkey]