La Samaritaine opens after 16 years of suspense photos by Miguel Mesa Posada

Dear Shaded Viewers,

I had the opportunity to visit La Samaritaine prior to its grand opening. It was a rather bizarre experience with a photographer or perhaps he was a choreographer, shouting over the mic to tiers of 1,700 employees that were rehearsing for the grand opening with welcome flags. It made it quite impossible for the PR to give their planned tour. None the less we walked through the many levels of the new shopping experience. The location is ideal, the Art Nouveau staircase and the frescoes on the top floor are outstanding with giant peacocks and mosaics that were left from the original design. Most talked about perhaps, will be the restaurant on the top floor under the glass roof that will be open all day until 2 am with an amazing  view of all Paris and again to be surrounded by the enchanting frescoes. If the restaurant Voyage is too formal for your taste,  there are 11 other spots throughout where you can lunch or snack.

The fashion is a mix of Dior, CdG Play to Sandro and other luxury to mid-range brands. There is an extensive choice of shoes, bags and other accessories.  The choice of jewellery ranges  from Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Bulgari to Swarovski, Monaco and Swatch.  La Samaritaine claims to have the largest space dedicated to beauty in all of Europe. If you would like a beauty treatment, manicure, hair cut or a spa treatment that is possible. On offer are makeup brands such as Byredo, Hermes, Tom Ford, Dior or Charlotte Tillbury. The proposals for perfumes goes from   3,000 to 300,000 euros at the space dedicated to luxury perfumes,  Maison du Parfum. There you might select a bottle made out of Murano glass or one embellished with precious stones. If  that is more than you can handle at the moment,  you can head to the  area with brands such as Diptyque, Frederic Malle or Jo Malone. There is also a pop-up dedicated to Maison Francis Kurkdjian. Before you exit La Samaritaine, there are little carts throughout the floors that offer things such as small paper cones filled with surprises that you can buy blindly and don’t forget if you want to experience what it feels like to be held in the giant hand of King Kong, that too is possible as a souvenir.



Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.