Galeries Lafayette – A Temple to Shopping
Then it was decorated for Christmas with its wonderful Christmas window displays on the outside and a huge Christmas tree suspended from its glass-domed roof on the inside. As we approach this year’s Christmas season, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the Galeries Lafayette without its Christmas decorations. I went there a few weeks ago, which happened to coincide with Paris Fashion Week.
The Galeries Lafayette adventure begins outside the store on the pavement with the row of stalls selling all sorts of fashion accessories at prices that most of us can afford, quite unlike the ‘telephone-number’ prices on offer inside the store.
Being Paris Fashion Week, it was not surprising that there was something in the store to reflect that. Three fashion models were strutting their stuff at the Jean-Paul Gaultier cosmetics counter. They were promoting a new Gaultier cosmetic, which was attracting considerable interest. One of them was perched above the crowd attempting to seduce the audience by dancing and banging a drum in time to the music. Even super models it seems can multi-task.
Sounds inside the Galeries Lafayette:
I must admit that the world of fashion, cosmetics and serious shopping is quite lost on me. Even the super models seemed slightly unreal. But some 100,000 people do pass through this store every day and many of them spend serious money with the Chinese, Americans and Japanese leading the way.
What is today is a 70,000 M2 shopping extravaganza began life as a small haberdashery corner shop in 1895. It’s certainly come a long way since then.
As for me, I’m quite content to visit the Galeries Lafayette not for its extravagant shopping but rather to admire the glass dome and wrought iron balconies – a vivid reminder of 19th century Paris.