Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ralph Lauren's Flagship Store in St. Germain, Paris

Where Fashion and Interior Design Meet
In April of 2010, Ralph Lauren opened his Paris flagship store on Boulevard Saint Germain. The six-story, 23,000 square-foot store, built in 1754 on the foundations of a monastery, had in the past housed the Dutch Embassy, the Carnegie Foundation, as well as spent time as a government building. And though the building had seen better days and centuries, Lauren fell in love with the diamond-in-the-rough. He acquired the building in 2007, and spent the next 2 years renovating and restoring limestone flooring, oak paneling, and Versailles parquet. "With this store opening, in the most romantic part of the city, I finally feel that I have been able to tell my whole story in Paris."

Talk about a dramatic entrance! The limestone staircase in the entry has been restored to its original glory.

One of the many clothing galleries.

The Watch Boutique. Formerly the guardian's loge, the room's polished oak paneling against the white plaster, and the sparkling crystal chandelier add a certain grand stateliness to the small room. Note the original restored Versailles-style parquet flooring.

Watch Boutique

How gorgeous is this room?? That gauze covered chandelier is a showstopper on its own! The greige (grey-beige) color is up-to-date modern yet old world, perfect for the Ralph Lauren Home Collection. Here you can see the restored original plaster mouldings.

The men's dressing area is handsome and spare, allowing the burnished brown leather and Versailles parquet floor to set the tone.

The Ralph Lauren flagships stores are getting looks for their interior design and displayed artwork, such as this mint-condition framed vintage flag. Not only does the flag showcase Lauren's home country, but also makes a colorful design impact.

With the stunning limestone fireplace, brick walls and beamed ceilings, the interior restaurant -- formerly horse stables -- exemplifies old-world Europe (with Ralph Lauren's touches of Americana, of course).

This closer view of the restaurant is almost a vignette of classic Ralph Lauren: the equestrian artwork; the plaid and leopard print fabric; the burnished-brown leather; polished oak paneling.

Once the carriage house, the courtyard restaurant is open during warmer months. Before acquiring the building, Ralph Lauren saw the the old carriage-house courtyard, complete with old stables in the back and cobblestone on the ground, he immediately thought of putting a restaurant there. The bar is located where the old tack room used to be.

Another view of the courtyard restaurant.

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