24 Feb 2010

Thinking of Paris… Vintage


I have often pressed my nose against the window of Didier Ludot in the Palais Royale and dreamt of the red carpet occasion where I might be royally frocked in vintage haute couture.


It’s funny how the imagination can run wild with a small glance and thoughts can multiply into a thousand different scenarios in the space of thirty-seconds.


The hallucinogenic power of the fabulous dress, especially vintage, is under-rated.
The emotions that can race through the body – danger, disaster, disappointment, impulse, seduction and ecstasy.


My flirt with temptation came in the form of a Nina Ricci 1956…pretty, don’t you think? xv


Didier Ludot
125 Galerie de Valois
Jardins du Palais Royal
75001 Paris
+33 140150104

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Dear Vicki,
Haven't we all dreamt of wearing a fabulous dress at at red carpet occasion. ….I've never wanted to be famous but I would like to be for one evening, so that I could wear an haute couture dress. Perhaps someone out there would like to take me to one. Do you think that Johnny Depp might be reading your blog and might like the job !!! XXXX

Linda Carswell

What a fabulous dress, I am to be the 'mother of the bride' early next year and I am on the look-out for something fabulous…we shall have a trip to France before the wedding, so I have promised myself to look for something in Paris….

Linda x



Tres Chic!

I know what you mean when the design looks so interesting you are lured in and you start visualizing what it might look like on you, and the places you would wear it to. Like the 'Little Black Dress" I think even woman would benefit from one positively alluring & timeless vintage dress. Not only is it 'Tres Chic' but it is for the sheer 'joie de vivre'

It was so odd you posted this — I was just looking at vintage clothing one of my favorites sites http://www.thefrock.com/front.html ; http://www.thefrock.com/FW_page4_main.htmlat some beautiful designer vintage clothes –http://www.thefrock.com/designer_page1_main.html names like Valentino, Mackie, Givenchy, Patou, these cloths are for sale which is amazing in it self.

Have a wonderful day!

My Castle in Spain

You're right…too dangerous to go in ! I always wanted to know the man, to discover his treasures but never had the guts to do so…and neither the means to afford it…
But next time, you should push the door, Vicki !

Bonjour Madame

Oh it's gorgeous! I love his stores. I went there a lot during my trip. I'm sure he thought I was a stalker but I could not help but return and admire all of the beautiful clothes.



Well of course I happen to have a wardrobe full of these dresses, with handbags and shoes to match.
These little trinkets are just ways for me to pass the time don't you know.

You do know it's National Lie Your Backside Day Off don't you!!!!!

Lovely post, I too could get lost in a fantasy window shopping in that window.
Much love


Darling Vicky,

it's a nice past time till you don't get inside all the stores and you buy or you'd like to buy every single piece!

I'm truly obsessed with vintage! Love that Nina Ricci!

the paris apartment

What a beautiful image to wake up to!
J'adore Nina Ricci and this dress is divine. I can see you in in jetting through the streets of Paris with your daughters. Or maybe a picnic by the Seine. You're right, a prett dress does get the imagination going!


Oh Vicki perhaps we were there side by side with our noses pressed against this window?? I've posted some photos not long ago after you mentioned a Chanel bag on one of your posts! It's a lovely place. Maybe if we ever meet there at the same time, we will take a deep breath, muster our courage and walk in! :)


I have so many pictures of beautiful dresses from windows in the Palais Royale, it is one of my favorite things to do in Paris!

La Belette Rouge

Le sigh! That dress is like a dream and that glass that keeps you from touching it, wearing it and living the dream of a 1956 Nina Ricci dress only heightens the desire. Beautiful!


OOOoohhhh, so beautiful. We loved window shopping in Paris. It's almost more than one can take in. Even children's clothing was exquisite. And the macarons…I could just stand at the window and look at them.

count it all joy

I remember you writing something about how much your husband loved your legs. Would this dress not show them off to perfection?

I love how you've written here about the power of the imagination and it's connection to fashion. So true. Even though I'm stuck in my "Mum" wardrobe, I sneak a peek over at Dustjacket Attic and dream away for exactly that reason. Meredy xo.

La Petite Gallery

Yes I remember that name ,I think there were hats under the name.
Beautiful, Really Beautiful.

The late fiftie's, Oh! that was when Neiman Marcus was the top. Their glove department was awesome. In those days they had a wonderful buyer that picked only the finest.
When they opended in Florida I was sick at what I saw.I'll say a prayer for Jackie. You never know.

red ticking

AMAZING… and thank you for the tip as i will definitely visit when i come (i hope this year) … this dress is wonderful… you should just go treat yourself and buy it!! xx

Callie Grayson

Oh so pretty!
I am in need of a pretty frock! I am going to the Red or White Ball in chicago and need to find a pretty dress!! Sadly, this store is a bit to far away!



Dear Vicki,
Aaahhhhh this is just fabulous and dreamy like so many of your posts–and they're keeping me going through this long chilly winter in New York. Thank you for the wonderful images and the equally great writing.


I absolutely adore shops like this one and the previous post. I am always on the lookout for them. I spy some handbags I would love to own. It is always fun to look at good quality costume jewelry , too– I have received some great compliments from a few well chosen vintage pieces. Definitely a place on the "A" list of places to visit.

Congratulations! Although — here in blogville we already knew this about you — 'Romantic Homes April 2010' quoted as saying "For the sophisticated side of French life become acquainted with the most sensual candles, glitzy night spots and shopping destination go to Vicki Archers French Essence blog …




This dress is gorgeous. I first saw your book at Shakespeare and Co-when I was in Paris 2 years ago. Nice to find your blog.

Anne Marie

I just went to a vintage clothing/jewelry show/sale….and am so inspired to re-create some of those dresses…..oh yes! the dresses were so fantastic –

Josephine Tale Peddler

I love this dress. I saw this post when you first put it up and meant to comment then but life got in the way. However, the dress remained in my thoughts. I would love to wear it! xx


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Thinking Of Paris…Le Coude De Fou