Summer on the Seine

The couture season kicks off today with plenty of shows and presentations, but there should still be time for fine dining and gallery hopping.

PARIS — The couture season kicks off Wednesday, and although it is much abbreviated, the schedule remains packed with shows, presentations and parties. For those few moments of downtime, here are some stores, restaurants and galleries to check out.

Imagine a peek into the little black books of eight chic Parisians, including Marie-Hélène de Taillac, Loulou de la Falaise and Georgina Brandolini. Personal shopper Susan Tabak did just that with her new book "Chic in Paris," to be unveiled during couture week. Although she makes a business out of sniffing out the best of Paris, the New York-based Tabak learned a couple of new addresses. "Ines [Fressange] introduced me to a wonderful vintage jewelry store, Barboza, on Rue Saint-Honoré, as well as Bread and Roses, a bakery on Rue de Fleurus," said Tabak, who prefers to keep her addresses under lock and key. Her 120-page book, priced at $30, will be available at Galignani and the Musée des Arts Decoratifs shop ahead of a fall launch in New York.

Couture may well be all about dressing up, but Bert Stern's infamous Marilyn Monroe photo series, "The Last Sitting," proves the lady could put on quite a show in her birthday suit alone. Fifty-nine photos of the late icon — often wearing not much more than a swish of eyeliner and lipstick — are on show at the Musée Maillol until Oct. 30. The series, owned by collector Léon Constantiner, is part of 2,571 snaps taken by Stern during two separate sessions with the star at the Hotel Bel-Air in L.A.

Musée Maillol, 61 Rue de Grenelle, 75007, Tel.: 331-42-22-59-58

Issey Miyake has brought his colorful collection, Me, to Paris with a new shop at 29 Rue du Dragon. The 430-square-foot store boasts the label's full range of one-size-fits-all, lightweight T-shirts, dresses and skirts spun off from Miyake's Pleats Please label. Rick Owens picked Palais Royal, home of fellow American designer Marc Jacobs' Paris flagship, for his first freestanding store at 130-133 Galerie de Valois. It's expected to open in time for couture week, along with Azzedine Alaïa's first accessories shop, on Rue de Moussy, and the long-awaited Chrome Hearts store on Avenue Montaigne.
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