Where To Dress Up For A Libertine Night Out?
If there was one thing one needs to know before even trying to go to a libertine evening, it is that one has to follow a strict dresscode. If some of the parties resemble the French 18th century, if for some one has to wear a mask, most of the time, the dresscode is “simply” sexy. Men have to be elegant – jeans and trainers are obviously forbidden – and women have to be well dressed and prepared too: all unwanted hair has to be waxed, and make up has to be perfect. The lingerie is sexy and so are the dresses. A libertine night out is the night when any fashion madness is both welcome and encouraged.
The only problem is that it is not easy to find these clothes, especially for people aged more than 30, as they may have to face disapproving looks from other women.
But places selling them do exist where one can find lingerie, dresses, shoes and accessories. Forget Pigalle, a tourist trap with expensive items of poor quality. In the very centre of Paris, in the Marais, for example, one can find a lot of shops with nice customer service and offering a great discretion.
Métamorph’Ose: Ali Baba’s cave
On the rue Qincampoix is Métamorph’Ose, a very pretty shop with a large vaulted basement. Ring the bell, and Martine or one of her assistants will open the door. Inside, you will find what you need, whether it be a nice dress with matching shoes for a night out between girls, or a more daring outfit with vinyl boots.
There is lingerie as well as accessories such as masks, and even a fetish corner. Because even if 40% of the clientele here is from the transvestite community, Martine’s goal for the last 17 years has been to be able to propose “a sexy little skirt or a real pair of nylon stockings to the young women from the neighbourhood.”
Since the shop remains closed, it is really easy and discrete to try clothes on the basement and leave as discretely with your bags. It is for this reason that several celebrities also shop at Métamorph’Ose.
Phyléa: the safe bet
A little further along the same street is Phyléa, a very beautiful boutique managed by Christian for over 20 years. Passionate about “beautiful ecstatic outfits”, he likes latex, metal and vinyl, which are the basic materials in “excentric fashion”.
The reputation of Phyléa is well known. It is regularly approached by the big names in fashion magazines, or by movies or video clip directors. Christian is the one who provided the outfits for the Mylène Farmer “Je t’aime Mélancolie” video clip, or for almost every video from the French band Niagara. More recently, he provided outfits for the French musical “Mozart”.
Most of Phyléa’s outfits are unique and handmade (victorian corsets, dresses, latex outfits). Every single one is beyond reproach. Christian being a fetishist, he would not dare to sell anyone the moulded latex outfits in Pigalle. His latex outfits are made out of real latex rolls and can last for years.
If you wish to find a beautiful outfit for an extravagant night out, trust Christian: He will never let a customer leave with an outfit which does not suit them. Although he once sold a silver vinyl wedding gown, he also refused to sell a dress to a customer once because she looked ridiculous in it. Aesthetics is his only aim, which is obvious if one sets foot in his boutique.
To go further:
Métamorph’Ose, 49 rue Quincampoix – Paris 4e, www.metamorphose.fr
Phyléa, 64 rue Quincampoix – Paris 4e.
Démonia, for leather/latex/goths clothes, 22 avenue Jean Aicard – Paris 11e, www.demonia.com
1969 Curiosité désirable, 69 rue Saint-Martin & 5 rue des Lombards – Paris 4e, www.1969.fr
Passage du désir, Accessories and naughty games, 23 rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie – Paris 4e, www.passagedudesir.fr