Thursday, May 05, 2011

Paris shopping: Diwali

Of course everybody in Paris wears scarves almost all the time!  (seriously, it's true, at least in cooler weather)  But these aren't the square, Hermes style silk scarves nearly as often as it's the more relaxed rectangular "echarpes" loosely looped around the neck.  And where do these millions of scarves come from?

Diwali - yes, the same word as the Indian festival of lights.  There are at least three or four of these stores scattered around Paris - I know of one on the Rue Mouffetard, and also on on the Rue Soufflot just down the hill from the Pantheon.  These stores are the absolute mother lode of scarves in any color and any fabric you can imagine!  You have to go in with some sort of a plan or clue about what you're looking for, or you'll be completely overwhelmed.  (it usually takes me at least 3 visits before I settle in on my choices)


In general, Paris is an amazing place to find scarves.  If you're willing to brave the shopping adventures of little shops in neighborhoods out of the center of the city, you can find piles of beautiful paisley silk and wool scarves that cost a fraction of what you would pay (if you could find them at all) in the United States.

17 comments:

  1. I shopped at one of these stores on the Isle St. Louis, or at least I'm pretty sure it was the same store. I found the most magnificent scarf there that I wear all the time and next time I'm in Paris, have vowed to go back.

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  2. I wish I would have known about Diwali last October when I was last in Paris. It looks like a fabulous place for gifts (for others and myself) that are easy to pack away for travel.
    Next time, I shall be paying this shop a visit. Thank you for the tip.

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  3. Thank you for the information--the scarves look amazing. There is already so much to do for my next trip to Paris (whenever that will be). But it is rather nice to go with an agenda. xxBliss

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  4. I plan on picking up a few scarves when I go to Venice this summer. I have two Hermes scarves, and though they are beautiful, the best shape for me is the oblong scarf. I have a squatty short neck, and an oblong scarf is easier to tie around it.

    I'll put Diwali on my Paris to-do list.

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  5. I'm putting this down on my to-go-to list for Paris this winter! Thank you. I love long scarves (as well as Hermès scarves), and I'd adore adding some fun colors to my collection.

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  6. Agree... I am a MAN who was buying presents 4 his family back in Australia & this store chopped up!!! I was overwhelmed the 1st time I went there so I went back the next day with a clear head & got some lovely chic presents

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  7. At least one of the shops is right between the little souvenir shops close to Sacre Coeur. I will try to find out the address. That's nearly impossible to find on the web.

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  8. The one near Sacre Coeur is at 5, rue Norvins. And, yes, they are fantastic. The ones at 47/49 rue Mouffetarde and 52, rue Saint Louis En L'Ile are larger shops with an almost overwhelming number of choices.

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  9. I was just there a couple of weeks ago and bought a wonderful scarf at the Shop at 47/49 rue Mouffetard. I got a card which lists the other shops in Paris. 52 rue SAINT LOUIS EN L'ILE, 26 rue du TEMPLE 7 rue de la Huchette, 14, rue SOUVVLOT, 40 rue SAINT ANDRE DES ART, and 5 rue NORVINS 7508 Paris (Montmartre)

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  10. I love these shops! I've visited at least four of them in Paris. Everyone is SO RIGHT about the choices being overwhelming. (It's definitely good to visit early in your trip, so you can mull over the many choices.) Each shop seems to carry its own selection of interesting and beautiful scarves.

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  11. We rented a wee flat on Rue du Temple, in the 4th district, this past fall, across the street from a Diwali scarf shop, where we spent several trips browsing. They have scarves in every colour, fabric & price. It was wonderful, and scarves make great gifts and souvenirs, for not only are they mementos of Paris, they fit easily in any already-stuffed suitcase. I bought four. I recommend Diwali for shopping or simply browsing, and the staff in the Rue du Temple shop were wonderful, cheerful & helpful.

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  12. Question about scarves: How do you store and take care of them?

    Do you store them folded? Do you wash and iron them after each wearing? Would that make them wear out terribly fast? And ... what do you do when a favorite item begins to show wear?

    Jora

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  13. I do NOT wash my scarves very often at all - only if they look dirty, or if I know for a fact that they're in need of cleaning. I steam them every two or three times I wear them, and then fold them into a drawer for storage. And when a favorite shows wear... sigh... I have to decide if it's just "patina", and I can continue to wear it, or if the scarf has plain seen better days, when I then will donate it to someone who does textile crafts.
    Thanks for being here!
    Vivienne

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  14. Thank you so much for your answer; it took me completely by surprise:

    I expected you to outline how you have a specific time each week to carefully launder your scarves!

    Jora

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  15. Bought my first Diwali scarf while in Paris earlier this month and I love it! It's so beautiful. I should have bought a few more. I always wondered how the Parisian women I saw on the street got their scarves so fluffy and now I know.

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  16. I just got back from Paris 3 days ago (sigh!). During my visit, I popped into the Diwali shop on rue de la Huchette, 14. The young lady was absolutely delightful and very helpful without being overbearing. The choices of beautiful scarves is staggering, although, I did make several choices! Diwali also carries lovely beaded necklaces and unique bracelets and earrings (I also purchased several of those!) I will think of Paris and the fantastic shop each time I wear one of my pieces. Definitely will stop in next time we are in Paris!

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