With so manyBritish women hankering after the nonchalant polished chic of the French, you’d have expected the UK to be inundated with Franco-centric boutiques. Notso. But new e-store Frenchologie aims to narrow the gap created by La Manche –meaning a Parisian shopping trip is now significantly easier than jumping onthe Eurostar.
London-based Frenchfounders Beatrice Drovandi (formerly of Net-a-Porter) and Cecilia Cauville(formerly of Feathers) met at the IstitutoMarangoni fashion school while students and gradually noticed that “many products are sold inthe UK with French names, but have nothing to do with France. We wanted tosell real French products with an authentic feel.”
And so theirstylishly simple web store Frenchologie was born. The mix of tricky-to-find andupscale design products is every bit as good as you would hope to discover inany über-chic Marais boutique, and all impeccably presented. There are Tsé & Tsé homeproducts (from £71.50), including porcelain salad and serving bowls and stainless-steeldrainers. There are Maison Martin Margiela’s trompe-l’oeil wallpapers (£338),featuring the house’s signature opulent black-and-white architecturaldetailing. There are Ines de la Fressange scented candles (£31.90); quirkygraphic-printed napkins (£5.50); printed silk scarves by designer ConstanceBoutet (second picture, £295), inspired by Rorschach’s inkblot tests, which are chic enough toframe; and romantically embellished jewellery from Estelle Deve (from £105) – as well as goldand leather spike necklaces, rings and earrings (from £215) from Annelise Michelson, whose designsare worn by rock royalty, including The Kills’ Alison Mosshart. An unusualstandout piece is the to-order painted wood and glass-topped coffee table withmultipanelled legs by designer Romain Duclos (£1,750).
But there are completely unexpected elements, too. The site has a delicatessen department,selling treats including walnut jam (£10.50) and Provençal black-truffle oliveoil by Aix et Terra (third picture, £33.50). The beauty section offers rare products such as Opalis’s hair oil for nourishing long hair (£42) and perfumes byHistoires de Parfums, the brand founded by Gerald Ghislain, who likes to tell astory with each scent that relates to a particular year of French history(1969 in first picture, £117).
A clothing section,meanwhile, is promised for later in the spring. If the selection is as noveland authentic as the store’s existing offerings, it’ll be worth keeping an eyeon.