I didn't know it at the beginning of the week, but after visiting Laurence Boisson, the milliner, and learning that women in France generally wear hats for two occasions, weddings and horse races, I'm starting to think that I need a hat. After all, the Prix de Diane, one of France's most famous horse races is coming up on June 12, and even though I've never been to a horse race before and hats usually look a bit strange when perched atop my head, this may be one of those experiences in France that I shouldn't miss. So, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, go straight to Laurence Boisson's boutique.
Mme Boisson, a skilled artist who attended l'Institut Francaise de la Mode à Paris (IFM), has worked for such designers as Christian Dior, Pierre Cardin, Yves St. Laurent, and Ventillo. After learning the technical constraints associated with designing belts, Laurence Boissson decided that she prefers working with hats because they are three dimensional, like a sculpture.
If you would like a Laurence Boisson creation, Mme Boisson recommends visiting the boutique at least one month in advance so that there is adequate time to dye the material, to form the hat, and to decorate it. Additionally, Mme Boisson prefers that customers have one or two fittings to ensure that they are completely satisfied with the end result.
So, how much does one of these equisite creations cost? Prêt-à-porter hats range from Euros 29-190, while specially designed hats start at Euros 150.
Meet the French, the company that organized this visit, got everything right. It started on time and there was a translator for the English speaking people. To visit Laurence Boisson's boutique and to learn more about her craft, I recommend booking a tour with Meet the French. If, however, they are not offering a tour during the time that you are in Paris, the boutique is located at 10 Rue Saint Roch, 75001 Paris. Opening hours are from 11h00 to 19h00, Tuesday to Saturday.