Updated: Mar 16, 2019
In May of 2017, I ran away from home to be in the the place where my heart lives… Paris. Les jardins were all in full bloom, the open air markets were chock full of exquisite finds, artists were creating masterpieces along the Seine and Parisiennes were on parade. Springtime in Paris… is there anything more wonderful? I wanted so desperately to change my name to Cozette, buy a pink chiffon dress and live the rest of my days sipping St. Germain cocktails at outdoor cafés.
And then, on La Île de la Cité, it happened! I stumbled upon a tiny boutique with sherbert colored, feathered frocks hanging on gold hotel-style rolling racks. There was a magnificent black and white, My Fair Lady-esque chapeau in the window and the mannequins were all peeking over rhinestone embellished sunnies. I quickly finished my glacé pistache (pistachio ice cream cone) and went in.
“Bonjour Madame.” I heard her before I saw her. “Bonjour,” I replied. I admired the couture dresses, daydreaming about where Cozette… I mean, I… would wear them. Lunch with Lucienne, maybe (of course, I’d have a friend called Lucienne). Window shopping along Rue St. Honoré, perhaps? Oh, I know…I could wear it to the Dior exhibit at Le Palais Galliera.
“Comment ça va?" she asked, and then, from behind a Louis XIV armoire full of sparkly bits, appeared a trés chic woman in a red and white silk dress, navy Chanel ballet flats and pearls, pearls, pearls. Exquisit!
“Ça va bein, merci, et toi” I replied, hoping that she would see me, quickly recognize me as La Femme Américaine , and let me off the French hook.
We exchanged polite smiles, and I continued on. I fawned over several fascinators that could easily have been worn to a Wedding Royale, a limited but darling summer shoe display and an elegant jewelry line made entirely of vintage buttons! Madame introduced me to a handmade bangle decoupaged with Le Metro map.
“Oui, sil vous plait.” A souvenir to remember this wonderful petit place. Madame wrapped my new favorite thing in white tissue as she hummed the Baroque chanson playing in the background, carefully placed it in a small gift bag and smiled as we exchanged a few more “Merci beaucoups”.
“Bonne journee,” she sang as I walked out the door and as my feet hit Quai aux Fleurs, I looked left, looked right and set off feeling transformed. It was as though I’d stumbled into a secret little world unto itself, an elegant world full of feminine fashion and unique accessories, all displayed so cleverly in this one-of-a-kind Parisian boutique. It was an experience. A positively charmant experience!
And, voila! That, Desmoiselles, was the day that Maison Marcellé was born. Tucked in the heart of picturesque Downtown Haddonfield awaits your trés chic Parisian boutique experience. No passport required.