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Fashion on Gayot

Occasion Wear

Pretty and Prêt-à-Porter
Paule Vasseur

by Sophie Gayot

French Fashion House Paule Vasseur is making a name for itself with its rich, elegant line of occasion wear. There are romantic cocktail dresses in jewel-toned silks; flamboyant yet regal suits ideal for a spring wedding invitation; tailored jackets with fantastic collars destined to make a grand statement at a bar mitzvah; frivolous and flirty frocks perfect for a day of shopping and lunching on Rodeo Drive or Fifth Avenue—and then dashing off to catch a stylish soirée without having to change first.

Emmanuelle Nagel in her showroom

The creations of Emmanuelle Nagel—who named her line after her grandmother, a "première main" of haute couture from whom she inherited her love of luxurious fabrics and evocative designs—are for women who aren’t afraid to make a grand entrance. The pieces evoke haute couture yet are prêt-à-porter and more affordable—which is all the more amazing if you consider the painstaking, careful approach that goes into the making of each item. Nagel, who started the company in 1995, styles everything herself. She loves vivid colors and unique fabrics, even getting many from interior design showrooms and creating others herself. Murano glass buttons arrive from Italy. India provides lush saffron, azure and gold-colored sari silks. Every single piece, once it returns from the seamstress, is checked carefully before it goes to the client.

What kind of woman wears the expensive French lace, damask linens, brocades, tulles, silks and jacquards that recall the heyday of Lacroix and Hermes? Jane Fonda is a fan, as are Camilla Parker Bowles, Infanta Elena, the Duchess of Bourbon-Parme and the Comtesse de Paris.

Boutique Locations:

Boutique Paule Vasseur
10 rue de Passy
75016 Paris
Tel: 01 45 25 37 51
Métro: Passy

Nagel also has an outlet where you are able to snatch up last season's collections at up to a third of the regular prices:

Paule Vasseur Outlet
1 rue de l'Amiral Courbet
94160 Saint-Mandé
Tel: 01 43 65 13 21
Métro: Saint-Mandé-Tourelle

For more information, visit

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