THE PAST RECAPTURED

11-30-2012

In 1900, François Goyard opened branches in Biarritz and Monte-Carlo, the two holiday destinations of choice for the elite at the turn of the century. 

Various locations followed one another until 1930: the Helder Hotel, then the Hermitage Hotel in the Principality; the Grand Hotel, Avenue Edouard VII and finally the Old England department store in the Basque Country. After three decades in business, both branches closed down as an aftermath of the Wall Street crash in 1929, and their contents were dispersed.

Somehow miraculously, Goyard has managed to track down some of the original decorative features that adorned these forgotten Belle Époque belles, and had them carefully restored by skilled cabinetmakers. The very same fine wood panels and furniture that used to decorate the Biarritz and Monte-Carlo boutiques a century ago have found a new home at last: the Goyard retail space at Le Printemps de la Mode, which opened its doors on November 16, 2012. A novel store, indeed, yet one with a rich past, in keeping with its surroundings: the beautiful entrance rotunda on the corner of rue Caumartin and rue de Provence. The Goyard retail space is the only one with direct access to the rotunda, whose exquisite mouldings and mosaics are in perfect visual harmony with its own rare vintage interior decoration.

It looks as though Goyard has always been around, and chances are, if the elegant customers of the bygone Biarritz and Monte-Carlo branches were to come back, they would be very much at ease with the Proust-like scenery.

11-30-2012
 

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