InStyle Fashion Director Melissa Rubini's #PFW Guide to Paris

Fashion week actually spans an entire month, with a week dedicated to each of the four fashion capitals of the world: New York City, London, Milan, and Paris. As seasoned showgoers, InStyle editors know the ins and outs of each city. We asked Fashion Director Melissa Rubini to share her go-to spots, favorite landmarks, and local boutiques in Paris.

Paris City Guide
Photo: Courtesy (7); Getty Images (2)

Where do you go for a drink in between shows?
"We usually stay at the hotel Le Bristol on Faubourg Saint-Honoré and the cafe downstairs (not the bar) is always busy with fashion editors, designers and celebs in town. Have a glass of Chablis or Sancerre with friends as you people-watch."

What's the landmark you never fail to Insta?
"I will have to say the Eiffel Tower—it never gets old. It's always a nice surprise when you spot it while driving around the city. I also love to take pictures when I go for my morning run around the Jardin des Tuileries and along the Seine River."

What is your favorite local boutique?
"I still love Colette and Merci—they are not new, but they boast a certain Parisian cool that never disappoints. Their selection of products is extremely well curated, whether that's pieces from the newest jewelry brands, beauty updates or the latest launch in sneakers. Time your visit well, so you can stop by to lunch at the Water Bar at Colette. Forget Champs Élysée—it's a mall. Walk down Avenue Montaigne (so chic; stop by Céline), and definitely take a stroll down Faubourg Saint-Honoré (you'll find Colette, Le Bristol, Le Castiglione, and many other boutiques located there).

What is your favorite import that you like to stock up on, and why?
"I will stop by Frédéric Malle. I love fragrances (my family is in the industry), and there is something about Frédéric Malle scents that is just so beautiful and sensual. I don't wear much, but once I am back in New York, a bit of Paris always lingers in the air. I also bought a Le Cordon Bleu cooking book (with meals divided between beginner—that's me, lol—intermediate, and advanced—I will get there!), and it always makes me happy to cook a perfect French meal on a Friday night once I am back home."

What's your favorite place to grab dinner?
"L'Oiseau Blanc terrasseon top of the Peninsula Hotel is supposed to be an amazing location—my goal is to try it this season. It has views of Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, complete with a gorgeous sunset.

"All time favorites that are super French are Le Voltaire and L'Ami Louis. If you are vegetarian go to Arpège. Last time I was in Paris, the best restaurant I visited was Septime—menus don't exist and we had a seven-course meal with wine pairings. I know! Intense. For a splurge, go to Caviar Kaspia, the name says it all."

Which place serves the best coffee?
"I am not a coffee drinker, but I would recommend Café de Flore or at Le Castiglione."

What's the night spot to see and be seen?
"You got me there—I am not an expert on this subject. I will stop by fashion parties and say hello, but I'm not in the party circuit anymore. I find it much more charming to go out for dinner, walk around Paris at night, and finish with a nightcap at the hotel bar."

What's the best way to spend an afternoon off?
"This question brings a smile to my face. My absolute favorite place is the Musée Rodin and its beautiful yet not well known garden. I will bring headphones, a book, and drift away sitting in a quiet spot with a view of my favorite sculptures."

What's the #1 travel tip for the city?
"Don't over-plan and don't make your schedule too busy. Paris is so romantic and unpredictable. Aimlessly walk around with no destination, stop by little cafés, sit with a book in a park—​let life happen; magic moments will come to you."

Where do you always stay when you visit?
"Usually at the Le Bristol—it's my favorite. This time we are staying at the George V (Four Seasons). The Peninsula has just been updated. I once stayed at the Hotel Particulier in Montmartre, and it was eccentric and charming."

What's the best place for a mani/pedi/spa treatment/blow-dry?
"The Ritz Hotel just reopened and will now have a Chanel Spa—I mean, can you think of anything more luxurious than that?!

"This is a very glamorous list, I know! But don't let it intimidate you. I hardly shop in Paris, but I love walking around and experiencing everything. A glass of wine in a beautiful place won't break the bank but it can still deliver the whole experience."

For more Fashion Week city guides, be sure to check out the ones for New York City, London, and Milan.

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