The South of France Comes to Palm Springs!
Palm Springs and the South of France – c’est magnifique. It’s a match made in retail heaven. Shopping just doesn’t get any better than this!! Francophiles – and all stylish shoppers – rejoice and make a bee line for the fabulous new Best of Saint Tropez boutique (www.french-accents.net) on North Palm Canyon Drive in the Uptown Design District.
With cotignac and senanque linens flying and Madeline-like ironwork dolls smiling, you’ll find the best of everything from the South of France – and only the south of France. Gorgeous pottery. The ceramic Guinea fowls are handmade in Lussan. “Each Guinea fowl is a work of art, handcrafted from the local clay,” Benjamin Perdereau, the handsome young owner, told me on my recent visit. Rabbits, roosters, cats and chicks decorate many of the oh-so-chic kitchenware and crockery. “Any cows?” I asked (my kitchen has a bovine theme). “No. There are no cows in Provence. Cow décor is in the north of France – not in Provence.”
A true purist. Which makes you love this shop all the more. And just to be sure you know it’s all French all the time – “a way of life a la Francaise,” as Benjamin puts it -- he’s officially nicknamed it “The French Boutique.”
Sexy ruffled bikinis from Saint Tropez by top labels Soraya and Kiwi Saint Tropez channel Brigitte Bardot (whose picture, incidentally, is everywhere). Remember -- France invented the bikini, so these are the real deal. Worth every penny at $149 to add joie de vivre to Palm Springs poolside soirees. Additional stylish resort wear echo both the French Riviera and Palm Springs. Colorful cotton tunics are among the top sellers, according to Benjamin. “They’re so easy to wear here as the weather turns warm.”Sophisticated costume jewelry -- as only the French can create – offer the perfect accents. The handcrafted zaza pearls entwined on ropes and made by “a woman in L’Isle-sur-la-sorgue” are irresistible.
And the fabulous French linens – oh my. No surprise the tablecloths are sailing out the door. “The Provencal round coated tablecloths are perfect for outside entertaining and the Provencal patterns are a beautiful match with the desert colors,” Benjamin enthused.
Talk about your foodie finds. Don’t miss the specially blended Provencal herbs -- with the mill grinder -- for only $9.
So, what are the shoppers saying? “When people walk in they are amazed at all the wonderful merchandise,” Benjamin told me. “Visitors who know France, say it’s like an open air market in the south of France.”
Why France? Why Palm Springs? Well, why not? Turns out that Benjamin enjoyed a holiday here last summer – and that was it. “I saw this space was empty and it was perfect!” he recalled. “So I returned to Aix en Provence, sold my two shops, put my inventory on a boat and voila! – I opened the Best of Saint Tropez in November. I did this to change my life, meet new people, learn your culture and create a new energy. That’s the power of life! And…when you come to my shop you can use your French words!!”
Mais oui – but of course. Benjamin’s move is definitely a tribute to Palm Springs’ chic lifestyle. And to Palm Springs shoppers – so let’s make him feel right at home.