Some of the best memories you will ever have are of wondrous discoveries in hidden lanes. These local fashion ateliers in Europe tell you exactly why you may need a map to find them. By Payal Das
Tom Greyhound, Paris
On rue de Saintonge in Paris, you might come across this beautiful structure that looks like a design store but isn’t one really. It is a two-storey atelier with modern and minimal slatted wooden walls and geometric parquet flooring. Here, the discerning patrons don’t simply move from one rack to another. Instead, they are encouraged to discover different themes that the store is experimenting with, often stumbling upon its multicultural inclusion in the designs.
Passage Molière, Paris
Passage Moliere is one of the 25 remaining passages out of 150 that were built in 19th-century Paris. It was named after Théâtre Molière, which showcased many of the great French dramatist’s plays back in the day. Today, film buffs from around the world visit this place for the vast collection of rare cinema posters they can buy here. Another reason? The hidden atelier of Japanese shoemaker Tamano Nagashima, whose made-to-measure one-off creations are to die for.
Atelier Pietro Longhi, Venice
It is only fit, that a city that birthed one of the most famous Shakespearean plays become home to a store like this. In the vibrant San Polo district of Venice, locals head to Atelier Pietro Longhi for tailored outfits, theatre masks, and period costumes. However, tourists have to be lucky enough to find themselves here without any help. Artist and tailor, Francesco Briggi, has a passion for crafting these products by hand. He also recreates traditional Venetian gowns by studying original paintings. A surprising factor of this place is that every year during the Venice Carnival, the atelier hosts a secret hot chocolate party in one of the most sumptuous palaces in Venice, the Nani Mocenigo, where wearing an 18thcentury costume is a must!
Atelier Annarosa Rava, Milan
This atelier for women in Corso Magenta, Milan is a fine choice if you’re looking for sophisticated Italian apparel. From signature coats with large wraparound collars and delicate wool shirts to handbags inspired by fifties, everything is a unique collectible. The signature style of the boutique is that each piece features big round vintage buttons collected by designer Annarosa Rava personally on scavenger hunts in flea markets.
Atelier Sottomuro, Croatia
Set in a passage within another passage in the historic town of Rovinj, Croatia, Atelier Sotto Muro is a hidden gem of a store that is seldom discovered by tourists. Owned and curated by designer Jan Ejsymontt, this atelier offers beautiful, limited-edition jewellery inspired by places around the world. You’ll be surprised to see that some of them are inspired from Rajasthan!