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C'était formidable: My Doppelgänger Gabrielle Geppert

Well, it finally happened. I reached my 45th birthday a couple of weeks ago and I finally met my doppelgänger today. Not so much (well, kind of, actually) in the traditional doppelgänger definition of looks but more of a doppelgänger sense of joie de vivre.
So, truth be told, I haven’t left my apartment in quite a while. Paris has been cold, rainy, windy and I think that is the definition, as my friend Chloé described it, of a monsoon. So, I have preferred to stay inside in the safety of my warm apartment… Until today. It’s not easy to get me outside… My body is like a ragdoll so my caregivers have to get me up, slop some clothes on me, do my makeup, my hair, make me a hot water bottle, squeeze me into a peanut sized Parisian elevator, swap wheelchairs, get my breathing machine shoved up my nose and most importantly my sunglasses covering my eyes… Incognito. So, needless to say, I don’t go out much.

But today, I just felt like it was imperative to go outside… Not far, just next-door to the Palais Royal...One of the greatest places on earth. I am very very lucky that it is one building in front of my apartment and I feel like it is my own private garden. The funny thing is that so many people have told me that they have never been to the Palais Royal even though they’ve been to Paris plenty of times. It’s a little bit of a secret, but it’s really not. Weird.

Today was a beautiful, cloud free, sunny, semi-warm spring day in Paris so off to the Palais Royal we went. My, oh my, what a glorious day in the garden. The pink magnolia trees were popping, daffodils and hyacinth in full bloom and in full scent. Elderly women walking their petite pooches. Sportif Parisians jogging around the garden like morons. Cute Chinese playing badminton. Discreet French gentleman playing pétanque and some creepy yet harmless guy doing tai chi.… You know, the usual.

This was the perfect day for my rare outing and I knew this would be the perfect day to go out. And boy am I glad I did because I met a woman after my own heart… Gabrielle Geppert.


Gabrielle Geppert is the proprietor of the best collection of shops in my beloved Palais Royal. She is honestly the Coco Chanel of our generation... In more ways than one. They both have the same name, Gabrielle. They both have shops at N° 31 in Paris…N° 31 rue Cambon for Chanel and N° 31 Galerie Monpensier for Geppert. They both have their signature look of a black and white color scheme.  They both have a passion for fashion, individuality, female independence, and that certain something that sets them apart from the flock.

I see Gabrielle Geppert every single time I go to the Palais Royal because she is always, always in her shops. She has four shops side-by-side along the south side of the Palais Royal (the good side) with her own collection, her vintage collection, and always something truly unique in the third shop. Sometimes the third shop is floor to ceiling vintage shoes, floor to ceiling vintage bags or some other clever installment. Today it was, Café Gabrielle, in homage to her friend Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel fashion show from a few weeks ago, Brasserie Gabrielle. If you missed that blog, click HERE.


When my friend, Debbie, was visiting me in February, she happened to have met Gabrielle Geppert at our favorite little hideaway café on rue Valois. This is definitely a “locals only” café. It’s not fancy, it’s not on a main street, hell, it’s barely on a side street. It is so tucked away that you would really only know about it if you live next to it… Which we do, and so does Gabrielle. My friend Debbie unfortunately has MS and has extreme difficulty walking so this little café was really the furthest she went from my apartment. It is just a stone’s throw away, literally. Sometimes I think I can hear her while she is at the café from inside my apartment. :-) Well, after one of Debbie’s evening outings to the café, she came back to my apartment and told me she had met a wonderful woman… Gabrielle Geppert. And because Debbie is one is the most outgoing, loving friends I’ve ever had… She told Gabrielle Geppert all about me and even showed her pictures of me. Good God.

So, today on my glorious walk through the Palais Royal, as usual, I saw Gabrielle Geppert in front of her shops. I knew this was the time for me to introduce myself. After about 45 seconds of talking to Gabrielle Geppert, I knew this was a woman after my own heart. Gabrielle Geppert doesn’t really walk… She bounces. She is so full of life and her spirit is so bright that I knew it was kismet, we were intended to be friends. Gabrielle Geppert loves beauty, appreciates beauty and has a passion for beauty… Just like Moi! And she’s not ashamed to admit it… Just like Moi! She gets as excited over a vintage handbag as she does as a deep purple hyacinth budding in the gardens of the Palais Royal.


On her website, I read the “about” section about Gabrielle Geppert and this is when I knew she was my doppelgänger. It read, “She walks around with a big smile, always in a good mood, a bit tomboyish in her looks, her hands in her pockets, her long fairytale blond hair, walking through the garden in the January sun or under the lime trees in summer heat.
When life brought Gabrielle to the Palais Royal little did she know she had found her place. This was 10 years ago.
She is also a bit out of this world, likes to talk about exoteric with humour and irony, she believes in all that is magic… she is always ready to play and have a good laugh, just give some input and its Show Time! It’s easy to imagine her, when night falls and the shutters are closed on her boutiques, going home twirling around, like an elf with her hair in the wind, laughing out loud or, more calmly striding along the empty allies humming. If you feel like strolling around the Palais Royal arcades and meeting one of the craziest, one of the funniest, one of the most fascinating but also one of the most passionate experts in vintage, now you know where to go.

Not to toot my own horn, but that description is pretty much me except I’m not quite as nice as she is considering eight seconds before I met her I had just finished a colossal argument with a dick of a waiter at the café next door. Nonetheless, my mood improved after I met Gabrielle.

So, on your next jaunt to Paris, I urge all of you to take a detour and make your way to the Palais Royal and to the shop of GabrielleGeppert. You won’t want to miss this. She is an expert in all things vintage luxe. Vintage YSL, Hermès, Chanel… All that is good and wonderful in this materialistic world. And if you don’t believe me, look who was caught peeking into Gabrielle Geppert’s windows… My favorite fashionista Kim Kardashian…(Yes, I love Kim Kardashian, et alors.)


Even though the formidable vintage expert, Didier Ludot, is only two shops to the left, Gabrielle’s shop seems more modern vintage, more wearable, and not as if it needs to be under lock and key, stuffed with tissue in a Hamish Bowles wardrobe warehouse/storage. When Gracie was a little girl, I bought a vintage Hermès belt from Gabrielle Geppert that I knew I could pass down to Gracie one day… And I was right because now my little fashionista wears it with gusto. It is so easy yet expected to march into the Hermès shop in Paris on rue Faubourg Saint-Honorè and purchase a shiny new belt but isn’t it more interesting, more unique, more chic to find that same belt with a bit of history and “patina?” That’s what you will find at Gabrielle Geppert… The unusual, the aged, the much loved vintage piece. Trust me on this one. Not only will you get to own a piece of “histoire” but you will also have a chance to chat with a truly unique Parisian… A friendly one. :-)


  1. Oh yay, you met the princess!!! Fate!!! Love her spirit, you literally feel her aura!! xoxoxo

  2. Beautiful Post Eleanor................
    I do believe I remember HER SHOPS...........
    People,our GREAT FRIEND and BLOGGER HASNOT received MY BIRTHDAY BOX with ALL YOUR CARDS AND MESSAGES and magazines!!!I'm so SORRY.......I thought I had mailed in time.Perhaps my GIFT inside has held it up in customs!!!I am BESIDE MYSELF...........if the box gets returned to me as did Ellie's CHRISTMAS card from last year just this past week!(3 months!)I will be certain to hand deliver...........and NOT try the MAIL again!I think MY ITALIAN HUSBAND would understand.................XOXO

    1. Dear Friends of Ellie - especially to those awesome people that sent cards - I just want to say that the beautiful Contessa has been worried to pieces about the package not arriving. So please be kind to her and patient! As someone who also lives in France, I will just say that...sometimes this happens. Seriously! I once got my Christmas presents from the States in late-March. So hopefully, all is not lost! :)

  3. Ellie, what more could one hope for but to be described in such a wonderful manner! I could feel her -and also your- spirit coming through
    I always go to the palais royale when in Paris and will make a point of meeting this wonderful woman. Since I arrive tomorrow it will be sooner rather than later!
    Much love

  4. She sounds like a wonderful woman and the shops sound fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Ellie,

    You are so funny esp. that part about the waiter!!! She looks almost identical to you.

    Debra from SENC

  6. What Fun! You have another Gigi in your life. I've been perusing her online shop and couldn't help but notice the GG ring, cuff, AND GiGi T-shirt - You must tell Yolanda ;) It sounds like your day was just what the Doctor (and you) ordered...some much needed sunshine. It's no wonder she set up shop here, it's a great location with an auspicious address, 31.

  7. Love this post Ellie ! I have not been to the Palais Royale and I am so looking forward to you showing me . Gabrielle sounds delightful , like you . So nice to connect with magical people . Blessings and love always , Adrienne

    1. Yes we will definitely go together Adrienne! XOXO Haley will love it.

  8. Ellie, what a lovely post! I love how you border your photos (in all your posts) and the overall layout is so nice to read and scroll through. Thank you for sharing your life stories and meetings. Sounds like it was a sincerely meaningful experience for both you and Gabrielle!

  9. Another lovely post..., whisking me off to a place far away where I can enjoy the moment as if I was there with you. Sending you lots of love.


  10. Ah, this made me happy!! As in really, really Happy! It is true that friends often look alike and you two look like Sisters. :) I know that I wrote you this already but when I think of you, I think of bright light just pouring out of you - no, I don't mean that in some sappy sense, I mean literally! You could be fueling a small country with megawatts coming out of your baby blues. So, how fabulous is it to meet someone so similar, with the same interests who just happens to be a neighbor? Pretty fabulous, methinks. ;)
    PS. How lovely to see the Palais Royal bloom into color...
    PPS. I am absolutely letting my hair grow that long now...

  11. She is so cute and anyone who describes herself as a fairy is a friend of mine. I love her super long hair.
    RIP Kim's blonde hair. I am forever grateful for her rocky road to platinum as a reference for my clients that it really does take time. If science can't get KK's hair platinum in a week without excessive breakage, it truly is the impossible dream. But I loved it while she had it. Even if the ends did look cut by a plastic knife. Glad you got out to enjoy some springtime lusciousness.

  12. Ellie, first of all I am so glad you are getting out on a beautiful spring day! I know it is an ordeal for your however what beauty awaits, as in this adventure to the Palais Royale and Gabrielle's shops! She sounds like the MOST wonderful woman! Love the image of her window where the e at the end of her last name was changed to an A to spell Art

    The Arts by Karena
    Dual Vision!

  13. I'm so glad you met your new friend so close to home. I never think of you as a rag doll, you are still a force to be reckoned with! I hope you find the perfect summer home in Provence.