JULIA # 40 - Montreuil
Montreuil is the best of the Parisian flea markets.
It's filled with treasures that cost almost no money, but are paid in energy, innovation and persistence.
The Arabic sellers scream ”fouille, fouille, fouille!” dig, dig, dig, and you dig yourself through dresses from mainstream French brands all the way to jump suits, jackets in cashmere from Galerie Lafayette and bodies from Princesse Tam Tam.
Each thing has a history that you will never discover but you can be a part of its future. The prices depend on the day; Saturdays most things cost 3 euros, Sundays 2 euros and Mondays 50 cent. Inversely, it's harder to find things the cheaper it is.
I usually leave the market with at least four bags full of clothes, totally in denial about Ryanair's 15 kg luggage limit.
Montreuil has given me more than just my best outfits.
It also makes me realize how symbolical the prices in normal clothes shops are and how much clothes there are out there. We don't need more clothes to be produced, there are more things in those stands than the Parisian population could wear for several years. It's unecological to buy new things, almost to a point that is immoral.
But also, these clothes teach me something about beauty. As long as one is young and the least in shape, any clothes will make you look good. We don't need expensive dresses, we look beautiful in anything.
And most clothes can be custumized, creativity is worth much more than over priced accessories from a high street shop.
Going home from Montreuil, at closing time. The streets are full of left behind clothes that their former owners didn't think were good enough for selling anymore. Last time I was there with Cam, we found a fur, statement heels and a beautiful shirt.
It's crazy. From a shop, catching someone's attention,
a couple of minutes in the fitting room, calculation of whether it's worth buying or not,
sharing experiences with its owner,
being chosen as one of those things one can be without,
taken to the market, thrown away and found, reborn and ready for a new life with another person.
It's almost like a love story.
Other good markets are place Jeu de balle in Brussels (most of the pictures are from there), Återvinningen in Kungsör and the market at Przymorze in Gdansk.