Columns on fashion, culture and ideas

Women's Fashion / Inner Chic

Creel and Gow

Written by Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni and illustrated by Robert Beck, this column focuses on life in Paris, pepped up by its chic insiders

Creel and Gow
Creel and Gow Illustration by Robert Beck

Starting with their Persimmon-coloured paper bags, Creel and Gow is a visual feast. The Manhattan boutique, which sells decorative accessories and gifts based on Mother Nature...

Starting with their Persimmon-coloured paper bags, Creel and Gow is a visual feast. The Manhattan boutique, which sells decorative accessories and gifts based on Mother Nature and has made a snug nest in the heart of the Upper East side, reminds me of an Edith Wharton novel. Not just because Creel and Gow boasts exquisite details which the literary genius would relish, but because there are so many low-key but social rencontres there. The two times I have walked into the shop, I first spied a reclusive heiress checking out the silver coated shells – created in Rome – then bumped into a best-selling but fairly private novelist having a few stuffed creatures shipped to her West Coast home while I was oogling the 20-million-year-old fossil.

"The Manhattan boutique, which sells decorative accessories and gifts based on Mother Nature and has made a snug nest in the heart of the Upper East side, reminds me of an Edith Wharton novel."

What I particularly appreciate is that the curiosity shop is playful – putting everyone in a good mood as they discover certain items and stroke the zebra – while owners Jamie Creel and Christopher Gow are always on hand to answer enquiries, wrap up the belongings and treat every client in the same way. They are also patient. When fingering their agate bowls, I bored them rigid with the fact that agate is lucky. It is. However, instead of cutting me short, they politely listened, nodded and then teased me mercilessly outside of work hours.

In many ways, Creel and Gow is an enchanted kingdom further enhanced by the fact that all the animals and birds have bright eyes, shiny coats and never look remotely mangy. And then there’s the partly Paris-based Jamie who equals the best dinner party partner in the world. His many fans include Marisa Berenson and Lisa Fine who introduced us. Jamie defines the expression drôle, he tells terrific stories, can laugh at himself and is never cruel. Vive Creel and Gow!

Text by Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni

Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni is a Paris-based British writer who covers fashion and lifestyle as well as being the author of Sam Spiegel – The Biography of A Hollywood Legend, Understanding Chic, an essay from the Paris Was Ours anthology, the soon-to-be released Tino Zervudachi – A Portfolio – as well as the Chanel book, for Assouline's fashion series.

Robert Beck is former New Yorker currently based in Paris. Also known as C.J. Rabbitt, he is the author and illustrator of several children's books, including The Tale of Rabbitt in Paradise, Un Lapin à Paris and the soon-to-be-published A Bunny in the Ballet.

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