A touch of Europe on a New Canaan side street

I found myself in New Canaan last week and popped into La Malle.

It’s a contemporary boutique featuring an array of “Italian and French clothes for women and men,” as its business card sums it up.

And while that is true, you really have to experience the shop to get a sense of its style.

The charmingly unique items from the French brand Les Cakes de Bertrand, featured in the window, first drew me in. They are the loveliest of little splurges, from handbags and totes to cosmetic bags and passport covers.

Once inside, though, I saw just how much more this shop is about.

I had mentioned the place in our profile of designer Brian Toohey in WAG’s April
“Animal Magnetism” issue. (Toohey has some of his belts on display in La Malle and also shares his booth at the SoNo Marketplace in Norwalk with some of La Malle’s merchandise.)

On this latest visit to New Canaan, Marc Castellana, who owns La Malle with his wife, Alexandrine, told me a bit about the shop.
Determined to “bring in a more European feel” to New Canaan, Castellana said he and his wife are showcasing cutting-edge brands ranging from Giorgio to Seventy, Peuterey to Shilton. They may not be brands familiar to the everyday shopper, but their looks and quality definitely make an impression. From unique silhouettes to stylish accents, these fashions certainly reflect their origins.

With Castellana assuring that spring merchandise is arriving daily, make a plan to check out La Malle soon. Think you’ll be glad you did.

And with an eye on supporting the community, La Malle will be providing fashions for the Young Women’s League of New Canaan’s second annual Couture for a Cause. Long familiar with the community – the Castellanas are former New Canaan residents who returned to France for a few years and are now living in Bedford Hills – there is a dedication to helping New Canaan charitable efforts.

Couture for a Cause is set for May 3 at The Loading Dock in Stamford. Cocktails, light bites, a fashion show and auction will raise funds for several local organizations. Tickets are on sale at La Malle (or visit ywlnewcanaan.org).

La Malle is at 5 East Ave. Call (203) 957-1400 or check out its Facebook page or on Twitter.


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