Heart Evangelista expertly navigates Paris and Milan after years of frequenting the fashion capitals. The Vogue Philippines cover star shares the style insider’s travel guide to feeling at home during the industry’s busiest weeks.
Since attending her first Paris Haute Couture Week in 2017, Heart Evangelista has become a familiar face at the front row of shows. She has worked with some of the biggest fashion houses, and has fostered brand connections that have resulted in multiple deals and partnerships.
Due to her ever-growing work commitments in the European region, it did not come as a surprise when she announced last year her decision to set up a Parisian basecamp. Even beyond the demands of her career, she has already visited Europe—particularly fashion capitals: Paris and Milan—enough for her to practically be a resident. She’s even familiar with where to go in case of a fashion emergency: “If it’s a personal item, I always run to YSL Avenue Montaigne [in Paris] because they always help me with everything even if it’s not theirs.”
A Taste Of European Cuisine
Osteria Angelino dal 1899
Evangelista gushes about a small restaurant in Milan with a Filipina chef who, in her opinion, “makes the best truffle pasta in the city.” Located in Via Fabio Filzi, Osteria Angelino dal 1899 guarantees a traditional dining experience with classic takes on dishes such as Milanese favorites rigatoni and amatriciana.
Its menu embodies the “true Roman spirit” and attracts a clientele of both tourists and locals, who are fond of Roman food and culinary traditions, to its outlets in Milan and Rome.
Costes-owned restaurants: Le Petit Lutetia, La Société, L’Avenue, and Le Village
“My favorite is Le Petit Lutetia. It’s a very very old restaurant, but they have all the comfort food. It’s easy, but you definitely have to make a reservation if it’s fashion week,” says Evangelista, as she warns that timing is an important factor to consider when suggesting a place to eat in the city.
Le Petit Lutetia is situated at 107 Rue de Sèvres in Paris, and features antique interiors that evoke a feeling of nostalgia. Minimal information can be found online regarding its origins as the brasserie had long been considered a relic in its neighborhood. However, its acquisition by Jean-Louis Costes—a French restaurateur and hotelier—led to its reinvention into “one of the trendiest places on the Rive Gauche,” a classic bistro frequented by industry insiders aplenty.
On the topic of Jean-Louis Costes, he has established himself as a notable presence in the French hospitality industry. Several of his properties, often owned with his brother Gilbert, have made a name for themselves in the international scene and have appeared in various travel guides. Among those are three more restaurants that Evangelista gravitates toward: La Société in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, L’Avenue in 41 Av. Montaigne, and Le Village (also known as Le Village Costes) in The Village Royal at 25 Rue Royale.
La Société, her favorite of the three, is set within the facade of a limestone building and exudes a calming atmosphere with spa-like interiors designed by Christian Liaigre. Its doors have witnessed the likes of supermodels such as Kate Moss enter and indulge in its predominantly organic menu. It serves the Costes-restaurant staples that guests have grown to love, such as the lobster and herb salad, although it also has a few additions with the “Le Club Saint Germain” sandwich and the Paris gratinée (French onion soup). As per Evangelista, “It’s right near Assouline, the bookstore, and it’s always free–there’s always tables so it’s easy. You could just walk in some times.”
For bites in between shows
For Evangelista, caffeine fuels her for a full day of work especially during fashion’s busiest season. “I usually have something bitter if I really need the energy, but I’m really more of a macchiato or a cappuccino kind of girl.” Her go-to espresso order would be either a short latin or an Americano.
She shared this affinity for coffee with the photographers in Paris this year. Her team was spotted handing out coffee and doughnuts for the fashion week photographers on the street, and one of them raved about it on social media. In an Instagram story posted by London-based photographer Sarah Ellen Treacher, she said, “Thank you @iamhearte for looking out for us photographers on the street. We’ve been working 15-20 hour days for the past month and we’re tired! Thank you for the doughnuts and coffee ❤️.” This was reposted by Evangelista who added, “New traditions, you guys are the real rockstars!”
During fashion week, Evangelista often reaches out for a Bonne Maman when she feels her sweet tooth yearning. She describes it as “a traditional pound cake that they have in all the groceries.” The brand, founded in a small village in the southwest of France, is known for their madeleines sealed in bags.
Stohrer—the oldest patisserie in Paris—consistently satisfies Evangelista’s croissant cravings. She proclaims her love for the bakery, saying, “They have the best croissants, they’re super fluffy and chewy, freshly baked, and they also have the baked pain au chocolat. [It’s] so so good.”
Stohrer was founded in 1730 by Nicolas Stohrer, the pastry chef of the then-King of Poland Stanislas Leszczynski; whose daughter, Marie, eventually married France’s King Louis XV. The Dolfi Family—known for their involvement in À La Mère de Famille (one of the city’s oldest chocolate making houses)—took over in 2017, forging an alliance between the patisserie and the Dolfis. Their flagship on 51 rue Montorgueil hasn’t changed and has since been considered a historic monument; they have also expanded to other boutiques across the city.
For the perfect photo
According to Evangelista, anywhere in Milan would be a great photo spot. But if she has to choose one? It would be “along the strip where Fornasetti is located,” the Corso Venezia. Its buildings reflect a largely neoclassical architectural style, with elements of the renaissance, baroque, and rococo design visible in some areas. It is one of four streets that frame the Quadrilatero della Moda, a luxury shopping district housing many of Milan’s luxury boutiques.
Palais de Tokyo
A trip to Paris is not complete without a stop at Palais de Tokyo. “I would always try to go to Palais de Tokyo for pictures because they have really nice clean backgrounds,” says Evangelista. She later on adds, “Although for me, every time I’m taking photos, I’m always embarrassed because you have all the superstars passing by and you know everyone’s there.”
The building’s history could be traced back to 1937, when it was designed for the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne. It housed two museums: the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris and the Musée national d’art moderne, where the current Palais de Tokyo can be found.
As the newly renovated building—located in 13 Avenue du Président Wilson—opened in 2002, it later on became the “largest center of contemporary art in Europe.” It provides its exhibitors the opportunity to display their work in a place where some of the greatest artists of the past century were exhibited. This propels them to a wide array of art collectors and appreciators who are on the lookout for today’s emerging talent.
While visiting scenic spots such as the Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles are a must in France, Evangelista suggests also visiting the bookstores. “There’s this one near Le Meurice called [Librairie] Galignani. It’s an old bookstore and they have all the books, anything you like: fashion, all that.” Some of the books in her Paris apartment were bought from this store, including a French cookbook that she had left in her residence.
On 224 Rue de Rivoli, halfway between the Musée du Louvre and Place de la Concorde, Librairie Galignani is the first english bookstore in the European continent. It opened in 1801 and has since been run by six generations of the Galignani family. Its window displays, changing every 15 days, often showcase books connected to current news and events.
The late Karl Lagerfeld was a regular patron of the said bookstore—a fact that Evangelista learned from watching a documentary. Apparently, the designer visited the store weekly to the point that he amassed a collection bigger than the store itself.