Imagine that you are lucky enough to score a trip to Paris. The lights, the fashion, the food! There are the obvious hurdles, like how to fit 36 pairs of shoes into one carry-on bag, and how stay in the ever-so-stylish Marais district for less than a million dollars a night. But it's Paris, and happening upon a tiny boutique with an end-of-season sale while munching on a baguette makes it all worth it, right?
Now imagine that you can bypass the annoying parts of travelling abroad -- like the intrusive TSA pat-downs at the airport and the jostling tourists at the Eiffel Tower -- but still shop like a local, from your own couch. No need to email your friends asking for tips on those retail gems that only Parisians know about, and no need to rip out every blurb from outdated travel magazines. Instead, just head over to ModeWalk.com.
The e-commerce portal has scoured the city for designers and brands that you can't find with some old Google search. Designers like Michel Perry, who hasn't been sold in the US for years, are available on ModeWalk, as are lesser-known French brands like Thierry Lasry and Do Paris. You can go behind the scenes in the designers' ateliers, and this is the only site where you can buy couture.
Sounds fancy, right? It is, and it comes with a very fancy price tag. Thankfully, there is a mix of expensive and not-so-budget-busting items (we are particularly into this gorgeous bauble from Philippe Ferrandis). Paris is only the first city to launch on the site: Expect guided tours through other cosmopolitan capitals in the near future. Oh, and the site is giving us a discount: 30 percent off the selected items below with the code Atelier. So get shopping, there's no need to worry about overweight baggage fees.