Love, Kat: My City Guide for New York, Paris, and London


Love kat city guide collage

I have been dreaming about launching a column on Who What Wear for a while, and I am so thrilled it’s finally time to share it with the world. I’m the kind of person who fastidiously saves, screenshots, and catalogs information, and I envision Love, Kat to be a place where I can share my finds, particularly the under-the-radar ones, from the most stylish corners of the internet. I want it to be a visual feast as well as information rich and hope that some of what I share ends up in your reference folders, too.

Kat Collings Love Kat Column Lace collar black coat white heels

(Image credit: Getty Images)

For the inaugural story, I was thinking about this moment: the start of spring, our senses are awakened and alive, eager for experience. One of my top enjoyments in life is exploring new spots in a beloved city, so I focused on recommendations for three of my favorite places I travel to frequently: Paris, London, and New York. My picks favor the experiential, mood, and anything that allows you to cosplay as a local—the sights, scents, and tastes of a city that give it its essence, if you will. From the Parisian perfume store where you can get a custom olfactory diagnosis to the female local artists whose vision I admire, read on to discover my picks that will absolutely delight the senses.

Les Bougies de Frédérique paris custom candles

One thing about me is I love customization. A present, whether for yourself or a loved one, is always better when it’s personal. In this (candle) light, I present what I think is a tremendous take-home from your next visit to Paris, custom bougies by Frédérique. They are each handmade by Frédérique herself using ancestral techniques favored by Swedish monks. You can personalize your candles with small wax decorations ranging from a trio of doves to angel wings and cameos. And while you can order her candles online anytime, Frédérique hand-delivers orders in Paris three times a week. A chance to practice your French with a charming candle-loving local? Incroyable.


I didn’t want to keep you waiting too long for the perfume recommendation. When I was in Paris last fashion week, I was standing outside waiting for my friend to arrive for our lunch at Mokonuts (yes, the one with the famously difficult reservations). I was carrying a Frédéric Malle x ACNE Studios bag having just come from a preview of the perfume collaboration. A woman stopped me in the street to ask about the scent and then told me how she had just had the loveliest experience selecting a perfume at Nose. Apparently, they diagnose your scent preferences by inputting the notes of your favorite perfumes and use that information plus their expertise to pull recommendations. Later that day, I saw one of my favorite NYC-based stylists to follow, Caitlin Burke, share her experience at Nose, solidifying it as a Paris experience added to my list.

Hermine Bourdin

While all the cities I’m covering have world-class museums, one of my favorite ways to engage in the local art scene is to check if any of my favorite artists are having a gallery exhibition. I saw several Parisian fashion people attend Hermine Bourdin’s most recent showing, and her work went straight into the screenshot folder. Bourdin is inspired by the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods and works mostly with clay to create abstract sculptures rooted in the feminine form. I find her work sensual and harmonious. As an added bonus, an artsy crowd is fun people watching, and I’ve found if you ask nicely, folks are usually more than willing to share their favorite local dinner spot with you to grab a bite afterward.

Galerie Paradis

If you spend enough time on Paris TikTok, you’ll find the most discerning roundups have one commonality: Galerie Paradis. Set in a former ceramic factory, the space is dedicated to exceptional vintage home furnishings. Having a wander through some of the greatest design of the 20th century is a delight—you get the feeling of being at a MAD (Musée des Arts Décoratifs) exhibit, but everything is shoppable. Sure, the immaculate Eames sofa is likely not coming home with you, but there are lots of more suitcase-friendly options, like this darling art deco ceramic-and-metal teapot.

Em archives

Many people I trust say Paris has the best vintage in the world, and I have to agree. In fact, the getting can be so good that I’ve been known to do a Parisian vintage haul video when the mood strikes. There is currently a proliferation of Gen Z–friendly shops in the Marais bursting with Y2K styles, such as Nuovo and Snow Bunny. If you’re looking for something a little less trendy and a little more timeless, though, I suggest Em Archives. The POV is minimalist and neutral. Think Hermès by Margiela, Jil Sander, and Yohji Yamamoto. There are plenty of non-designer options, too, at very reasonable price points. While it’s a little bit of a trek from the center of Paris to the more neighborhood-y 19th, you can make an afternoon of it by grabbing some treats at the charming Italian grocer Honorati down the block from Em Archives and taking them across the street to Buttes-Chaumont, a super-lovely park with a lake and towering trees.