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F or Jan Showers — the doyenne of French '40s interiors — Paris was a coup de foudre, or love at first sight. She's traveled to the City of Light 45 times on buying trips for her namesake showroom, which opened 25 years ago in October. Brimming with colorful Murano chandeliers and rare furnishings by André Arbus and Jacques Adnet, her showroom ushered in a glamorous era that's still going strong. Here, Showers tells us how it all started, her secret to shopping the puces, plus her favorite Parisian lunch spots and hotels— and the coveted French '40s buffet that got away. The rest is history. My first trip to Europe to buy for the newly opened showroom was October 1996. A wonderful guide took us to the Carré on the Left Bank and then all over the Marché aux Puces. It was the mother lode! I was so taken with all of the French '40s pieces, and it was all I wanted to buy. It was a no-brainer to see how perfectly they would mix with 18th-century antiques from France and Regency from England. Half the shipment I bought was traditional and half French '40s. When I received the container a month later, the '40s pieces sold immediately, and the others took longer. I booked another trip, and the rest is history! We buy from so many different periods, and the showroom is always changing, but that was my first experience and certainly the one that helped bring Dallas into a new phase. Twenty-five years ago. There was a huge amount of Jacques Adnet and André Arbus pieces available 25 years ago. Bill and Melinda Gates bought much of it, but I certainly got my share. You can't find Adnet and Arbus now. Pairs of chairs are also hard to find, and they really make a room. We now manufacture our own chairs for that reason. On the hunt. I'm always looking for the freshest piece that will be the star in my showroom. Bars have become so popular. I buy all that I can find that are handsome and in good condition. Where you stay in Paris. We started out staying at the Hôtel Costes and loved it. Then we moved to the Ritz Paris and sometimes Le Meurice or Hotel Lancaster. Now that Zara Taitt, my general manager, is going with us, we're leasing apartments in the same area that are quite nice. Working lunch. When in Paris on buying trips, we always have our first luncheon in the garden at Costes. Another place BY REBECCA SHERMAN Designer Jan Showers and her namesake showroom have dazzled Dallas for 25 years, and in those years she's traveled to Paris 45 times, published three design books, landed on the AD100 List, collaborated with Kyle Bunting on rugs and Kravet on furniture and fabrics, designed a spectacular Kips Bay Dallas room, and co-chaired Kips Bay Decorator Show House twice. Here's to 25 more! YEARS OF GLAMOUR Jan Showers CAROLYN CRUZ 164

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