We know helmets save lives, but at what cost? Helmet head is a lot to ask of someone. Still, it’s probably worth it if you can wear one designed by Jerome Coste at Les Ateliers Ruby, which just launched a new store in the center of Paris (1 rue Hérold, Paris, 75001). Quirky and slightly retro, the avant-headgear gives us that warm feeling we got when we saw Kristen McMenamy and Karl Lagerfeld standing together at the finale of spring 2011 Chanel couture. Which is apropos, considering the helmets appeared in Lagerfeld’s fall 2009 Chanel collection, of course luxed up in all-over fur, tweed and jewels—think Doctor Zhivago meets Barbarella. Other designer collaborations include Junya Watanabe and Jean-Paul Gaultier, but our favorite has to be Maison Martin Margiela for the clever classroom-like doodling.
At the new boutique, designed by Coste, riveted aluminum shelves and furniture give the feeling of being on Mars, or a repair shop from the future. The complete Ruby collection—limited editions and one-of-a-kind pieces, even vintage motorcycles—can be had. You can also customize your own, if fur and doodles don’t suit you. Now, if only we could only learn to ride.