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IT’S RARE TO FIND a company that truly leads its industry, but Madame Paulette is one of those exceptional few. The first name in couture cleaning, altering and restoring (The Met, The Louvre and Sotheby’s are a few of its clients) is actually preserving fashion history, says president John Mahdessian. “It could be something vintage and sentimental or it could be a current Pucci dress that got red wine spilled on it,” he says of the range of requests they receive, which involve apparel, accessories, fur, bridal, interiors and furniture. “We even cleaned Donald Trump’s plane last week.”
After 50 years, three generations and countless repaired pieces everything from Princess Diana’s gowns and Joe DiMaggio’s original jersey to an Andy Warhol paper dress—Madame Paulette is doing a bit of housekeeping itself. The company recently unveiled a boutique-style concept, complete with 1,600 square feet of merchandising space, storefront windows rivaling Bergdorf and a lounge-like atmosphere where clients can relax in Frette robes and sip Taittinger Champagne while the staff analyzes their needs. Luxurious? Certainly. But the bottom line is that high fashion is an investment and should be treated with care. And when you have access to those trained to do just that, why take a risk on any old dry cleaner?