New York's Best Of

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New York Magazine

Best of 2000…DRY CLEANING

There are millions of horror stories in the naked city, and far too many of them involve dry cleaners (civil court deputy chief clerk Joseph Gebbia says that not a day goes by in small-claims court without a case against cleaners somewhere in the five boroughs). Channel, Gucci, Valentino, and Bergdorf take no chances. They send their garments to Madame Paulette, a family-run business where all work is done in the shop. Well, with a few exceptions, like the time Norma Kamali spilled something on an upholstered couch at a restaurant and Madame Paulette owner John Mahdessian rushed to the scene with an armory of solutions. Prices can be a bit steep (shirts, hand washed, start at $14; pants, at $16; sweaters, at $18), but Madame Paulette goes that extra mile, literally, rushing a suit to the airport for a regular client who mistakenly left it behind or restoring the lace on the train of a wedding dress tripped on by a guest. Garments arrive on paper mannequins or in garment bags, and are picked up and delivered anywhere in Manhattan.

Best of 2001…INTERIOR CLEANING

For a serious spring cleaning, a comprehensive dust removal or the restoration of your fine home furnishings. Will not only handle upholstery, balloon drapery, and carpets, but they’ll also bring along purifiers to clean the air you breath. Prices range from $100 to $2500.

Best of 2002…BEST TAILOR

Have a favorite jacket that’s seen better days? Madame Paulette’s tailors will duplicate the pattern and fashion and exact replica. A unique finish on a sleeve that needs to be shortened is no problem — they’ll take it up from the shoulder. And hemming a wedding gown’s cathedral train is as common for them as altering the length of jeans.

Best of 2003…DRY CLEANING

How’s this for a fashion emergency: a flood in the Valentine boutique last month that damaged fourteen gowns – $140,000 of silk and sequins literally down the drain? Within 48 hours, Madame Paulette had removed the water rings and restitched beads and hemlines, and the merchandise was back in the windows. Evening dresses are the specialty – Anna Wintour sent her Christian Dior frock here to be readied for the recent Met Costume Institute ball. But the store isn’t above cleaning everyday trousers and shirts. Prices start at $5 for washing shirts, $16 for dry cleaning. Evening gowns are from $125.