Paris' famed flea market kicked off a week of design-linked events across the capital Friday, with a treasure hunt through its 400-odd booths crafted by the likes of star designer Philippe Starck.
Favoured haunt of tourists and celebrities from Madonna to Woody Allen and Julianne Moore, all spotted at "Les Puces", the sprawling market on the northern rim of the capital in 1885 is also a key part of Parisian culture.
To usher in Paris Design Week, which runs September 10-16, the market signed up Starck, fashion designer Vanessa Bruno and Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire among eight French celebrities united by their fondness for Les Puces.
It asked each to pick a selection of stand-out items from the Paul Bert and Serpette markets, as the antiques sectors of Les Puces are known, discreetly flagging each one for visitors to spot among the Aladdin's cave.
Parisian fashion designer Vanessa Bruno -- who counts Kirsten Dunst and Maria Sharapova among her fans -- grew up with Les Puces, visiting countless times with her mother, an antiques and design expert.
Today she still heads there to ferret out furniture for her stores, like a set of neo-classical red patina chairs that just matched the red brick of her London boutique.
"These days there's a freedom in design. You can very well mix up things from the 1960s with others in Louis XVI style," said Bruno, who created a special room at the market, all in whites, greens and transparencies, with her finds.
"That's what's interesting about Les Puces, you have all these styles mixed up, which is great for someone who has a bit of an eye.
"Plus it's by coming here, chatting with the dealers and learning about their wares that you get an education," she told AFP.
Starck, who next month opens a loft-style restaurant, "Ma Cocotte", on the edge of the market, homed in on the 1950s, with a neogothic folding screen, a giant murano glass chandelier or another in bronze with an anchor theme.
The design guru has been been a visitor since childhood to the market's chock-a-block booths, where antiques jostle for space with artworks, jewels and vintage knick-knacks, and whose dealers form a colourful, tight-knit community.
"It was a compulsory Sunday morning ritual in my family," the designer said in a text accompanying the Design Week event. "I'm rarely in Paris these days, but I only feel like I'm truly back home when I come to Les Puces."
For its second edition, Paris Design Week -- an offshoot of the Maison et Objet design mecca which runs until Monday north of the capital -- continues with citywide exhibitions, showrooms and design awards until September 16th.