PARIS — Anne Fontaine — the doyenne of the white shirt — has gotten into beauty.
She said her signature skin-care line and spa, making its debut in the basement of her newly minted boutique on the tony Rue Saint-Honoré here, was a natural evolution.
"Before I went into fashion, I really wanted to become a biologist; it was a dream for me," she explained. Fontaine said she went into designing shirts instead because her husband's family is in the business.
But nowadays, Fontaine can turn her fantasy into reality, thanks to a percolating fashion business, which has reportedly reached $100 million.
"I very much like the idea of protecting the planet," she said. "It's not only important to give people natural things to buy, but it's important that people think about taking care of themselves."
That's where the spa project comes in. The sleek, 5,920-square-foot space — dominated by natural materials and hues — was designed by Andrée Putman. A feeling of calm emanates everywhere, from the rough-hewn stone walls to the white couches and chairs to the large glass doors sealing off the waiting lounge.
Here, alongside her beauty brand, called Cosmetique Bio Anne Fontaine, a small clothing collection also is sold, including shirts made out of organic cotton. Fontaine handpicks artists to show here, as well. At present, Marie Taillefer's photographs are on display.
After passing through the large glass doors, there's a meandering hallway off of which are numerous types of treatment rooms. Soothing rectangular lights — whose colors are interchangeable depending on the massage being done — hover above the tables. There's an entire space devoted to a bath and a Jacuzzi for two, and there are areas for facials and foot soaks.
In some places, spaces may be morphed by movable walls to divvy up areas for further privacy.
On the walls of certain rooms are shards of ceramic.
"They give a flash of memory," said Putman, who explained that she was inspired by a wall she once saw in a village in Spain.
During a walk-through, she calls the spa "a little bit mysterious."
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