This fashion season, the City of Light has a lot to offer — from art exhibitions to shops to spas. Here’s a smattering of the latest.
AROUND THE WORLD: The fourth Paris hotel designed by Christian Lacroix, Hôtel du Continent, is perhaps his most eclectic, with each of its six floors given a decor inspired by — from bottom to top — Europe, Antarctica, Oceania, Asia, Africa and America.
This story first appeared in the February 24, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Located a stone’s throw from Place Vendôme, the hotel’s 25 rooms run from 125 euros to 400 euros, or $170 to $540 at current exchange, depending on the size. Each bears Lacroix’s inimitable mix of bold colors and prints for wall coverings, drapery and furnishings.
The acclaimed couturier, now devoted to theater costumes, exhibitions and interior design projects, said he’s also working on a fifth Paris hotel, on trendy Rue de Charonne, and in April will unveil a revamped Hôtel Jules César in his hometown of Arles.
— Miles Socha
Hôtel du Continent
30 Rue du Mont-Thabor, 75001
PRECIOUS CARGO: Ira von Fürstenberg is showing a selection of her one-of-a-kind precious objects in an exhibition at the Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris through March 2.
The tireless globetrotter has created animal sculptures, crosses, bowls and skulls from materials such as rock crystal, jade, aquamarine and malachite set off by precious metals. Most are based on wooden objects picked up on her travels, which she then has reworked by artisans as far afield as Madagascar, India and Nepal.
“In the beginning, I was looking for unusual gifts for friends. Everything I found in stores looked the same, so I decided to create something different. I started off with small objects, and gradually they became bigger,” she explained.
Set designer Pier Luigi Pizzi has placed the objects on black pedestals lit from within to accentuate the beauty of the materials. Highlights include a pair of rock crystal candleholders with gilded bronze lizards twisting around the stem, and a jade Buddha head with a crown set with pearls, turquoise and precious stones.
“I adore everything that is useless and pleasant. Nowadays, people only want useful things, so this is fun,” von Fürstenberg said. “They are things you don’t need but that give you pleasure.”
First shown at the Museo Bagatti Valsecchi in Milan last September, the objects will go on sale next month at the Galerie Steinitz in Paris. Further exhibitions are due to take place in Monaco, New York and Hong Kong later in the year.
— Joelle Diderich
“Objets uniques” — Ira von Fürstenberg,
Feb. 13 to March 2
158 Boulevard Haussmann, 75008
Open Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
CORNER SHOP: For his first department-store corner, Cédric Charlier conjured a space based on a toned-down mix of copper, metal and felt.
Advised by architect and interior designer Régis Larroque, whose list of clients includes Nina Ricci, Louis Vuitton and Kris Van Assche, Charlier opted for subtle geometrical patterns worked into a sleek 269-square-foot corner, at Printemps Haussmann, where form follows function and vice versa. To wit: A continuous metal bar, 49 feet long, meanders throughout the entire space — at times for purely decorative purposes, at times serving as a rack.
Meanwhile, the seats function as storage and display boxes at the same time. “The shop is an extension of my clothes,” said Charlier. “Copper is my fetish metal, while felt is a material of contrast — noble and raw at once.”
Located on the third floor of the store, the corner stocks the designer’s clothing line and accessories.
— Paulina Szmydke
64 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009
Open Monday to Saturday, 9:35 a.m.-8 p.m., and Thursday, 9:35 a.m.-10 p.m.
MADE-TO-MEASURE TREATMENT: Aroma-Zone’s new 5,555-square-foot megastore on Paris’ Left Bank includes a spa offering personalized skin-care treatments.
After responding to a few questions regarding needs, likes and dislikes, a visitor’s answers are run through a computer and a skin-care formula is produced. Made fresh and on the spot, the product is used in one of three treatment rooms, where lighting, music and scent are all chosen in keeping with the client’s desires.
Prices range from 39 euros, or $54 at current exchange, to 75 euros, or $103.
— Jennifer Weil
25 Rue de l’École de Médecine, 75006
Open Tuesday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
FASHION PHOTO OP: American Vogue invented fashion photography early in the last century, and it quickly became an art form and profession. (Until then, there were only illustrations.)
“Mr. Condé [Montrose] Nast can be credited for hiring fashion photographers. He strongly believed in showing the dynamism of modern life,” explained Nathalie Herschdorfer, curator of the exhibition entitled “Papier glacé, un siècle de photographie de mode chez Condé Nast” (“Coming Into Fashion, a Century of Photography at Condé Nast”) at Paris’ Palais Galliera. Herschdorfer mined the publishing group’s archives to retrace 100 years of fashion photography.
The exhibition, which opens March 1 and is organized thematically, showcases 150 mostly original prints from 90 photographers including Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, Guy Bourdin and Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin.
“It’s also a history of women’s representation over the decades,” said Herschdorfer.
In the Seventies, a photo by Deborah Turbeville — her first series for U.S. Vogue — showed women lounging in what could be a public bath. The model in the foreground has her hand between her thighs. “It shocked America. Readers — especially outside big cities — were blaming the magazine for what they saw as a lesbian scene,” Herschdorfer explained.
The exhibition kicked off in 2012 at the C/O Berlin photography gallery. But in the Palais Galliera’s version, the photos are accompanied by 15 couture items from the fashion museum’s collections.
“They aren’t illustrations of pieces shown in the photos. It is a dialogue between the photographs and clothes,” continued Herschdorfer.
The tour includes contemporary films outlining the possible future of fashion photography and culminates with 50 magazines in display cases and screens, where visitors can leaf through some of the publications’ features.
— Laure Guilbault
“Coming Into Fashion, a Century of Photography at Condé Nast,”
March 1 to March 25
Palais Galliera, 10 Avenue Pierre Ier de Serbie, 75016
Open Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME: Ventilo, the quirky French fashion label, is setting up shop in the middle of Paris’ antique dealers strip on the Quai Voltaire. The venue, which is slated to open on Tuesday, is conceived as a “maison,” where clothes take a backseat to a handsome collection of vintage furniture and home objects.
“It’s pieces that I have collected and that have inspired me over the years,” said Armand Ventilo, deploring that now his own home will be “a little empty.”
The mostly Scandinavian furniture mix includes a Kennedy chair by Hans Wegner, artichoke lamps by Poul Henningsen and a tuck-away valet by Poul Østergaard.
The shop will also stock Ventilo’s spring collection, the first one designed by Steven Hamon, who joined the brand last June from Lanvin and Marc Jacobs.
With shop attendants serving coffee and cake while customers chat and linger, the boutique is everything but ordinary. “It’s a bazaar,” said Ventilo.
7 Quai Voltaire, 75008
Open Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
SWEET TOOTH: Café Pouchkine, the French tearoom with a Russian accent, opened a pastry shop on Rue des Francs-Bourgeois in the Marais neighborhood in December.
Among its delicacies are the best-selling Medovick, a traditional Russian cake with a buckwheat honey biscuit; the Paris-Moscou puff pastry, and La Rose du Tsar, a rose-shaped gateau made of a chocolate brownie, blackberry-jasmine tea jelly and dark chocolate mousse.
Later this year, Maison Dellos, the Moscow-based group behind the concept (which also backs the Betony and Manon restaurants in New York) is set to open another Café Pouchkine pastry shop in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, right across from the Café de Flore.
— Laure Guilbault
2 Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 75004
Open Monday to Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
ADDED BENEFIT: Beauty brand Benefit has just thrown open the doors of its first freestanding boutique in Paris.
The 7,780-square-foot, candy-colored location on the pedestrian street Rue Tiquetonne carries the label’s full line of products on its ground floor.
Downstairs, there are waxing and self-tanning services available. A half-leg waxing goes for 30 euros, or $41 at current exchange, while an eyebrow waxing is priced at 22 euros, or $30, and a body self-tan is 29 euros, or $40.
Benefit, which was founded in California by twin sisters Jane and Jean Ford in 1996, is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
— Jennifer Weil
56 Rue Tiquetonne, 75002
Open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
AU REVOIR CHARCUTERIE: It’s a vegan, gluten-free moment in Paris, where there are a plethora of stylish veggie options these days. After a first restaurant in the northern Marais neighborhood (opposite Nanashi and not far from the Broken Arm concept store and café — two healthy eateries), Café Pinson has recently opened a second location on Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, in the 10th arrondissement near the hip Christophe Michalak Takeaway pastry shop. The space is bright with geometric-print fabrics and tiled walls.
Co-owner Agathe Audouze, a former beauty and fashion executive, joined forces with an American chef to create the vegan dishes.
The fixed menu includes a starter, main course and dessert. Selections include the black quinoa tabbouleh with kale, grated raw cauliflower and balsamic vinegar; a risotto of black whole rice, kale, onions, pumpkin and sesame seeds, and a raw cocoa dessert. Madeleines are made with bergamot essential oil and honey and served with no butter or wheat.
— Laure Guilbault
58 Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 75010
Open Monday to Wednesday, 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m., and Thursday to Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-midnight
TAKE TWO: Following the celebrations of its 20th anniversary, Turkish fashion brand Dice Kayek is setting up a second shop at Galeries Lafayette.
Already present with its high-end Black Label at the Labo Luxe des Galeries on the first floor of the Paris department store, the brand has now inaugurated an in-store shop dedicated to its more accessible Pink Label collection.
The 419-square-foot venue is kept quiet and simple in white with gray marble set against Galeries Lafayette’s majestic cupola.
Dice Kayek has a knack for stark contrasts. In December the brand won the Jameel Prize, an international art award for work inspired by Islamic traditions and presided over by Zaha Hadid, for its “Istanbul Contrast” collection. This included a dress entirely hand-embroidered with ancient glass beads, mimicking the interior of the Hagia Sophia.
Parts of the collection, along with the works of the other finalists, are on display at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum until April 21.
— Paulina Szmydke
40 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009
Open Monday to Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m., and Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
TO THE POINT: Aficionados of Chinese massage have a new Paris venue. La Maison du Tui Na recently opened an outpost in the Marais, following its locations in the 16th and 7th arrondissements.
The new site has five treatment rooms, each in wood with a rough stone wall. Its à la carte menu includes a one-hour relaxing massage for 50 euros, or $69 at current exchange; a 60-minute traditional tui na (tonic) massage for 60 euros, or $82, and an hour-long reflexology session for 50 euros.
— Jennifer Weil
La Maison du Tui Na
13 Rue Saint Gilles, 75003
Open daily, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
BEAUTY EXPRESS: For beauty buffs on the go, Paris has a burgeoning express-service scene.
Last fall, Le Kiosque Beauté opened its most recent location, in the 7th arrondissement. Here’s a place to get eyebrows reworked (for 30 euros, or $41 at current exchange, before 8 p.m., or 35 euros, or $48, later); a manicure (7 euros, or $10, during the daytime, or 12 euros, or $16, at night) or a visit to a dry bar for hair — all lickety-split.
Need a polish in a hurry? Nailmatic plans to install a distributor in the Gare de Lyon train station at the end of February. Here, 63 colors will be on offer at a price of 5 euros ($7) per 8-ml. bottle.
There is also Le Nail Truck, which will be parked by Bercy’s Palais Omnisport on March 2. Its services include a polish for 9 euros ($12) and a French manicure for 12 euros ($16.50).
(Another familiar beauty van in fashion circles, Le Boudoir des Cocottes, won’t be doing its rounds this fashion season as it’s having a makeover. At other times, it offers various 15-minute beauty treatments.)
— Jennifer Weil
Le Kiosque Beauté
20 Avenue de la Motte-Picquet, 75007
Open Monday, 2-9 p.m., and Tuesday to Saturday, 12-9 p.m. (with dry-hair services available Monday to Saturday, 7:30-9 p.m.)
Gare de Lyon
Place Louis-Armand, 75012
Le Nail Truck by Gloss’Up
Palais Omnisport de Paris Bercy
8 Boulevard de Bercy, 75012
IN A STRETCH: Attention yogis: Private or group sessions in English are available with certified teachers during Paris Fashion Week where you want them.
The Big Apple Yoga France studio is offering the service in addition to its standard class schedule. One-hour sessions include power yoga, vinyasa flow, strength 4 yoga, yin yoga and hatha yoga. A private lesson for one to five students at a hotel is 175 euros ($241) an hour. The hourly rate for a studio session for one to five students is 125 euros ($172).
— Jennifer Weil
Big Apple Yoga
20 Rue Dussoubs, 75002
For bookings contact email@example.com
PARIS STYLE ON SHOW: There is no better time than fashion week to show off the life of a very early fashionista, Alice Allium. A saleswoman at Chéruit, the former fashion house on Place Vendôme, her wardrobe is on display in all its finery at the Carnavalet museum. Here, various aspects of the French capital’s fashion world from the Belle Époque to the Thirties are represented through paintings, the clothes and accessories lent by the Palais Galliera, plus documents and notebooks from the Paris archives.
The work of another Paris lover, Hungarian photographer Brassaï, is on view at the Hôtel de Ville and focuses on the multiple facets of the City of Light through its beautifully captured characters and landscapes.
Also on the photo front, there is a Henri Cartier-Bresson retrospective at the Pompidou. The first in Europe since the death of the iconic French photographer in 2004, it spans 70 years of his unique vision through pictures as well as paintings, drawings and film.
Meanwhile, Robert Adams himself helped create an overview of his work that focuses on the American West, documentary-style, including highlights from 21 series about the links between man and nature.
Bringing color to winter’s gloom is the Musée Marmottan Monet, which celebrates its 80th anniversary with 100 never-seen-before works of Impressionist painters that come exclusively from private collections.
The Espace Louis Vuitton showcases conceptual creations of contemporary artists in “Astralis,” which explores the frontier between the visible and invisible, examining celestial and unfathomable environments.
A similar surreal dimension is emphasized at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie through 40 photographs by David Lynch created especially for the show that taps into the filmmaker’s imaginary world.
Alex Katz has forged a style based on provocatively flat surfaces and vivacious colors, with their point being (in his words): “To get into the immediate present.” The painter’s ability to capture a moment at the speed of a camera click has made him among the most astute observers of American East Coast upper society. About 100 of Katz’s works are on display at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac’s space in Pantin, a northeast Paris suburb.
— Anne-Aymone Gheerbrant, with contributions from Paulina Szmydke
“The Novel of a Wardrobe — The Chic of a Parisian From the Belle Époque to the 30s,” through March 16
Musée Carnavalet Histoire de Paris, 23 Rue de Sévigné, 75003
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
“Brassaï — For the Love of Paris,” through March 29
Hôtel de Ville, 5 Rue de Lobau, 75004
Open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
“Henri Cartier-Bresson,” through June 9
Centre Pompidou, Place Georges Pompidou, 75004
Open Wednesday to Monday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
“Robert Adams — The Place We Live,” through May 18
Jeu de Paume, 1 Place de la Concorde, 75008
Open Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., and Tuesday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
“Impressionist Works From Private Collections — 100 Masterpieces,” through July 6
Musée Marmottan Monet, 2 Rue Louis Boilly, 75016
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday until 8 p.m.
“Astralis,” through May 11
Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, 60 Rue de Bassano, 75008
Open Monday to Saturday, 12-7 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
“David Lynch — Small Stories,” through March 16
Maison Européenne de la Photographie, 5-7 Rue de Fourcy, 75004
Open Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“Alex Katz — 45 Years of Portraits — 1964-2014,” March 2 through July 12
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, 69 Avenue du Général Leclerc, 93500 Pantin
Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.