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CHEERS
French designer Olivier Gagnère just overhauled the 15 cent 15, the lounge bar at the Hôtel Marignan Champs-Elysées, with striped velvet, large chandeliers and subdued lighting. The lounge is like an extension of the adjoining Ducasse Spoon and Wine restaurant and is headed by young chef Stephane Colé, while bartender Jérôme Bréard serves cocktails until 1 a.m. Colé’s lunch menu offers options like a tandoori chicken club sandwich or a simple endive salad with nuts as well as light desserts. Tapas reign at night.
15 cent 15: 12 Rue de Marignan, 75008; 331-40-76-34-56

RESURRECTING FATH
Eric Tibusch, who cut his teeth with Jean Paul Gaultier, hopes there’s still gas left in the house of Jacques Fath. The house has had moderate fortunes since the death of its founder in the Fifties but, last year, Decitex — a French manufacturer that makes clothes under license for Azzaro, Adam Jones and Carven — purchased the Fath license for 10 years. Tibusch, 35, debuted his own couture collection last July and was tapped by Decitex in September. Tibusch’s first designs for the house will be unveiled to buyers in a showroom presentation during the couture. The designer said the first pieces concentrate on daywear and that more evening items would be shown to buyers in March. “I was very inspired by Fath himself,” said Tibusch. “He had a remarkable way of cutting. The feeling is very French overall and very upscale with a lot of details in the pieces.”

Tibusch said he planned to show his Fath collection in a runway presentation in July. Meanwhile, he is developing his own label and will show his first ready-to-wear collection alongside his own couture line, which he plans to present Jan. 23.

VINTAGE VETERAN
Delphine Sztarkman, a French stylist, is bringing a bit of pizzazz to the Paris vintage retailing scene with her new boutique Sztark.Vintage. The store features an eclectic mix from the likes of Paul Poiret to Thierry Mugler, with a bit of archival Jean Paul Gaultier and Lanvin thrown in for good measure. “I’ve been collecting clothes since I was 14,” said Sztarkman, who has a vintage lace and button “bar” where customers can find the wares to spice up their old confections. “If I feel a dress is a little bland, I’ll add a bit of trimming or change the buttons.”
Sztark.Vintage, 4 bis rue d’Uzès, 75002; 331-42-36-87-97

This story first appeared in the January 18, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

VUITTON ON THE WAVES
You could be forgiven if you mistook some of the sailing images on display at the Espace Louis Vuitton gallery here for fashion layouts. Consider a grainy, black-and-white Frank Beken photo of skipper Charles Nicholson, circa 1934, racing the America’s Cup in rough waters at more than 25 knots, natty and unruffled in a blazer, tie and cuffed linen trousers. Then there’s an Edwin Levick shot of a young crew from the same era relaxing below deck after a race, all dressed in white tank tops and pants, groomed and handsome as Bruce Weber models.

For its fourth exhibition at the sprawling, permanent gallery atop its flagship boutique on the Champs-Elysées here, Vuitton chose to tell the 156-year history of the America’s Cup and Louis Vuitton Cup through artistic images that provoke a variety of emotions, whether awe (at artfully billowed sails), puzzlement (at an abstract close-up of a 24-ton keel) or bemusement (at the sight of a British boat decked out with a fireplace, hunting trophies, Persian carpets and animal skins). Bruno Troublé, curator of the exhibition, noted that the latter boat, owing to its lavish interior, was so heavy that it didn’t stand a chance in the race.

Troublé, who is also the spokesman for the Louis Vuitton Cup, uncovered many never-before-seen photos, including a stash of Levick treasures that were only recently uncovered, and added some arresting, waterlogged video works by artists Ange Leccia and Jean-François Julian.

Fashion folk will surely make a beeline for a series of color-drenched 1962 images of Jackie and John F. Kennedy watching a regatta or relaxing on deck, with a teenage John Kerry in view in some. Troublé chose to broadcast excerpts of a Kennedy speech about the sea and sailing that he considers among the most poignant ever voiced. “All of us have, in our veins, the exact percentage of salt that exists in the ocean, and therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears,” the late American president said.

Exertion is plain in many of the older racing images, one showing 42 crew members straining to hoist a sail weighing some 1,800 pounds. The exhibition certainly glorifies the sea and sailing, in fury and calm, the water resembling molten lead in some photos; synthetic sails as forbidding as swords in another. Titled “Wind and Sails,” the show runs through April 16, the date the Louis Vuitton Cup races kick off in Valencia, Spain, with the America’s Cup following from June 23.

PEEPING TOM
One of the hottest art exhibits this month is American artist Tom Sachs’ show at Paris’ Thaddaeus Ropac gallery, in the Marais. Sachs, who has explored fashion in some of his work, is taking an equally prickly subject by the horns this time: His new sculptures and drawings explore the relationship between survival and destruction. The show runs until Feb. 24.
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, 7 rue Debelleyme, 75003; 331-42-72-99-00

SMALL STUFF
With its 24 rooms located on a quiet street in the 5th arrondissement, the Five Hotel is the smallest designer hotel to recently open in Paris. The petite rooms have a sensual atmosphere with fiberoptic, color-change lighting integrated into the bedroom ceilings and bathroom tiles and Dyptique essential oils on display. Meanwhile, Isabelle Emmerique’s enamel artwork contributes to the refined design ambiance. A standard room goes for 150 euros, or $194, while the suite with private Jacuzzi and patio costs 270 euros, or $349.
Five Hotel: 3 Rue Flatters, 75005; 331-43-31-74-21

DOLL FACE
Known for her articulated doll pendants, jewelry designer Servane Gaxotte recently opened her first boutique in Saint Germain. The 200-square-foot space features baroque wall fixtures from which dangle Gaxotte’s artisanal creations. The store also offers flea-market bric-a-brac and complementary art installations. One quirky decoration by French artist Kalou, for example, depicts a giant dolly made from nails.
Servane Gaxotte, 55 rue des St Peres, 75006; 331-42-84-39-93

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