The fashion pack has descended on Paris. Here are some hot spots for before, between or after the shows.
ROOM SERVICE: The opening of the Park Hyatt on Rue de la Paix has had "tout Paris" buzzing. Located near the Ritz and Hotel Meurice, it is the first five-star hotel to open in Paris since 1927. Designed by the architect Ed Tuttle, the hotel boasts 188 rooms and 29 suites decorated in a contemporary style and priced from $580 to $4,000. The restaurant boasts a kitchen gallery, with the meal ticket ranging from $80 to $120 per person with wine.
Park Hyatt, 3 Rue de la Paix, (33) 1 58 71 12 34.
ARTY PARTY: Paris is living up to its reputation as a cultural capital this fall with a bevy of high-profile exhibitions. On the contemporary front, conceptual artist Matthew Barney will present his highly vaunted Cremaster Cycle at the Contemporary Art Museum, opening Oct. 10. Next door, the Palais de Tokyo contemporary art space will unveil an exhibition dedicated to sculptor Louise Bourgeois, opening Oct. 8. At the Grand Palais, a show juxtaposes works by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. And the Musée d’Orsay is running an exhibition illustrating the influence Velazquez exerted on Edouard Manet.
Meanwhile, Paris will host scores of contemporary art exhibitions and musical performances all night long on Oct. 5 in far-flung locations. Highlights include: artist Sophie Calle sleeping in a bed at the top of the Eiffel Tower, and Berline’s Chaos Computer Club using a tower at the Mitterrand Library as a giant digital screen. The "White Night" event is the initiative of Christophe Girard, deputy mayor of the city and director of fashion strategy at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
DINE BY NUMBERS: Say hello to 70, 20, 1728 and 6. No, it’s not a lottery result, but the names of Paris’ newest crop of restaurants. The 6 New York opened last June and is already packed with fashionistas munching on tomato salad and tender tuna in a sleek and modern décor. Moving up to 20, at 20 Rue de Bellechasse on the Left Bank is a long and lean neighborhood bistro that has welcomed the likes of Mick Jagger and Karl Lagerfeld. The 70, located in a soccer stadium, is for a sports-inclined media crowd. Meanwhile, 1728, named after the year the building was constructed, has become a new retro spot for tea and lunch off the Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Time will tell if these hot numbers will have the same staying power as the famous Moroccan spot 404, which is celebrating its 12th anniversary this year.Le 6 New York, 6 Avenue de New York, (33) 1 40 70 03 30.
Le 20, 20 Rue de Bellechasse, (33) 1 47 05 11 11.
Le 70, 24 Rue du Commandant Guilbaud, (33) 1 45 27 05 70.
1728, 8 Rue d’Anjou, (33) 1 40 17 04 77.
HOME STRETCH: DuPont has enlisted 12 designers to help promote its new Lycra Intelligent Couture product during Paris Fashion Week. Designers from Zac Posen and Hamish Morrow to Jean Paul Knott and Haider Ackermann have created garments using the new fabric that will be on display in an exhibition from Oct. 2-6 at L’Atelier Richelieu, 60 Rue de Richelieu, near the Louvre museum.
WINE TIME: It’s harvest time for grapes in France and there’s a bumper crop of wine-related stores in Paris, too. The 122-year-old Caves Legrand, located in the chic Galerie Vivienne, expanded its premises and added a restaurant, wine-tasting program and classes for budding wine connoisseurs. Meanwhile, a new concept in wine retailing dawned at Lavinia, 3-5 Boulevard de la Madeleine. Here, customers can choose from 6,000 wines from France and other countries, priced from $5 to $36,000. Also new is a Riedel store at 8 bis Rue Boissy d’Anglas, where one can find Austrian crystal wine glasses specially made to magnify the taste of wine. A sommelier aids in customer selections.
NATURALLY SPEAKING: Natural foods, labeled "bio" in France, are extremely popular, but not always available in the chicest surroundings. That’s all changed with R’Aliment, a bright, upscale canteen with an ultramodern, compact décor. The dinner menu boasts starters such as a fish flan with caviar, curry sauce, Jerusalem artichokes, snow peas and mesclun, while main courses include cocoa pasta with caramelized chicken and pistachios. Sandwiches and pastas are available for takeout, as are a wide variety of bio goods, including pastas, wines, teas and juices.
R’Aliment, 57 Rue Charlot, (33) 1 48 04 88 28.
SQUARING OFF: There’s a pastry war raging in Paris between stalwarts Ladurée and Lenotre and newcomer Pierre Herme. The latest weapon: square macaroons. The novelty was recently launched at Lenotre in a range of tangy fruit flavors. Meanwhile, Ladurée, which recently opened at 21 Rue Bonaparte, just introduced an almond "macarré" in its autumn collection. At press time, Herme was keeping his pastries in the round.
PLANET BEAUTY: At Venus & Mars, a veritable one-stop shop for beauty at 26-28 Avenue Marceau, there’s head-to-foot pampering in a groovy atmosphere. Five treatment rooms, including one for facials and another for hair care, are on the lower floor. And one flight up, there is a men’s salon and a women’s, plus the makeup studio and manicure area. A 75-minute facial goes for $71, while a 90-minute "energizing" massage is $98. Upstairs, the restaurant-tearoom serves breakfast and lunch. Also for sale on the second floor is a smattering of knit and printed clothing, leather accessories from such resources as Antik Batik, plus some books.
SHOP AND PLOP: Billed as the first day spa in a French department store, Le Spa Phytomer’s five treatment rooms for men and women are tucked away on the second floor of Galeries Lafayette Homme. Ingredients culled from the sea are used for the 90-minute antiage facial ($88) to the 75-minute slimming massage ($118). There’s also a 30-minute "after shopping" massage, plus special treatments for men.
Meanwhile, the Four Seasons Hotel George V recently opened its ritzy spa services, previously the reserve of guests, to anyone willing to shell out $295 for a two-hour hot-stone massage or five hours of pampering for $490.
Le Spa Phytomer, 99 Rue de Provence, (33) 1 44 63 04 88.
Four Seasons Hotel George V, 31 Avenue George V, (33) 49 52 72 10.
HERE’S THE BEEF: Christian Dior, a famous habitué of Boeuf Sur le Toit, is back — on the walls, at least. The restaurant, at 34 Rue de Colisee, is displaying the late couturier’s sketches from the Twenties to the Fifties, as well as photographs of the designer during the same period, most of them retrieved from the Dior archives. The exhibition runs through Jan. 3.
INITIATION RITES: Café des Inities has flawlessly managed to become a neighborhood canteen with a fashionable following, regularly welcoming the likes of Hedi Slimane. Owners François Bosquett and David Perlmutter teamed up with young French interior designer Adrien Gardere to create a Fifties-inspired ambiance. They serve hearty helpings of daily specials such as pork ragout with figs and pan-fried honey chicken salad. A full meal with wine averages about $30 a person.Café des Inities, 3 place des Deux Ecus, (33) 1 42 33 78 29.
l JE STOMP: France, land of smokers, isn’t famous for its fitness fads. But Club Med Gym has a booming way to stay fit. Called "Noise," it’s a traditional step class in which participants use mallets to bang on large drums on either side of the steps. The trick is to coordinate the steps with the arms and keep time with the soundtrack. The 40-minute workout to rhythmic beats aims to improve health, mood, and coordination. ClubMed Gym has a branch at Palais Royal and offers all-access day passes for $30.
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