CAFÉ SOCIETY: Vanessa Seward took over a retro bar on Boulevard Saint-Germain for the party celebrating the opening of her new store nearby.
Guests thronged the outdoor tables and the bar inside the Rouquet café, where servers handed out coupes of Champagne and small plates of cheese and ham. “This is not your typical neighborhood café. It’s all Fifties and it’s one of my favorite bars in Paris. I adore it,” Seward said as she greeted editors and friends.
Valérie Lemercier, Valérie Donzelli, Jean Touitou, Mathilde Meyer and Camille Bidault-Waddington were among those who dropped by. If not everyone looked familiar, it’s because Seward hangs with an eclectic crowd. “I have a lot of friends who are not in fashion,” she explained.
Her husband, Bertrand Burgalat, had set up a jukebox in the corner stacked with music from Seward’s fashion shows and a selection of singles from his personal collection — including treasures of Eighties kitsch such as Victoire de Castellane’s single “Pas d’hélices aux avions.”
“I’m afraid the record is going to jump because it doesn’t work very well,” the musician and producer said. “We wanted to have a change from DJs, so we put a mechanical piano in the store and a jukebox here.”
Seward said it was a dream come true to finally have a home on the Left Bank — her third Paris store. “We were waiting for the perfect location,” she said. “It’s very moving to see my name next to Sonia Rykiel.”