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FASHION CULTURE: Lovers of fashion exhibitions have plenty of options during Paris Fashion Week.

It might be ready-to-wear season, but “Paris Haute Couture” will take center stage starting March 2. The exhibition, held at the Hôtel de Ville,  brings together approximately 100 haute couture dresses from the collections of the fashion museum Musée Galliera, which is set to reopen after renovation in September.

Swarovski, which has historically worked with many couture designers, is supporting the exhibition.

Another off-site exhibition held by the Musée Galliera is  “Mannequin — le Corps de la Mode” (or “Model — the Body of Fashion” in English). The show, staged at Les Docks, the design and cultural center on the eastern fringes of Paris, explores the role of models over time through nearly 120 images of fashion mannequins, from videos and magazines, plus wax effigies.

Originally created for the Rencontres d’Arles 2012 summer photography festival, the exhibition includes the work of photographers Horst P. Horst, Erwin Blumenfeld, Henry Clarke, Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Nick Knight, Corinne Day and Juergen Teller.

Meanwhile, the show “Arrrgh! Monstres de Mode”  (“Arrrgh! Monsters of Fashion”) at the Gaîté Lyrique was inspired by the transformative nature of contemporary fashion and animated characters in the digital age. It features more than 80 fashion looks and installations by 55 artists and designers, who were chosen for their experimentation with atypical forms and extreme volumes. These include Alexander McQueen, Walter Van Beirendonck, Maison Martin Margiela, Issey Miyake and Dai Fujiwara.

On the retail scene, Galeries Lafayette will hold Danish designer Henrik Vibskov’s first solo exhibition in Paris, from Feb. 27 to May 4. That will run in the Galerie des Galeries exhibition space inside the Paris department store. And the BHV is hosting a show for designer Sakina M’Sa, called “Eco-Système de la Mode” (“Fashion Ecosystem”).

“Paris Haute Couture,” from March 2 to July 6.
Hôtel de Ville, Salle Saint-Jean, 5 Rue Lobau, 75004
Tel.: +33-1-42-76-51-53
Open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Free.

“Mannequin — le Corps de la Mode,” through May 19.
Les Docks, Cité de la Mode et du Design, 34 Quai d’Austerlitz, 75013
Tel.: +33-1-76-77-25-30
Open Tuesday-Sunday, 2 p.m.-6 p.m.

“Arrrgh! Monstres de Mode,” through April 7.
La Gaîté Lyrique, 3 bis Rue Papin, 75003
Tel.: +33-1-53-01-52-00
Open Tuesday-Sunday, 2 p.m.-8 p.m.

— Laure Guilbault


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CRUNCH TIME: Sales of French women’s ready-to-wear again receded in 2012 as the economy ground to a halt, encouraging consumers to cut their overall clothing budgets and seek out more bargains, the French Federation of Women’s Ready-to-Wear reported.

Sales totaled 11.03 billion euros, or $14.18 billion, in 2012, down 2.8 percent versus 2011. Discounted items accounted for a record 37.9 percent of total sales, up 390 basis points from the previous year.

“We are still in a context of economic crisis on the French market,” said François-Marie Grau, general secretary of the federation. “Buying at a discount has become the norm.”

The French woman’s average clothing budget was 397 euros, or $510, in 2012, down from 410 euros, or $571, in 2011 and 421 euros, or $559, in 2010. The biggest spenders were women age  13 to 24, with an annual budget of 521 euros ($670), and those in the 55 to 64 age group, who spent on average 513 euros ($660).

Despite the glum domestic outlook, exports thrived as foreigners snapped up outfits with the “French touch.” Overseas sales rose 3.4 percent in 2012, and Greater China overtook the U.S. for the first time as the country’s top export destination, with China and Hong Kong jointly accounting for 9.4 percent of exports.

The federation will accompany some 50 brands, including Bérénice, Zappa, Gerbe, Didier Parakian and René Derhy, to scope out new customers at the Chic Clothing and Accessories Trade Fair in Beijing in March.

— Joelle Diderich

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SHOWTIME: For its 20th exhibition, the Louis Vuitton Cultural Space chose to celebrate an overlooked artistic movement — mail art. Its show “Correspondences” culls work by 10 artists who used the post as an artistic medium. These include Ray Johnson, Clarisse Hahn and Guillaume Leblon.

Irish designer Eileen Gray is featured at the Pompidou Center through a display in six rooms that include paintings, photography and contents of her portfolio, such as sketches and architectural plans. Meanwhile, on the other side of Paris, at the Palais de Chaillot, Marcel Breuer, the architect behind New York’s Whitney museum and father of the Wassily chair, has a retrospective.

Two exhibitions of South American artists’ work focus on kinetic art. At the Pompidou Center, Jesús Rafael Soto’s serial paintings and pieces made of Plexiglas and metal threads are on display in a show highlighting his ties to abstract masters such as Kazimir Malevich and Yves Klein.

At the Palais de Tokyo, Julio Le Parc holds his first major exhibition in France. The Argentine artist’s pieces include paintings, mobiles and light installations dating from 1959 to today.

Another master of illusion, Liu Bolin, presents his latest 10 photo-performances as part of his iconic series “Hiding in the City” at the Paris-Beijing gallery.

On a more classical note, the European House of Photography is presenting a retrospective about New York photographer Joel Meyerowitz. Juxtaposing his first black-and-white images and series of the World Trade Center ruins, it illustrates the development of color photography.

Out of the magazines and onto the walls, “Inez & Vinoodh” offers an intimate view of the photographers’ creations, including the duo’s new flower series, at the Gagosian Gallery.

Paintings by Marjane Satrapi, the film director and novelist, are on display at the Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont. Her 21 portraits of women reveal influences of Henri Matisse, Balthus and Piet Mondrian.

A little punk goes a long way. “Linder — Femme/Objet” includes 200 works spanning four decades by the provocative British artist at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. These include collages made of magazines and her dance and musical performances.

At the Musée du Luxembourg an exhibition on Marc Chagall situates his paintings in the context of the two world wars and focuses on art as an escape.

“Correspondences,” through May 5.
Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, 60 Rue de Bassano, 75008
Tel.: +33-1-53-57-52-03
Open Monday-Saturday, Noon-7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

“Eileen Gray,” through May 20.
Centre Pompidou, Place Georges Pompidou, 75004
Tel.: +33-1-44-78-12-33
Open Wednesday-Monday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

“Marcel Breuer (1902-1981) – Design & Architecture,” through July 17.
Cité de l’Architecture & du Patrimoine. Palais de Chaillot, 1 Place du Trocadéro, 75116
Tel. : +33-1-58-51-52-00
Open Wednesday-Monday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

“Soto,” through May 20.
Centre Pompidou, Place Georges Pompidou, 75004
Tel.: +33-1-44-78-12-33
Open Wednesday-Monday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

“Julio Le Parc,” through May 13.
Palais de Tokyo, 13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116
Tel.: +33-1-81-97-35-88
Open Wednesday-Monday, Noon-Midnight

“Liu Bolin,” through March 9.
Galerie Paris-Beijing, 54 Rue du Vertbois, 75003
Tel.: +33-1-42-74-32-36
Open Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

“Joel Meyerowitz — A Retrospective,” through April 7.
Maison Européenne de la Photographie, 5-7 Rue de Fourcy, 75004
Tel.: +33-1-44-78-75-00
Open Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

“Inez & Vinoodh: Photographs,” through March 9.
Gagosian Gallery, 4 Rue de Ponthieu, 75008
Tel.: +33-1-75-00-05-92
Open Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

“Marjane Satrapi — Paintings,” through March 23.
Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, 38 Avenue Matignon, 75008
Tel.: +33-1-42-89-89-00
Open Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

“Linder ­— Femme/Objet,” through April 21.
Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 11 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116
Tel.: +33-1-53-67-40-00
Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday ,10 a.m.-10 p.m.

“Chagall — Between War and Peace,” through July 21.
Musée du Luxembourg, 19 Rue de Vaugirard, 75006
Tel.: +33-1-40-13-62-00
Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Monday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

— Anne-Aymone Gheerbrant

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NUMBERS GAME: After Berlin and London, Adidas has landed in Paris with a concept store and events space showcasing its myriad lines.

Tagged onto the sportswear maker’s sales showroom, the 750-square-foot raw industrial space has been dubbed N°42, after its address: 42 Rue de Sévigné, in the French capital’s historic Marais district. (In a similar vein, the Berlin store is known as N°74 and London as N°6.)

Open since Feb. 1, N°42 is designed as a flexible retail, exhibition and events space. It sells shoes, clothes and accessories from Adidas lines including Originals, ObyO, Y-3, SLVR, Originals x Opening Ceremony, as well as collections designed by Stella McCartney and Jeremy Scott.

42 Rue de Sévigné, 75003
Tel.: +33-1-44-61-78-11
Open Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

— Joelle Diderich

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WHITEOUT: Fans of the Space Age aesthetic of André Courrèges will be able to indulge in a futuristic pause at the Café Blanc this season. The restaurant, located next to the brand’s flagship in Paris, is set to reopen on Feb. 25 after a renovation.

The 650-square-foot eaterie, which extends from the ground floor to the basement, is decorated in signature white and Plexiglas, with touches of sycamore to add warmth. From breakfast until teatime, it will serve dishes created by French chef Alain Ducasse’s team, including the house specialty, “gâteau Nuage” (or “cloud cake”).

Café Blanc
40 Rue François 1er, 75008
Tel.: +33-1-53-67-30-13.
Open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

— Joelle Diderich


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AUSTRALIAN CONNECTION: There’s a distinct Down Under trend among fashionable Paris eateries right now.


Among recent arrivals is Tuck Shop, a canteen with a retro-cool vibe run by sisters Anna and Stella Rice and Purple assistant Rain Laurent. The trio has also handled catering for Damir Doma for the past several seasons. In this pocket-size coffee shop, they serve generous vegetarian and vegan fare, such as homemade soups, salads, sandwiches and cakes.

In just over two years in Paris, self-taught Australian chef James Henry made a name for himself with his trendy tapas-style dishes at the Fifties-era zinc bar Au Passage in the 11th arrondissement. (His disheveled good looks didn’t hurt, either.) Last month, Henry struck out on his own with Bones, a distinctly downtown-style bar and restaurant with a stripped-down aesthetic (hence its name).

His 40-euro ($53) dinner menu has already made this one of the buzziest tables of the new year. Recent dishes include fennel with horseradish and homemade yogurt, scallops with endives and pears, and Kintoa pork with salsify. The bread, like the yogurt, is homemade, and the wine list favors natural vintages. Reservations are hard to come by, but the bar serves tapas-style dishes on a first-come, first-serve basis until midnight — unusual for Paris.

Tuck Shop
13 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010
Tel.: +33-9-80-72-95-40
Open Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Lunch menu and brunch, 10 euros, or $13.30, per person.

43 Rue Godefroy Cavaignac, 75011
Tel.: +33-9-80-75-32-08
Open Monday-Saturday, dinner only, 7:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

— Tina Isaac

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BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY: Quentin Tarantino fans will immediately track where Le Titty Twister got its name, and it’s worth noting that this is no strip joint, though dancers from the neighboring Lido have been known to hop up onto the bar.

The latest concept from the impresario behind the Man Ray, this loft-like club riffs on the louche air of a Fifties-era saloon, housing a smoking room with a billiard table and pinball machines, a dedicated shot bar and vintage pieces like an old New York subway turnstile. The house style is pop-rock with attitude: One neon sign reads “too weird to live, too rare to die.”

While there is no door policy, director Fabrice Alan notes that “artistic style, a sense of theater and good energy” are key to joining the beautiful crowd inside.

There’s a whole different New York state of mind in play at the Belmont, with its airy, industrial-meets-flea market feel, custom-made banquettes and unconventional (for Paris) vibe.

Helmed by Alfred Bernardin, the man behind the Café Renoma’s revival, the Belmont occupies what was once the vast Christian Audigier showroom and specializes in a multiculti menu that swings from sliders and cheesecake to tapas, burratas, woks and back again. But it has already caught on for its 20-euro ($27) R&B brunch on weekends; 44 house cocktails starting at 10 euros ($13), and a half-price happy hour that starts at 6 p.m.

Le Titty Twister
5 Rue de Berri, 75008
Tel.: +33-1-45-62-50-23
Open Wednesday-Saturday, 10 p.m.-5 a.m.

86 Rue Réaumur, 75002
Tel.: +33-1-40-41-90-90
Open daily 9 a.m.-2 a.m.; closed Sunday evenings.

— Tina Isaac


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FASHION FRIENDS: Anaïs Lafarge, Guillaume Steinmetz and Romain Joste, three of the founders of the online magazine De Jeunes Gens Modernes, have just stepped into the real world of retail. Located in the Upper Marais, The Broken Arm takes its name from Marcel Duchamp, explained Steinmetz, who summed up the store’s philosophy as “a shop in the provinces, in the noblest sense,” meaning a place that invites visitors to linger, as if in a friend’s home.

The boutique is anchored by a savvy mix of women’s and men’s fashions, with relative newcomers Cédric Charlier, Carven and Jacquemus keeping company with 3.1 Phillip Lim, Marni, Raf Simons, Kenzo and the Nike X Undercover collaboration.

Accessories include leather goods by Isaac Reina and jewelry by Aurélie Biederman. Downstairs, there’s a selection of CDs and books both old and new — all single copies — that rotates, depending on the owners’ moods and finds.

On the ground floor, a bright corner coffee shop sells salads, soups and sandwiches at lunchtime. Homemade desserts are by the popular Rachel’s Cakes. Other flourishes include house fragrances by model-turned-perfumer Barnabe Fillion (not yet for sale), and soon to come are bouquets by the sought-after Belgian florist Thierry Boutemy.

The Broken Arm
12 Rue Perée, 75003
Tel.: +33-1-44-61-53-60
Open Monday, 2 p.m.-7 p.m.; Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Café open Monday, 2 p.m.-6 p.m.; Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

— Tina Isaac

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LITTLE NELL: With the recent opening of the five-star Hôtel de Nell, leading architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte has signed his first hotel in the French capital.

Located on a quiet street between the Folies Bergère and Richelieu Drouot, this 33-room property is the third in the fledgling group Charm & More (owner of the Benkirai in St. Tropez). Its design is an ode to “relaxed luxury,” with pure lines, an ecru palette and plush materials. Japanese baths are carved from a single block of marble and fitted with myrtle wood seats.

Wilmotte also designed the Fifties-inflected suspension lighting and much of the furniture. Rooms look onto the 19th-century church of Saint Eugène and Saint Cécile (where Jules Verne was married) or the Paris conservatory.

Other features include a front door in elaborate wrought iron, a “cellar-library” off the entrance, a discreet bar-lounge just beyond the desk and a third restaurant by much-admired chef Bruno Doucet. Like its siblings, La Régalade Conservatoire serves seasonal “haute cuisine at bistro prices,” notably in a three-course, 35-euro ($47) menu.

Hôtel de Nell
7-9 Rue du Conservatoire, 75009
Tel.: +33-1-44-83-83-60
Double rooms from 350 euros, or $468.
La Régalade Conservatoire bistro is open noon-2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.-10:30 p.m., and 11:30 p.m. on weekends. Buffet breakfast open to non-resident guests. Closed Sunday and Saturday at noon.

Reservations recommended.

— Tina Isaac

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FASHION SCENE: Parisian hipsters have a new spot: Beaucoup. Located in the upper Marais, a stone’s throw from hip cocktail bar and taqueria Candelaria and concept store Merci. Its founders, Julien Fouin, 42, and Ludovic Dardenay, 36, also behind Glou and Jaja restaurants, wanted to pay homage to the concept store: “Merci beaucoup!” Fouin says with a smile.

The restaurant was also named Beaucoup (meaning “a lot”) to underline its size: the 2,700-square-foot restaurant is airy and bright with big windows.

“We were very inspired by the restaurant Roka in London and spots we like in Berlin,” Fouin explained.

Along a long brass counter, diners sip cocktails and are served tapas. It’s also possible to eat along communal tables in light-colored wood or around a grill while watching the chef at work.

Beaucoup’s menu offers plenty of options, including marinated gambas with cumbawa and coconut milk, bass with fennel and gorgonzola ravioli. For dessert, there’s crumble or pavlova with a meringue base. Dinner comes to around 52 euros ($69).

Upstairs is a little-known cocktail bar-speakeasy, called Le Démon (“Devil”), which opens at 8 p.m.

7 Rue Froissart, 75003
Tel.: +33-1-42-77-38-47
Open for lunch Monday-Saturday noon-2:30 p.m.; Sunday noon-4 p.m. Cocktails and tapas start at 7 p.m. and dinner begins at 8 p.m.

— Laure Guilbault

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LOCAL FLAVOR: Mirroring the French government’s campaign to promote merchandise “made in France,” a number of boutiques in Paris are celebrating homegrown design.

Sept Cinq, named after the city’s postal code, is a concept store in the heart of the 9th arrondissement founded by Audrey Gallier and Lorna Moquet, offering a blend of local culture and fashion. In the apartment-like space, which doubles as a tea room, visitors can browse books and magazines, indulge in a freshly baked cookie and pick up accessories by brands including Mysuelly, Mademoiselle S. and Mimilamour. The store holds events each month, such as a beer tasting with local microbrewery Brasserie de la Goutte d’Or and book signings.

Across town, Vanessa Pinoncely has opened a showroom-store for her jewelry line Dear Charlotte. A former market editor at Vogue Paris, where she was in charge of jewelry and watches, Pinoncely draws inspiration from everything from an ornate doorknob to the baubles worn by 17th century French nobility.

Sept Cinq
54 Rue Notre Dame de Lorette, 75009
Tel.: +33-9-83-55-05-95
Open Tuesday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

Dear Charlotte
2nd floor left, 28 Rue Boissy d’Anglas, 75008
Tel.: +33-1-77-18-45-20; Mob.: +33-6-14-66-85-02
Open Wednesday-Friday, 2-7 p.m., or by appointment.

— Nicole Omotunde

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PAMPERING PAUSE: For those after some rest and relaxation during the frenzy of fashion week, Paris’ Shangri-La Hotel has recently opened a spa. The 5,555-square-foot space, crafted by interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, includes a 49-foot-by-20-foot celadon blue-tiled swimming pool with an outdoor terrace. There are also two beauty treatment rooms, where Carita products are used and that boast private showers and hammams, plus a fitness area.

Available to non-hotel guests are treatments, which include a 75-minute anti-wrinkle facial for 175 euros ($234), and a 40-minute relaxing body treatment with essential oils for 90 euros ($120). There are also packages, like a 40-minute facial or body treatment with access to health club facilities for 250 euros ($334); a day package including a 75-minute facial treatment and 75-minute body treatment with access to the health club for 450 euros ($601), and a day package including a 75-minute facial treatment, 75-minute body treatment, manicure and pedicure and access to the health club for 600 euros ($801).

Shangri-La Hotel
10 Avenue d’Iéna, 75116
Tel. for reservations: +33-1-53-67-19-78 or
Spa open daily 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

— Jennifer Weil

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FACE TIME: As part of its ongoing commitment to combating violence against women, the PPR Foundation for Women’s Dignity and Rights is sponsoring an exhibition of portraits of French actresses by photographer Carole Mathieu Castelli to mark International Women’s Day on March 8.

The “À travers Elles” project features 20 celebrities — including Arielle Dombasle, Victoria Abril, Cécile Cassel and Rachida Brakni — giving their interpretation of emotions felt by victims of domestic violence, ranging from fear and loneliness to dignity and hope.

The images will be on show at the Fnac store on Avenue des Ternes in Paris from March 1 to April 15, before touring other branches of the books, music and home electronics retailer.

Signed and numbered prints of the portraits will be auctioned off at the official opening of the exhibition on March 7, with proceeds going to France’s National Federation of Women’s Solidarity.

26-30 Avenue des Ternes, 75017
Tel.: Phone:+33-825-02-00-20
Open daily 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Thursday until 9 p.m. Closed Sunday.


— Joelle Diderich

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