ONLY HUMAN: Skidding into the Salons d’honneur of Paris City Hall on Tuesday night, Inès de La Fressange was unintentionally fashionably late to the Night of Distinctions IFHR 2016 event hosted by the International Federation for Human Rights. She arrived just as Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo was finishing her speech.
But de La Fressange had a good excuse. The perennial style maven, who designed a Petit Bateau capsule in aid of the IFHR and women’s rights — released in mid-November, with the marinière the first item to sell out — had just been to see the Chanel Métiers d’Art show at the Ritz. “Then I had a store opening of a good friend of mine, then I had to go home and see to the dog and kids, and try do something with my hair,” she sighed, zipping off to have her picture taken with Antoine de Caunes.
There were some solemn moments, with Hidalgo — who, along with several mayors from across Europe, on Saturday will head to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis — addressing Europe’s refugee crisis, and president of the jury, classical singer and humanitarian Barbara Hendricks performing a hauntingly beautiful acapella version of “Oh Freedom.”
But the night’s benefit dinner proved festive, with Tokyo Eat chef Thierry Bassard manning the stove. At the Petit Bateau table, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac said he’s due to travel to Korea for an art performance at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul. The designer will also be celebrating the official launch of a range of animated Stick’Art emoticons there for communication app LINE. “I’ve been designing for 50 years, but I always look to the future,” said de Castelbajac. “It’s for the whole of Asia. It’s going to be huge, it’s a new language.”
Jean de Loisy, president of the Palais de Tokyo, regaled fellow diners with his own quirky project, meanwhile. The French artist Abraham Poincheval, who in 2014 lived inside the hollowed-out carcass of a bear for two weeks at the Museum of Hunting and Nature in Paris, is headed to the Palais de Tokyo for February, said de Loisy, adding that, for his next performance, the artist will sit on a batch of hen’s eggs for 27 days. “I’m not sure how they will stay intact, but he’s got it all worked out. If you want to see a little chick hatch, come along,” laughed de Loisy, tucking into a chocolate egg-themed dessert by Bassard.