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ART ATTACK: Paris men’s fashion week is all about creation. That was the message at the cocktail Thursday night in Paris hosted by the Chambre Syndicale de la Mode Masculine, men’s fashion’s governing body, that’s presided over by Sidney Toledano at the Picasso Museum.

As speculation swirled about the appointment of Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri as the seventh designer at Christian Dior, Toledano, who is chief executive officer of Dior, smiled and said: “Shall we talk about Picasso.” The museum reopened two years ago, after a renovation that more than doubled its size. “It has something magic that attracts people. It’s in the stones,” the executive mused.

Guests were given a private tour of the museum, including its current “Picasso. Sculptures” exhibition. It was followed by a flamenco performance in the courtyard of the Hôtel de Salé on the summery night.

“We’re in a cultural institution to show the link between fashion and culture,” added Pascal Morand, executive president of the Fédération Française de la Couture, du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode — French fashion’s governing body.

Guests included honorary president of the French federation Didier Grumbach; Guillaume de Seynes, Hermès’ executive who has recently been elected as chairman of France’s luxury trade association Comité Colbert; Jean-Marc Loubier, chairman at Sonia Rykiel and president and chief executive officer of First Heritage Brands; as well as designers such as Kris Van Assche, David Koma, Jean-Claude Jitrois, Glenn Martens, Martine Sitbon, Christine Phung, Aurélien Arbet and Jérémie Egry.

Toledano noted the increased number of applications from labels for Paris men’s week.

Arbet and Egry, half of the Etudes Studio collective that shows in the Paris calendar, agreed. “It’s our fifth show in Paris. We have been showing in Paris for two years. There’s definitely more people and more attention. We see a real interest for men’s wear,” said Egry, whose show is set for Saturday. “The collection is about traveling and unplugging,” Arbet hinted.

Nathalie Dufour, founder of the ANDAM fashion prize, was fresh from the show of Pigalle, the 2015 award winner. “It was superb, like small dolls, a lot of pastel colors.” The ANDAM fashion award 2016 ceremony is set for July 1.

Phung is preparing for her first show as director of creation at French fashion label Leonard, which is set for October 3. In addition, she has a capsule collection of four bags in collaboration with Galeries Lafayette in the works, which will be under her name and set for release around the holiday period, plus a collaboration with eyewear designer Lucas de Staël, who’s the grandson of the painter Nicolas de Staël.

A stone’s throw from the museum, Tom Greyhound hosted a cocktail with Italian emerging fashion label Sunnei to celebrate the new brand’s  pop-up shop, its first in France, on the ground floor of the concept store.

Meanwhile, further down in the Marais, on Rue Sainte-Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie, Olympia Le-Tan was among guests who turned out for the launch of the Utopia magazine, published by the Galeries Lafayette Foundation and designed by Misha Hollenbach and Shauna Toohey of the Australian lifestyle label Perks and Mini. The publication is a large format, chockablock with photos. The limited edition of 1,000 copies will be given away in bookstores. “It’s versions of utopia. It’s about sharing positive messages: joy, celebration,” said Hollenbach, who relocated to Paris from Australia a few months ago. “Paris is a good base for life. Good business happens if there’s good life.”

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