MUCHO MOSCHINO: Moschino is finally planting its roots in the City of Light. The Italian fashion house, marking its 20th anniversary this year, plans to open a 3,000-square-foot flagship at 32 Rue de Grenelle on March 6. Miu Miu, Martin Sitbon and Christian Louboutin are nearby tenants on the street. Moschino will celebrate the opening with a cocktail party at the shop. Among those expected to attend are French actresses Isabelle Adjani, Emmanuelle Seignier and Emma de Caunes.
SKETCH PAD: The fashion world is full of characters. Just ask illustrator and former fashion editor Gladys Perint Palmer, who has assembled a who’s who of caricatures of designers, models, photographers, editors and assorted glitterati in her new book, “Fashion People,” published by Assouline. The colorful and character-revealing drawings are interspersed with hilarious anecdotes and biting commentary. Even the bodyguards aren’t spared. Originals of her work will be on display at Le Bon Marché department store through March 22.
THE COOKING CHANNEL: New York Fashion Week served up doughnuts at the tents; Paris is thinking Riesling wine and sauerkraut. This season, the organizer of Paris Fashion Week is importing chefs from Alsace to serve up regional delicacies at Le Carrousel du Louvre, the site of many of the runway shows. Chambre Syndicale president Didier Grumbach said he chose Alsace because of its strong identity and its link to the fabric industry. “A chef is as much a craftsman as a designer,” offered Olivier de Richoufftz, the director of the Alsace tourism office. He added that many fashion designers, including Stéphane Plassier and Thierry Mugler, were born in Alsace and found fashion inspiration in the region.
HERE’S THE RUB: The recently reopened La Tremoille Hotel at 14 Rue de la Tremoille has made its debut on the spa scene with services that seem fit for the fashion flock. A 90-minute anti-jet lag massage and a 45-minute antistress back rub are among the treatments offered. The center also features a cardio-training room, sauna and two treatment cabins. Meanwhile, the Hotel Westminster at 13 Rue de la Paix recently inaugurated a fitness club featuring cardio-training and relaxation rooms, a sauna and a hammam. The treatment menu includes Californian, Swedish, Shiatsu, Thai and Chinese massages.
LADY’S NIGHT: Paris Fashion Week often coincides with cultural events and this season is no different. The city has declared Thursday through Sunday as International Women’s Days and organized scores of events around the city, from art exhibitions to concerts and conferences. But fashion will open the festivities, with Spanish designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada presenting her new collection at city hall on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
CRASH AND BURN: Art can be eerily prescient, which is the case with two exhibitions in Paris devoted to disasters — one long ago mounted, and the other organized and announced just before the space shuttle Columbia disaster last month. At the Cartier Foundation is “Unknown Quantity,” featuring the gravity-defying sculptures of crashed-airplane parts by Nancy Rubins and films by Peter Hutton depicting flooded and burning cities. The exhibition explores accidents as a side effect of progress and human invention. Meanwhile, the Thaddaeus Ropac gallery is showing Tom Sachs sculptures inspired by and exhibited with Andy Warhol’s “Disaster” series. Included are models of the Concorde, the DC-10 and the Challenger space shuttle, the sophisticated machinery executed in foam and assembled with glue and tape. Both exhibitions run to the end of the month.
STAR SYSTEM: Never mind that it’s been a slow season for trendy new Paris restaurants. Several of the old guard are stealing thunder, winning new stars in the 2003 Michelin red guide. Among the most acclaimed chefs, Philippe Legendre, from Le Cinq restaurant at the Four Seasons Georges V, racked up his third star in three years. “The reward of 20 years of work,” says Legendre. Among newcomers, Hélène Darroze earned her second star, while Jerôme Bodereau and Antoine Heerah received their first for Chamarré, which opened last April. A star can increase a restaurant’s business by 30 percent.
Le Cinq, 31 Avenue George V, 331 49 52 71 54.
Hélène Darroze, 4 Rue Assas, 331 42 22 00 11.
Chamarré, 13 Boulevard La-Tour-Maubourg,
331 47 05 50 18.
APPLE OF MY EYE: Surrealist hero Rene Magritte is the hot art ticket in Paris. The exhibition at the Jeu de Paume marks the artist’s first retrospective here in 23 years. Through its more than 100 paintings, collages, objects and photographs, it is meant to analyze how various Contemporary Art trends have been inspired by Magritte’s work. Also noteworthy is an exhibition of 24 paintings by Kazimir Malevitch. They track his evolution from his Impressionist phase through his supremacist period. There are also 50 graphic works on display at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 11 avenue du President Wilson.
RETAIL HANGOUT: You have to hunt to find the Ni Search boutique, nestled in a courtyard off a quiet street in Paris’ tony 16th arrondissement. But the owners — Antoine, who does not use a surname, and Sophie Renoma — reward clients by allowing them to hang out for hours. To wit: One of their sales assistants reads fortunes. And there is a pinball machine just in case anyone gets bored with the clothes. They also serve tea. The 2,000-square-foot concept store, which carries the Ni Search line that Renoma designs as well as lingerie, erotic toys, Corleone jeans, design objects and furniture, occupies what once was a wine warehouse. “The idea was to open something for girls in the neighborhood,” explained Antoine. “They have a lot of time on their hands and they like the idea of chilling while they shop.” The two-year-old Ni Search line is heavy on coats, which retail for about $500, and groovy shirts, costing around $150.
Ni Search: 18 Rue Mesnil, 75116 Paris, (0)1 44 05 38 34.
MAGIC CARPETS: Aubusson, a town in central France with a storied history for making tapestries, has woven a fashionable collaboration. Jean Paul Gaultier, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Jeremy Scott, Emanuel Ungaro, Vivienne Westwood and Sonia Rykiel were commissioned to create a design for its ateliers. The results will be shown in a weeklong exhibition starting March 4 at Paris’ Decorative Arts Museum, 105-107 Rue de Rivoli. Aubusson, famous for woven tapestries since the 17th century, worked for kings as well as artists like Watteau and Picasso.
HIP PARADE: The tony Rue de Bourgogne, just behind the National Assembly, is suddenly the place for the chicer-than-thou. Apart from Loulou de la Falaise, who last month opened her first shop there at No. 7, one finds furniture maker Thomas Boog at No. 52. The 600-square-foot space is a jewel box for Boog’s unusual furniture and art objects. Among its treasures are Chinese-inspired lamps and Baroque-style chandeliers made out of shells. “I’m known for the Baroque twist in my things,” said Boog. “But I’m moving in a new direction: more contemporary.”
Meanwhile, Jerome Faillant-Dumas, a veteran designer of fragrance and cosmetics packaging, in April will open a shop of “haute-couture” furniture and design objects. “It will be contemporary but the antithesis of industrial design.” It will be located at 41 Rue de Bourgogne and called L.O.V.E. Edition. And nearby, at 35 Rue de Bellechase, interior decorator Marie Pierre Saltiel and Florence Sonier, formerly with Sotheby’s auction house, have opened Nose, a furniture-cum-art gallery.