US overtakes France as best place to live

International Living has just published its annual Quality of Life Index for 2011. Topping the Index this year is the United States of America. In the influential publication’s 2011 Quality of Life index, last year’s winner France slipped to fourth place out of the 192 countries surveyed. It is the first time in five years … Continued

France’s Versailles palace to host luxury hotel

The Palace of Versailles is to transform one of its satellite buildings into a luxury hotel, paving the way for a series of French projects aimed at exploiting the economic potential of listed buildings while securing their renovation. The Hotel du Grand Controle is to be converted into a “luxury hotel,” Jean-Jacques Aillagon, president of … Continued

Picasso treasure trove surfaces in France

Hundreds of unknown Pablo Picasso works worth tens of millions of euros have surfaced in France in the hands of a 71-year-old retired electrician who says they were gifts from the master. Dating from the first third of the 20th century — considered Picasso’s most fertile period — the 271 pieces are valued by experts … Continued

French cuisine eyes UNESCO heritage spot

When it comes to meal time, the French do it differently. That is the argument being put to UNESCO as it decides this week whether French cuisine deserves a spot on its intangible heritage list. “The gastronomic meal of the French” is seen as a strong contender as the UN agency meets in Nairobi from … Continued

Saudi royalty buys Paris’s Crillon hotel

Paris’ world-famous luxury Crillon hotel has been sold to Saudi investors linked to the royal family for around 250 million euros ($446 million). US-based Starwood Capital is in the final stages of the sale which does not include a reportedly 100-million-euro programme needed to modernise one of the world’s oldest luxury hotels, according to the … Continued

Takashi Murakami at Versailles

Japanese artist Takashi Murakami‘s outlandish manga visions overwhelm the Chateau of Versailles, and not everyone is happy. Unbelievably, his metal, fibreglass and acrylic sculptures manage to dominate the vast chambers of Versailles, with their marbled walls, gold leaf capitals and celestial ceiling frescoes. But while French monarchists have denounced as “illegal” the exhibition, the artist … Continued

Protesters decry Murakami show at Versailles

A show of outlandish sculptures by a Japanese artist in the Chateau of Versailles near Paris has enraged traditionalists who say it dishonours France’s past. From September 14 to December 12, visitors to Versailles will see eye-grabbing multicoloured statues in silver, fibreglass and metal by Takashi Murakami alongside the chateau’s ornate murals and chandeliers. “The … Continued

Madonna on Roman Abramovich’s yacht

Madonna has borrowed Roman Abramovich’s brand new yacht “Luna” while filming W.E., the new Duke of WIndsor movie she’s directing in the South of France. The luxurious yacht provides convenient accommodation for Madonna as she films the movie’s beach scenes, London’s Daily Mail reports. With a swimming pool, sunbathing deck, gaming area and two helipads, … Continued

French president Sarkozy orders €176 million plane

French President Nicolas Sarkozy ‘s dream of having a presidential jet to rival Air Force One of the United States is about to come true. “Air Sarko One,” a $241-million Airbus A330-200, has made its first test flight in Bordeaux, southwestern France. Although not quite as big as the Boeing 747-200 that is Air Force … Continued

LVMH Chief Bernard Arnault Is France’s Richest Man

LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, the man behind some of the world’s top luxury labels, has been officially named France’s richest man. Arnault’s fortune is estimated at 22.7 billion euros, ($28.6 billion) following a 55% increase in his net worth weekly magazine Challenges reported. Arnault took over the top slot from Gerard Mulliez and family, the … Continued

The girls from the pearl at Chanel

A monumental lion, teeth bared and one front paw resting proprietorially on a giant pearl, held centre stage, its golden coat caught in the setting sun under the glass dome of the Grand Palais. Karl Lagerfeld is a past master at dreaming up attention-grabbing scenarios for his Chanel shows, and Tuesday night’s was no exception. … Continued

Louis Vuitton Revamps St. Tropez Store

Louis Vuitton unveiled its revamped luxury Saint-Tropez store on 18-June 2010 and launched an exclusive beach bag to celebrate. The store has been doubled in size with the integration of an adjoining space–a former house of pottery–on rue Georges Clemenceau. It features interiors inspired by classic Mediterranean glamour: wooden displays, stone floors and sunlight flooding … Continued

Karl Lagerfeld: Editor-in-Chief at Libération

Libération – the iconic left wing French newspaper – has invited Karl Lagerfeld to be editor-in-chief for the day. The entire issue bears his mark, from illustrations to comments, to special interviews of him, and an opinion page about the designer. His illustrations include a self-portrait for the cover of today’s edition, which is 14 … Continued

Second life for Lacroix creations

The exuberant creations of Christian Lacroix, who lost his prestigious house last year, are to get a second life as part of France’s national heritage. The French culture ministry said Tuesday that the owners of the label had confirmed a donation of 11 outfits for the country’s Decorative Arts Museum. A further 3,000 haute couture … Continued

Perfume flacon sells at auction for €45,600

An engraved Guerlain bottle from 1870 fetched the record sum of €45,600 at an auction in the city of Arcachon, in the southwest of France. The flacon, engraved with the house’s original address, Rue de la Paix, was initially expected to fetch €20,000 to €30,000. Organized by Arcachon auction house Toledano, the sale took place … Continued

Remember Now by Karl Lagerfeld – Trailer

Karl Lagerfeld has released a teaser for the short film “Remember Now,” which has been filmed for the label’s Cruise Collection show in Saint Tropez, May 11. “Remember Now” was also shot in the glamorous town in the south of France, where fashion aficionados from around the world will come together for one of the … Continued

Paris is the most expensive city in the world

Paris is the most expensive city to live in according to the latest survey from Economist Intelligence Unit, a sister company to The Economist. The survey assesses the cost of living by comparing housing, food, clothing, transport and utility bills and the like in 132 cities around the world. The study is aimed at helping … Continued

Lagerfeld Receives The Légion D’honneur

Karl Lagerfeld has has just been tapped to receive the Légion d’honneur, the highest decoration in France, on the eve of the latest Chanel fashion show. Lagerfeld was notified of the honor prior to the fashion show in Paris by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. A date for the official ceremony has yet to be set.

World’s biggest wine brand created in France

In the sun-drenched south of France, the world’s largest vineyard has launched a new, simplified brand called “Pays d’Oc”, creating the number one French wine export to compete against New World brands. Languedoc-Roussillon covers 35 percent (or 260,200 hectares) of all French vineyards, making it the biggest producer worldwide. As of the 2009 vintage, soon … Continued