Tag Archives: Paris

Christie’s Auctions 108 Rare Michelin Guides

International auction house Christie’s is set to auction off 108 rare Michelin Guides on December 5 in Paris. The guides, some dating as far back as 1900, are set to attract collectors and perhaps food historians as they go under the hammer. The oldest of the lot (and all the guides will be sold as a single lot) was printed at the turn of the 20th century and was published with the intention of providing motorists with as much information as possible. The original guides included information on motoring services such as mechanics and gas stations as well as places to stay and eat.

One edition set to attract a lot of attention from collectors and history buffs is the rare 1939 Guide that was reprinted in 1943 by the American Army. The reprinted guide was used to help soldiers find their way around Normandy beaches after the Allied landings! That is a true story, as far as we can tell. Lovers of gastronomy will be more curious to take a closer look at the 1923 Guide. That marked the beginning of Michelin attributing stars to the establishments listed in its “Recommended Hotels and Restaurants” section.

Nearly a decade later, it developed into a ranking system with the introduction of two and three star categories before being finalized two years later. The rare collection will be up for auction as a single lot with an estimated value of $22,476 to $33,711. Before the collection goes under the hammer, it will be on public display at Christie’s Paris until December 4.

Kim Kardashian robbed of millions in jewelry

Kim Kardashian Robbed of Millions in Jewelry

Sometimes, bad things happen to famous people too, as social media megastar Kim Kardashian found when she was robbed at gunpoint of millions of dollars worth of jewelry Monday. The BBC and CNN have it that the gunmen posed as police, forced security at the reality star’s Paris residence (where she was staying for Paris Fashion Week) to lead them to her, robbed her, tied her up and fled the scene with a box full of $6 million in jewelry (according to the AP).

Love her or hate her, it appears she is unharmed and has already left Paris for New York, where rapper husband Kanye West interrupted his performance at the Meadows Music and Arts Festival when he was informed of the incident.

Having first come to public notice as the stylist of “It girl” and hotel chain heiress Paris Hilton, Kardashian quickly surpassed her old friend as the star of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and a notorious leaked sex tape with her former boyfriend, singer Ray J. Today, she is very much in control of her own image, as her 84 million Instagram followers can attest.

On Sunday alone, six carefully selected photos of Kardashian West in various outfits at Paris fashion week were posted to her Twitter feed, as well as three from her facial.

Many in the French capital are now asking whether the robbery will end her love affair with the city and its fashion world. Kardashian is known to be a close friend of Olivier Rousteing, creative director of Balmain. Both she and West – now a designer himself – are also big fans of Paris fashion’s star of the moment, Demna Gvasalia, and his Vetements brand.

Kardashian was photographed wearing thigh-high boots and an off-the-shoulder raincoat designed by Gvasalia for Balenciaga on Sunday, hours before she was robbed.

This story draws upon news reports from the AFP, AP, CNN and the BBC

Modern Art Icons: Shchukin Collection Visits Paris

Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris will be holding an exhibition showcasing works from the collection of Sergei Shchukin, as part of the France-Russia Year of Cultural Tourism. “Icons of Modern Art. The Shchukin Collection” will be running from October 22, 2016, to February 20, 2017, at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France.

Shchukin was a renowned patron and collector of French art in the early 20th century. The Russian businessman began to forge relationships with art dealers in 1898, starting with Paul Durand-Ruel and Ambroise Vollard, then Berthe Weill, Eugène Druet, Clovis Sagot, Georges Bernheim and Daniel Henry-Kahnweiler. Shchukin’s taste and acquisitions were also influenced by his relationships with prominent artists Henri Matisse and Picasso.

In the exhibition, 130 works from Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Modern Art masters will be displayed, all of which are from Shchukin’s collection. It will include works by Monet, Cézanne, Gauguin, Rousseau, Derain, Matisse and Picasso, as well as Degas, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh.

The showcase will explore the impact of Shchukin’s collection on the development of Cubo-Futurism, Suprematism and Constructivism. The 30 works in question will range from paintings, paper collages, constructions, reliefs and two sculptures, including pieces from major names of Russian art, such as Malevich, Rodchenko, Larionov, Tatline, Popova and Rozanova.

Paul Cézanne, "Man Smoking a Pipe," 1890-1892. © Courtesy Musée d'Etat des Beaux-Arts Pouchkine, Moscou ICÔNES DE L'ART MODERNE. LA COLLECTION CHTCHOUKINE

Paul Cézanne, “Man Smoking a Pipe,” 1890-1892.
© Courtesy Musée d’Etat des Beaux-Arts Pouchkine, Moscou

France-Russia Year of Cultural Tourism was launched at April 4, 2016. It seeks to boost visitor exchanges between the two countries, promoting the tourism potential of regions less frequently visited by the public and their cultural heritage in particular.

Fondation Louis Vuitton exhibition will be accompanied by a program of events, including dance and musical performances, highlighting the artistic dialogue between France and Russia in the early 20th century.

More information can be found at www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr/

Claude Monet, "Luncheon on the Grass," 1866. © Courtesy Musée d'Etat des Beaux-Arts Pouchkine, Moscou ICÔNES DE L'ART MODERNE. LA COLLECTION CHTCHOUKINE

Claude Monet, “Luncheon on the Grass,” 1866.
© Courtesy Musée d’Etat des Beaux-Arts Pouchkine, Moscou

LaFerrari Aperta Rolls Out, Sells Out

LaFerrari Aperta Rolls Out, Sells Out

In the absence of many of the biggest names in motoring at the Paris Motor Show, Ferrari had the spotlight to itself for the debut of its LaFerrari Aperta soft-top supercar; the entire production run is already spoken for. Next year is also a landmark one for the Prancing Horse as it turns a nimble 70; the Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta is possibly an early birthday gift to itself. The automaker also detailed plans to build 350 limited edition takes on its current supercar lineup.

By all accounts, Ferrari turned the debut of the LaFerrari Aperta into a party (which is unsurprising in the world of cars) and revelled in the absence of guests such as Lamborghini, Bugatti, Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls-Royce. Actually, it was also a farewell party of sorts because the LaFerrari Aperta is sold out. Also, the proper name is Aperta, not Spider as we had it in our teaser in July. Thanks for that Ferrari. Ok, let’s get into that now-unavailable supercar for a bit and see how it would have handled if we could have gotten our hands on it.

Like its hardtop sibling, this new hypercar offers hybrid hyper performance (say that 10 times fast!), thanks to an electric motor and V12 engine working in concert. The result is a sprint to 100km/h in under 3 seconds and a top speed of 350+km/h – all without a solid roof. As you might imagine, that amps up the adrenaline quite a bit and we await actual field reports on this. We imagine the technical challenge to be unbelievably complicated.

Look Out for These: Paris Motor Show Highlights

Why? Well, a car without a hard-top roof loses its structural rigidity and aerodynamic prowess, for a start. However, the AFP reports that Ferrari’s engineers and designers have done everything within their powers to ensure that there is no noticeable difference between the hard-top and soft-top versions.

And this is important because who wants a lesser supercar.

The car will come with a fabric soft top as standard or a carbon fiber removable hardtop can be specified as an option.

As well as a new hypercar, Ferrari also detailed plans to build 350 limited edition cars, 70 examples of each vehicle in its series production range – one for each year of the company’s existence – to mark its anniversary.

However, each of these special models will stand out visually but not in terms of performance. Ferrari’s Tailor Made Atelier (which usually handles ground-up bespoke commissions) has created 70 individual liveries inspired by the most iconic Ferraris in history, some of which, but by no means all, were on show.

The California T “Steve McQueen,” for example, is inspired by the 250GT Berlinetta lusso the actor and racing driver once owned. Like the original car, it’s finished in a deep brown and has a camel leather interior.

The company has also looked to racing success for ideas, including the 1961 Tourist Trophy winning 250GT Berinetta SWB. Applied to an F12Berlinetta on the stand, it boasts Blu Scuro racing livery, a number roundel and a white horizontal stripe across the hood.

LaFerrari Aperta Rolls Out, Sells Out

Ferrari unveiled a number of planned new liveries to mark its 70th anniversary in 2017

The Ferrari F12berlinetta: “The Stirling” edition

The Ferrari F12berlinetta: “The Stirling” edition

The Ferrari California T: “The Steve McQueen” edition

The Ferrari California T: “The Steve McQueen” edition

Alithia Spuri-Zampetti

Interview: Alithia Spuri-Zampetti, Paule Ka

Danger of See Now Buy Now: Samuel Drira, Nehera

As well as outlining his latest creations and inspirations for the season, the designer Samuel Drira, gave us his take on the “see now, buy now” revolution that’s shaking up the industry.

What’s the womenswear silhouette for the spring/summer 2017 season?
A silhouette that juxtaposes different influences: kimono sleeves and press-studs, nylon track pants and a patchwork gypsy skirt, a tux jacket with an obi belt. The silhouette’s disorder creates its own balance.

What or who inspired this collection?
Louise Nevelson (an American sculptor).

Who is the collection aimed at? What style of woman?
Precisely no woman in particular. A collection is a suggestion. We only take it half the way. If there’s no one out there who wants to wear it, then it’s a failure.

Today’s womenswear silhouettes are free from all constraints, with no taboos when it comes to clothes. Is it still possible to revolutionize fashion in 2017?
Fashion is more about creatives, viewpoints, angles and stances. For there to be a revolution, “fashion” would need to be one single thing that could be turned on its head. But this is no longer the case.

With “see now buy now” and the merging of menswear and womenswear collections, the face of fashion is changing. How do you see the future?
Before the internet took over, we were capable of going all the way to New York to buy a Hanes t-shirt that wasn’t available in Paris. Instant availability has shattered the dream of the unattainable object. But do we want something that’s available to buy instantly without having previously dreamed about it? That’s a question that the fashion world will perhaps need to consider in the near future.

Wagram, 17th Arrondissement, Paris

Located in the 17th arrondissement of Paris, near Wagram and Lycée Carnot, we present a 2,228 sq. ft. beautiful apartment in a prestigious building with common areas of great standing.wagram-living-room

This property includes an entrance, living room, dining room, kitchen with pantry, 5 bedrooms, a bathroom, a shower room. Notice also the “Point de Hongrie” parquet, moldings and fireplaces.wagram-staircase

Bright and clear view. Located on the 7th floor, the apartment has a 183 sq. ft. studio with mezzanine. Commercial use for licensed professional allowed.

PRICE: EUR 1,940,000 (APPROX $2,180,546)

This building is listed by Largier.

This article was first published in Palace.


Taillevent Hosts Free Haute Cuisine Classes

With the Fête de la Gastronomie kicking off September 24, Taillevent, the prestigious French restaurant will welcome guests to enjoy a series of workshops that promise to reveal trade secrets. These workshops will provide the public a chance to learn the art of haute cuisine, which, we don’t have to tell you, is a rare privilege. Taillevent, a two-Michelin star restaurant in Paris, is holding the workshops to help celebrate Fête de la Gastronomie, now in its sixth year.

From flambé techniques, knife skills and French patisserie, guests can look forward to picking up pro-level skills. The restaurant has a tradition of putting the final flourishes to dishes in front of its customers. One such example is pouring Grand Marnier and cognac onto crêpes and setting them alight in the pan to flambé them.

For those with a sweet tooth, there will also be a class in learning how to make a praline-flavored crunchy sensation using Gavottes crispy crepes. All classes will be 30-minutes in length from 2.30pm to 5.30pm.

Another highlight for those planning to learn from the chefs at Taillevent is the chance to pop into the restaurant’s Lammenais room which will be decorated with top-notch French-made tableware. From Christofle cutlery to Bernardaud porcelain, Saint-Louis crystal glasses and a tablecloth designed by Le Jacquard Français for the occasion, the interior is set to reflect the décor of the restaurant.

Focus: Place De L’Etoile Apartment, Paris

On the top floor of a beautiful building of late 19th century (Haussmann), this spacious apartment in the 16th arrondissement, Paris, spans 2,529 sq. ft. with a beautiful view of the Arc de Triomphe and the avenue Foch. The entrance-way features a large reception room and study facing south with views of Place de l’Etoile.


This three-bedroom home includes a master suite with en-suite bathroom and includes a spacious dressing room and two further en-suite bedrooms. The kitchen opens up onto the dining room and guest toilets. A service room is connected to the flat. Parking can be available in the courtyard of the building. 19-rue-presbourg-12

This property is marketed by Greff International.

This article was first published in Palace.

French Chef of the Year: Christian Le Squer

French Chef of the Year: Christian Le Squer

Chef Christian Le Squer, who gave Paris another triple Michelin-starred restaurant earlier this year with Le Cinq restaurant at the Four Seasons George V, has been voted chef of the year by his confreres.

For the 30th edition of Le Chef magazine’s “Chef of the Year” awards, Le Squer took the coveted title after elevating Le Cinq to the exclusive three Michelin-starred club within about a year of taking over the reins of the kitchen.

The award is pitched as the only one of its kind in France for being voted upon by fellow chefs in the industry.

This year, about 6,000 industry chefs, pastry chefs, sommeliers and maitres d’hotels were invited to cast votes for their outstanding peers.

It comes as little surprise that Le Squer would take this year’s honor, given the amount of buzz generated following his takeover of the iconic dining destination.

The ambitious chef made no secret of his single-minded vision for the restaurant, proclaiming it his personal and professional mission to give it a third star.

His strategy was to do what he does best: classic French fare executed with masterful techniques honed at his previous post as chef of the Pavillon Ledoyen, where he also earned three Michelin stars.

French Chef of the Year: Christian Le Squer

While the menu at Le Cinq changes seasonally, some of his signature dishes include the turbot with truffled fingerling potato emulsion, crispy prawns from Bretagne and citrus emulsion, and whipped oysters.

The chef describes his cuisine as: “flavors, concentrated and moving.”

Likewise, Le Squer has also made it a priority to become active on social media, spending about an hour a day engaging with fans and sharing recipes.

Pastry chefs across France also expressed their admiration for Nina Metayer of Le Grand Restaurant in Paris, voting her the pastry chef of 2016 for her elegantly turned out desserts.

On Monday night, more than 900 guests – including 400 Michelin-starred chefs – gathered at a gala event at the Lido on the Champs-Elysées to honor this year’s winners and fete the magazine’s 30th anniversary.

Here are the winners:

Chef of the year: Christian Le Squer, for Le Cinq, Paris

Pastry chef of the year: Nina Metayer, Le Grand Restaurant, Paris

Sommelier of the year: Baptiste Cavagna, La Pyramide, Vienne

Service award: Francois Pipala, Paul Bocuse, Collonges au Mont d’Or

René Magritte Gets Centre Pompidou Show

René Magritte Gets Centre Pompidou Show

Missing Piece of Magritte Painting Found in UK

Missing Piece of Magritte Painting Found in UK

A missing piece of a painting by Belgian artist Rene Magritte has been discovered in a small museum in eastern England, concealed under one of his other works, it was announced last week.

Experts at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery found the lower right quarter of “La Pose Enchantee” (The Enchanted Pose), which had until three years ago been thought lost, underneath “La Condition Humaine” (The Human Condition).

The first two quarters of the 89-year-old painting, which was only known by a black and white photograph, were discovered in 2013 under works by Magritte held in New York and Stockholm.

“All we need to discover now is where the fourth and final, upper-right-hand quarter is. Then this exciting art world jigsaw puzzle will be complete,” said Giorgia Bottinelli, curator at Norwich Castle.

“La Pose Enchantee” is a large painting showing two near identical female nudes, which was first exhibited in 1927.

There was correspondence relating to it in 1932, when it was returned to Magritte, but neither he nor anyone else mentioned it again. He died in 1967.

Then in 2013, conservationists at the Museum of Modern Art in New York discovered the upper left section of the missing work lay underneath their 1935 Magritte “The Portrait”.

The revelation prompted the Moderna Museet in Stockholm to examine one of its Magritte paintings, 1935’s “The Red Model” — which turned out to be the lower left quarter.

It is thought that the artist decided to cut up his painting and re-use the four canvases in preparation for a major exhibition in 1936.

“It seems that for some reason, Magritte must have decided to cut the painting into quarters, and then painted four completely different paintings over the top,” Bottinelli said.

“So our painting ‘La Condition Humaine’ has in fact been successfully hiding part of ‘La Pose Enchantee’ for more than 80 years.”

The clue to the hidden paintings lay in the edges of the painting which were, unusually for Magritte, painted over and round the stretcher.

Norwich conservator Alice Tavares da Silva spotted the discrepancy while examining the painting for an exhibition of Magritte’s work in Paris starting on September 21.

“It was a hugely exciting discovery so I immediately arranged to take the painting to the Hamilton Kerr Institute, at the University of Cambridge to be x-rayed and analysed,” she said.

“The results confirmed my initial observations that ‘La Condition Humaine’ was indeed the lower right-hand quarter of the missing painting.”

Versace Palazzo Empire

Limited Edition Versace Palazzo Empire

Back in March, Versace invited the public to participate in a competition called “7 bags for 7 cities” that would create designs for the iconic Versace Palazzo Empire bag. The seven limited edition versions feature seven famous and iconic fashion capitals that come in various colors.

To join the competition, participants took a photo of a monument, a unique place or an unseen side of the city that they chose. The images were then shared with Versace’s creative team who selected the final images that now make up the limited edition collection. The buildings in each city, are featured in black, while the skyline is filled with fading shades that help to get our attention. Paris is captured in plum and pink, New York in blue, Milan in orange and Tokyo in pink. Hong Kong, Beijing and Sao Paulo also feature in the limited-edition collection.

The Paris edition of the Versace "Palazzo Empire" bag.

The Paris edition of the Versace “Palazzo Empire” bag.

Versace has created only 10 models of each design. Starting from next week, the bags will arrive in their respective cities and will be sold in selected boutiques.

The original Versace Palazzo Empire is made from calfskin leather and can be carried by its handles or worn across the body. This iconic design is instantly recognizable and stands out thanks to the Medusa head detail – the symbol of Versace – on the front. Various special editions have previously been created, including models in crocodile skin and python leather.

Citroën Presents CXPERIENCE Concept in Paris

The end of September will see the Mondial de L’Automobile Paris 2016 open its doors to visitors. Despite the state of this year’s show, one car manufacturer to watch is Citroën. The firm will be taking advantage of the absence of a few major names to get more attention for its own unique efforts this year. The French automaker will be bringing the CXPERIENCE concept to the show and it is already drawing attention for its perspective on the executive car.Citroen-concept-car-3

The four-door hatchback stays true to the hallmark of French automotive design by keeping things smooth and elegant, without the aggression that typically marks German and Italian designs. In principle, this is done by keeping the wheels close to each corner as possible. For some reference, just compare this with the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6. With a height of 1.37 meters and length of 4.85 meters, the car is one that comes off as sleek. According to Citroën, the exterior of the car features a glass roof as well as a concave rear window, providing minimal visual clutter. In place of wing mirrors, the car has cameras; headlamps are cleverly hidden within its wraparound front grille, which is said to have been inspired by current high-tech trends.

Within the car, Citroën uses breathable natural fabrics that are paired with wooden panelling. With four seats, the cabin is reminiscent of a cozy cocoon that envelops you in intentionally oversized seats. The entertainment system is integrated into each headrest, which ensures that voices never have to be raised. To contrast the citrus yellow seats, the brand has padded the flat floor with dark leather. This sense of space and de-cluttering is emphasized further by the rejection of many knobs and dials in favor of touch screens – a central display in the front and a shared tablet for rear-seat passengers, both boasting an interface developed for ease of use.Citroen-concept-car-2

As for propulsion, the concept is a plug-in hybrid, capable of covering 60km on battery power alone. “[The car] challenges convention to express a new vision of executive hatchbacks,” said Linda Jackson, Citroën Global CEO. “CXPERIENCE CONCEPT illustrates the brand’s capacity to deploy its “Be Different, Feel Good” promise in this segment.”


Maison & Objet Paris 2016

Maison & Objet Paris 2016: 4 Important Changes

This coming week will see the biannual trade fair Maison & Objet Paris add a few new additions to its calendar later this year. The event, to be held at the Paris-Nord Villepinte, is expected to attract more than 70,000 visitors and 3,000 international brands over five days. We take a look at the four major changes that guests can look forward to.

Textiles join the Maison hub

While the textiles industry was the last to have its own Hall at the event, this year will see it join the home décor hub for a second year in a row. Decorative textile brands will, for the second year, join the home decor hub, with high-end linens and a selection of other textile brands joining together in two separate areas this season to promote visibility: the “Elegant” section (the entrance of Hall 4) and “Complements” (the center of Hall 5A).

Trend-setting through design

Focusing on trends, this section of the fair is one of the largest and will be located in the Objet hub. This section will now be expanding from Hall 6 into part of Hall 5A. The five hubs exhibiting the predicted design trends for the upcoming seasons are: Cook+Design, Easy Living, Kids, Fashion and Beloved (tech-oriented.)

The launch of a new hub: Influences

Taking up Halls 7 and 8, the new Influences hub will be celebrating its inauguration with a special focus on exclusivity for the new season. Brands from sectors such as Lighting, Bath & Wellness and Outdoors will showcase their expertise and ideas for creating unique, high-end and exclusive designs.

Collaboration and synergy

Also located in the new Influences hub, the “Now! Design à vivre” sector will be specializing in new design and eco-friendly products. The sector will run alongside the “Scènes d’interieure” gallery that features bespoke high-end decorative arts, the space is expected to create a dialogue between the two areas. Providing an overall vision of design today, the objective is to strengthen “the links between contemporary design and luxury. It also shows how both worlds mutually benefit from one another.”

Comme des Garçons

Aesthetic Debt: What High Fashion Owes Asia

Who says fashion exists in its own bubble? Designers and houses today are, more than ever, drawing inspiration and references from all over the world. Nowhere is this more apparent than in high fashion’s relationship with the East. The seductive Orient has long been a goldmine for decorative touches. Christian Dior’s love of the East led him to create a dress – in the beautiful New Look silhouette with its nipped waist and elaborate volume – covered in Japanese scribble lifted from an old print. The words? Something about bowel movements and a tummy ache. A funny yet telling example, if there were one, about the results of good intentions and unwitting execution.

Gladly, designers today have the luxury of research and the availability of a global world view (thank you, Google) that’s resulted in a more intelligent way of mining the East for inspiration – and it’s one that should be celebrated. The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2015 key exhibition, China: Through the Looking Glass, was a significant showcase of the East’s influences on fashion. What it achieved was a plain demonstration that China has had an aesthetic influence on virtually every high fashion designer. The “looking glass” element to the exhibition, however, should be a strong reminder that China and indeed the rest of Asia aren’t far-away oriental mysteries. Its relevance and influence almost demand that designers picking references do so with intelligent sensitivity rather than with reductive pastiche.

Japan in Paris

Maison Margiela

Maison Margiela

Two of the most important Japanese designers – Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto – have been in the business for upwards of 40 years, with starts in the 1970s and 1980s. It’s intriguing to assess their aesthetics and impact on the industry. We must remember that the two were so influential and notable in Paris fashion because of the contrariness of what they were showing. When Western – that is, Euro-centric – fashion built dresses around the glamorous, sexualised female body, Kawakubo and Yamamoto stormed in and offered inventive forms, silhouettes, cuts, and an insistent use of the colour black. Indeed, the Yamamoto brand has been revered for its masterful craftsmanship, protective embrace of the body, and an intelligence that builds a sense of safety for the wearer – clothes as the proverbial armour.

Kawakubo, too, gained fame for being unrelentingly herself. Comme des Garçons has become a model brand (pictured top) with its numerous offshoot lines – Junya Watanabe, Noir Kei Ninomiya and Ganryu are all by Kawakubo’s protégés – and the opinion-leading Dover Street Market stores. The underpinning artistic strength remains the Comme des Garçons mainline designed by Kawakubo herself, which has been unfailingly unique, daring and avant-garde.

Kenzo today represents upbeat accessibility thanks to creative directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon. The Opening Ceremony founders bring a commercial New York line of thought to the brand that keeps it in line with the founder’s original spirit. The man himself, Kenzo Takada, opened his boutique in Paris, named Jungle Jap, selling his bright and fun multicultural prints. One of the key pillars of Kenzo fashion is a sense of fun and youth. Soon, Kenzo will launch a collaborative collection with H&M, one in a series of special edition releases with the likes of brands like Lanvin, Maison Martin Margiela, Balmain, Isabel Marant and Karl Lagerfeld. Onward to the future, indeed.

Speaking of the future, one must never forget the Japanese brand that pushed technical and creative boundaries. Issey Miyake is important to fashion because of his loving embrace of technology and the brand’s explorations of the form and function of dress. Miyake’s earliest works were built around the Japanese kimono, deconstructing the traditional garment to get to the core of what makes foldable garments work. Toying with dimensionality, he developed a line of clothes that were softly sculptural. His famous heat-pressed pleating technique birthed the Pleats Please line, and the shaped yet draped silhouette has been unique since. In the FW16 collection, current creative director Yoshiyuki Miyamae pays respectful homage with garments constructed with pleating techniques that the brand calls “baked stretched” and “3D steam-stretched”. The brand remains, in its spirit, venturous in exploring the effect of technology on fabric and garment construction.

Cultural Influences



The highest echelons of fashion owe an aesthetic debt to Asia. The original greats from Paris such as Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Paul Poiret, Madeleine Vionnet and Coco Chanel took inspirations from various facets of chinoiserie and japonism. There’s an element of pastiche that can’t be disregarded, though one can chalk it down to the times. Yves Saint Laurent paid tribute, in the 1970s, to cheongsam and qipao silhouettes, topped with hats and jackets inspired by imperial Chinese dress. In Tom Ford’s final collection for the house in the fall of 2004, such looks were amplified to highlight sensuality and sexual boldness. The figure-hugging and high-slit clothes demonstrated Ford’s high-octane sex-sells mentality and his ability to subvert traditional dress forms to suit the times.

Coco Chanel was a famously enamored collector of lacquered coromandel screens from China, and decorated her home and offices in Rue Cambon with more than 30 of them. Karl Lagerfeld’s collections have built on the obsession, most notably with a 2009 Métiers d’Art show in Shanghai that played to his strength of combining the heritage of Chanel with the needs of modern women. The result: a modern Chinese attitude worn with the insouciant bouclé skirt suits of the house. Lagerfeld then took a journey to India in the Paris-Bombay Métiers d’Art 2012 show: traditional Indian dress styles such as salwar trousers (voluminous pants which taper sharply near the ankles) and kurti (long, tunic-length blouses) got paired with Chanel’s iconic pearls and tweeds. When it comes to making references, Lagerfeld is a master; there’s an ease to the mix that belies deep research and finesse in construction.

John Galliano furthered Dior’s love of the Orient when he was designing for the house with the famously splendid SS07 and SS09 haute couture shows. Spring of 2007 saw modern geishas in chartreuse-, lavender- and rose-hued Bar silhouettes cut in silk-taffeta with an origami-style twist. In 2009, the ubiquitous willow pattern on Chinese ceramics sneaked under the linings, on the insides, and around the outsides of the dresses – a delicacy to the clothes lent by invoking a key product of trade that China has shared with the West for centuries.

Today’s Take



Modern couturiers play a more nuanced game of reference-picking. Consider Valentino’s Spring 2016 haute couture showing. The silhouettes and thrust of the look was the otherworldly and ultra-feminine signature that Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have become acclaimed for. Kimono-style coats and robes with hand-painted carps and dragons draw from the mythological wellspring of the East. This followed the visual story in the brand’s Pre-Fall 2016 collection which featured hand-painted and intarsia-ed dragons and swallows, pyjamas with brocaded swans, and shift dresses with genteel 10th-century bird-and-flower paintings.

In Gucci’s FW16 collection, Alessandro Michele sent a dizzying number of 70 looks down his runway. The Michele method is to create for a variety of women – different characters daring to partake of and play in dress-up characterisation. Two Asian-informed looks strolled down the runway: the first, a minidress with an Italian sun motif and a Mao collar; the second, a floor-length qipao with pink fur trim on the sleeves and an embroidered phoenix pattern.

At Louis Vuitton and Kenzo, the brands looked towards a cartoon idealisation of women. Nicolas Ghesquière has one of the best knacks in the industry for tapping into youthful energy and giving it a sophisticated turn. Recall Spring 2016’s advertising campaign: the virtual avatar of Lightning (one of the lead characters in the Final Fantasy games) swings around a bag, strikes poses and looks airbrushed to perfection. It is worth noting that the Lightning character in the games is a combatant – the strongest playable character, even. This is reflected in the clothes, too: the urban-heroine sensibility is carried into FW16’s exaggerated silhouettes, emphasis on heavy boots, panelled bodysuits and armour-like leather bustiers. At Kenzo, the train of thought was Sailor Moon, beloved ’90s shōjo icon of female liberation and strength. It took the spirit of confidence and quintessential femininity, and translated it into an abundance of empire waistlines and deconstructed duffel coats with a smattering of reworked archival iris, dandelion and tiger prints (Kenzo is known for its print work).



On a more technical front, we look back to Raf Simons’ debut haute couture collection for Dior in the Fall 2012 season. The collection saw Simons impose abstract Sterling Ruby prints onto coats and dresses using an Indonesian technique seen through a French eye. The original technique ikat is an early form of warp printing. Warp printing involves dyeing the fabric on the yarn before it is woven, as opposed to traditional methods in which a print is stamped onto a finished yard of fabric. The resulting print is warbly and far from sharp, and – to quote Mr Simons – “has the quality of a brush stroke”. In the 18th century, this was the same quality that led to the French creation of Chiné a la Branche, a variation on the ikat print technique that produced small, watercolor-esque floral prints on silk taffeta fabrics that found favour and fashion on the backs of Marie Antoinette and her contemporaries.

Today, what Asia represents for luxury and high fashion is fertile ground for growth and exploration. The massive Chinese economy offers opportunities for growth with a huge consumer base longing for the prestige and sheen of luxury. What fashion designers have to remember, then, is to pay their audiences back with the beauty they’ve borrowed.

This article was first published in L’Officiel Singapore.

Lotte New York Palace

Top 10 ‘Pokétels’ New York City: Catch ‘Em All

Listen up Pokémon Go fans: One hotel-booking site has found one major city with a host of Pokéstops and Pokégyms that any fan of the game would be happy to hear about. Hotels.com now provides users with a list of what they call the best “Pokétels” in the US with several found in New York City.

Alright, we grant you that it is slightly unusual for us to cover a game such as Pokémon Go. Needless to say, the global phenomenon is so powerful that it has swept up major names in luxury such as The Peninsula, the Four Seasons and the St. Regis. Yes, Pokémon Go has indeed come to the rarefied world of high end living, ready or not.

With nine out of 10 New York hotels making the list, it is clear that the city is a hotspot for those looking to get their fix for their addiction to the game. Cashing in on the craze, the site reveals that the top spot is occupied by none other than The Towers at Lotte New York Palace. With 11 Pokéstops and Pokégyms within 500 feet and another 231 within a 1.25-mile radius, the area is certainly a hotspot for those looking to expand their collection.

The geo-location-based game has taken off in various locations in recent weeks, which gets players off their couches and out exploring the world. Venturing out to see the city landmarks, monuments and public spaces, the game has even gotten players considering visiting new destinations. The majority of respondents agreed they’d take free Wifi over free breakfast if they had to choose, and expressed a booking preference for hotels that are Pokéstops.

While New York is the city to beat in the US, it is in fact Paris that holds the title of home to the most Pokétels, with six out of 10 spots taken by the French capital. We bring you the full Hotels.com list of top 10 US hotels within 500 feet of Pokéstops and Pokégyms:

4 Must-See Art Exhibitions, Paris

Mexican modern art, a Russian’s private art collection, and a major Magritte retrospective: just some of the not-to-be-missed art exhibitions AFP Relaxnews has picked out for you for the coming season.

Fantin-Latour à Fleur de Peau

From September 14, 2016 to February 12, 2017 at the Musée du Luxembourg

This is the first retrospective of the nineteenth-century painter’s work since the Grand Palais exhibition in 1982. It will include emblematic works by the artist who is known for his still lifes and group portraits.

Henri Fantin-Latour, 1872, oil on canvas.

Henri Fantin-Latour, 1872, oil on canvas. “Fantin-Latour à Fleur de Peau” from September 14, 2016 to February 12, 2017 at the Musée du Luxembourg. © Rmn-Grand Palais (musée d’Orsay) / Photo Hervé Lewandowski

Magritte, The Treachery of Images

From September 21, 2016 to January 23, 2017 at the Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou is holding a René Magritte retrospective which will bring together a large number of both well-known and less familiar works by the Belgian artist, from public and private collections. Pictured top is The Anger of Gods, 1960, 80cm x 70cm oil on canvas, private collection.


From October 4, 2016 to February 5, 2017 at the Musée Picasso

In partnership with the Alberto and Annette Giacometti Foundation, the Musée Picasso will shine a light on the relationship between Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti through the artists’ private archives.

Mexico 1900 – 1950 Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco…

Tiburcio Sánchez de la Barquera (1837-1902), Escandón Arango Family Portrait, 1867, oil on canvas. © INBA/Museo Nacional de Arte Photo © Francisco Kochen

Tiburcio Sánchez de la Barquera (1837-1902), Escandón Arango Family Portrait, 1867, oil on canvas. © INBA/Museo Nacional de Arte Photo © Francisco Kochen

From October 5, 2016 to January 23, 2017 at the Grand Palais

This exhibition will be the first in France to provide an overview of Mexican modern art from the revolution until the mid-twentieth century. Big names such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo will be included, as well as lesser-known artists such as Rosa Rolanda and Nahui Ollin. Visitors will also be able to see examples of nineteenth-century academic art.

Icons of Modern Art. The Shchukin Collection

"Icons of Modern Art. The Shchukin collection" from October 22, 2016 to February 20, 2017 at the Fondation Louis Vuitton: "Portrait of a Man with a Newspaper (Chevalier X)" by André Derain, 1911-1914.

“Portrait of a Man with a Newspaper (Chevalier X)” by André Derain, 1911-1914.

From October 22, 2016 to February 20, 2017 at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

The Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris is set to hold an exhibition of works collected by Sergei Shchukin, a Russian who was interested in 20th-century French art. Thanks to the cooperation of the Hermitage Museum and the Pushkin State Museum, the public will be able to see 130 pieces by major artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Degas, Renoir, Rousseau and Toulouse-Lautrec.

5 Fashion Exhibitions, 4 Style Capitals

The style capitals of the world are not just home to runway shows. Over the next few weeks, Paris, New York, Venice and London will be hosting several exhibitions that feature iconic designs by equally iconic designers. Just looking through the list makes us wish we could pack our bags and hop on the next flight to these destinations just to catch a glimpse of fashion history. Join us as we take a look at five exceptional fashion exhibitions.

Anatomy of a Collection at the Palais Galliera, ParisAnatomy of a Collection at the Palais Galliera

More than a hundred garments and accessories are set to be on display till October 23 at the City of Paris Fashion Museum. Told in an unconventional way, the garments take us on a journey through the history of fashion. Highlights include a pajama suit worn by the British actress and model Tilda Swinton, a dress that belonged to Empress Josephine, and Marie-Antoinette’s corset.

Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear at the V&A Museum, LondonHistory-Of-Underwear

Exploring garments that have long been hidden from the public eye, the exhibition starts with men’s and women’s underwear that date back to the 18th century. The 200 pieces and archive documents will be on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London till March 12, 2017 . The exhibition looks at the role that underwear played in history and how the notion of the ideal body has changed over the years.

Culture Chanel exhibition: The woman who reads at the Ca’Pesaro, Veniceculture_chanel_.a34ee095626.h0

The seventh installment of the Culture Chanel international exhibition will be held at the Ca’Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art in Venice from September 17 until January 8, 2017. Having held a place in the heart of Gabrielle Chanel, the new instalment will see the city exhibit 350 works of authors who played a significant role in the designer’s creative life. The works of Homer, Plato, Virgil, Sophocles, Lucretia, Montaigne, Cervantes, Madame de Sévigné and Jean Cocteau will be displayed in the manner of a library.

Tenue correcte exigée, quand le vêtement fait scandale (Appropriate dress required: when clothing causes a scandal) at the Musée des Arts décoratifs, ParisBall Gown, Viktor & Rolf (Dutch, founded 1993), spring/summer 2010; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Friends of The Costume Institute Gifts, 2011 © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, by Anna-Marie Kellen

From December 1 till April 23, 2017, the exhibition will showcase garments that have courted controversy and criticism in the past only to become everyday apparel. All the garments on display, including the shirt-dress, the female tuxedo and the miniskirt, were condemned at one time or another in history. In addition to the “scandalous” clothing, visitors will be able to peruse portraits, caricatures and advertisements.

Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

From November 8, 2016 to February 5, 2017 the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will dissect the way in which its collecting strategy has changed from an encyclopaedic approach to creating a body of masterworks. Concentrating on the last 10 years of purchases, the exhibition will highlight around 60 of these masterworks.


Attend These: 6 Design Exhibitions, Paris

You might already be familiar with big-name shows such as Maison & Objet (from September 2 – 6) and Paris Design Week (September 3 – 10), but there are a number of smaller, off-beat gems in every corner of the French capital to check out too. Here are six design exhibitions even the most critical of design fans would love.

Muji Pop-Up Exhibition, September 2 – 25 2016; Rue des Blancs Manteaux

The Muji pop up exhibition will focus on the brand’s visual identity. © Muji

Founded in Japan in 1980, Muji’s “no-brand” branding ironically made it a household name with its focus on product quality above all else. It is easy to see how one of its founders, Ikko Tanaka – an integral Japanese designer in the 20th century – conveyed the Muji spirit to everything, including the poster designs; a selection of these will be on display at the pop-up exhibition next month.

“Roger Tallon, Design in Motion”, September 8, 2016 – January 8, 2017; Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Roger Tallon and his models for the TGV 001, TGV Duplex, and TGV Atlantique trains.
© Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris / A.D.A.G.P. 2016

Highly regarded as one of France’s pioneering industrial designer, Roger Tallon might have passed away in 2011 but his remarkable work lives on. He was responsible for the design of many trains, such as the TGV Duplex, the Eurostar and the Montmartre funicular railway. Throughout his 60-year career, the prolific designer also had the route maps for the RER (Paris’ suburban rail network), Wimpy chair M400 spiral staircase, 3T tableware and Teleavia portable TV to his name. Now, many of his lesser-known works in the form of drawings, photos, documents and models – which he donated to the museum in 2008 – will finally be on display to public.

“The Spirit of Bauhaus”, October 19, 2016 – February 26, 2017; Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Poster for the 1923 Bauhaus Exhibition in Weimar.
© Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin

Marcel Breur, creator of tubular furniture, and photographer Florence Henri (student of Paul Klee and Vassily Kandinsky) both had one thing in common: they both attended the Bauhaus art school in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin from 1919 to 1933. The institution, famous for producing many influential artists and designers brought about a new approach to daily living by bridging the gap between all disciplines of art, including music, photography, architecture and even engineering. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs pays homage to this artistic movement by not only displaying original Bauhaus pieces, but also via the historical periods and their art forms which fueled the school’s spirit.

Exhibition of Jean Nouvel furniture, October 27 – February 12, 2017; Musée des Arts Décoratifs

Triptychs, 2014, walnut and colored mirrors (Gagosian Gallery and Galerie Patrick Segui).
© Aline Coquelle

You might know Jean Nouvel for his architectural work but his furniture designs are mostly unknown pleasures. From 1987 to present day, the French architect has more than a hundred designs to his name. These will be displayed in various parts of the museum together with their advertising campaigns, of which he also designed in 1998.

“1976-2016: 40 Years of Magis Dreams”, August 31 – October 3, 2016; Pompidou Centre store (main image)

Italian furniture company Magis celebrates its 40th anniversary this year with a retrospective of its history and most recent collections. The mini exhibition, which coincides with Paris Design Week, will also feature Magis’ symbolic cast iron mule, which was specially designed by the brand’s 76-year-old founder, Eugenio Perazza.

AD Interiors exhibition dedicated to collections, September 3 – 18 2016; Monnaie de Paris

The Ora-Ito-designed kitchen for the 2016 AD Interiors exhibition which this year is dedicated to collections.
© Ora-ïto / “AD Intérieurs 2016, Univers de collectionneurs”

Six years ago, Architectural Digest magazine celebrated its 10th anniversary with its first AD Interiors exhibition, where 10 handpicked designers and interior decorators had to design a room using their style and expertise. For this year’s iteration, participants –including Ora-Ïto, Tristan Auer and Fabrice Ausset – have to create décor for a room based on the theme of the collections.