Tag Archives: Paris

Plateau Urbain Converts Derelict Buildings

Plateau Urbain Converts Derelict Parisian Buildings

As part of its new project, the organization called Plateau Urbain is turning once derelict buildings into lively work spaces. These condemned areas now serve as a place where start-ups and artistic associations can find success without worrying about the strain of financial stress.

One such individual who is benefitting from the project is 26-year-old Margot. Her art studio was once a gynaecology ward in a hospital in the south of Paris. At a reasonable (really) rate of $19 per square meter per month for the studio, she now shares the space with illustrators, graphic designers and artists where occupants pay just enough to cover the costs. “This allows me to have a stable place” to work, she says. Young artists like Margot aren’t the only ones to have benefited from the Saint Vincent de Paul hospital’s new use, started by the association Plateau Urbain (Urban Platform).

Some 1,000 migrant workers, vulnerable youths and people who were once homeless have found shelter there, while young entrepreneurs and NGO members have turned it into their work space. “We also see people from the neighbourhood, locals who come to have their midday coffee, tourists and hipsters who come … by bike because they think it’s cool here,” says Simon Laisney, who heads Plateau Urbain. “I’d say it’s a big experiment in social integration.”

The experiment, inspired by the vibrant Berlin art scene, puts the owners of abandoned buildings in touch with possible tenants. Laisney first dreamt up the idea when he was still a real estate analyst with a major corporation. “I found out there were 2.9 million square metres (31 million square feet) of empty space in what we call second-hand buildings — meaning they have already been rented once. Of the 2.9 million square metres, there were 800,000 square metres that haven’t been rented for at least five years,” Laisney explained.

“The idea was to put these spaces to use again,” said Laisney, who is not yet 30. The group’s first project in 2013 saw an artist set up her studio in a renovated ground-floor space in the heart of Paris’ hip Marais district, for the hard-to-believe price of just 150 euros a month. A dozen other similar projects have since sprung up, with Plateau Urbain using grants and awards to finance its work.

The way it works is that tenants living and working in Plateau Urbain-managed spaces do not pay rent as such — they just pay enough to cover expenses. And even though the association, run by just two permanent staff members along with a group of unpaid volunteers, is still very small, the set-up has won over Laurent Vuidel, head of a housing association called Lerichemont.

Vuidel says it has been a cost effective alternative for vacant properties. In April, he handed a group of artists the keys to a 530-square-metre building in the south of the French capital. “We have managed to stop paying the costs of securing the building, and the current occupants contribute to the monthly charges — heating, electricity, etc,” Vuidel said. Had the building been left to disuse, it would either have grown derelict or seen squatters move in.

Otherwise, the owners would have had to pay security guards to keep watch — and that would have been expensive. Vuidel said it would have cost “some 10,000 to 15,000 euros a month to have a permanent on-site presence.” Having previously rented out rooms in buildings destined for demolition to students, Lerichemont took the plunge. And now, this former university building has become a hub for painters, designers, sculptors, potters and landscape artists. “For us, it’s a boost for the arts,” beams Nicolas Bouchet, who runs the Labolic collective that manages the space.

While Vuidel believes in the project, he remains a little concerned about the future. “We have to wait and see what happens when we decide to take the building back — whether we’ll actually be able to get it back,” he says. But for Plateau Urbain the goal is what Laisney calls “urban pragmatism” — a temporary solution for vacant buildings. He’d like to see it become systematic that “when an elected official, or a property owner has a vacant building, he says to himself, ‘I’m going to let it be used for temporary occupation’.”

4 Street Art Stars Cities that Love Them

4 Street Art Stars and Cities that Love Them

Street art is by its nature transient, with city authorities in a race to paint over work that seemingly pops up spontaneously – these four artists and three cities defy this stereotype. We haven’t included Paris on this list but it is actually the first to open a dedicated permanent space for the voice of the street, so to speak. The AFP Relaxnews used the occasion of that opening to highlight three artists and the cities that have – sometimes – hosted them warmly. We added Blek le Rat to the list because, well, ignoring Blek is just criminal.


In the age of doxxing and wikileaks, the artist (or collective) known as Banksy is an anomaly. He (for want of a better pronoun) is certainly the world’s most famous anonymous street artist, whose subversive and satirical humor has been reaching ever larger audiences since he surfaced in the 1990s.

Hailing from the underground activist culture of the southwestern city of Bristol (also the birthplace of trip hop), his unmistakable stenciled output generally features an anti-establishment bent.

In artistic terms, be it on the street or in the gallery, he is emphatically Big League, rubbing shoulders with Damien Hirst for the “Keep it Spotless” collaboration, which fetched $1.8 million at Sotheby’s in New York in 2008.

As we’ve reported here many times, Banksy’s identity is unknown. The last stab at unmasking the artist produced the idea that he may be Robert “3D” Del Naja of trip hop band Massive Attack.

4 Street Art Stars and Cities that Love Them

By Eric Lin from San Francisco, USA – blek le rat sleeping, CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons

Blek le Rat

Born Xavier Prou in Paris, 1951, Blek is the elder statesman of global street art and the clear influence behind none other than Banksy. Blek was himself influenced by the street art of New York in the 1970s and adapted the style for Paris, acknowledging the vast difference between the architectures of the two cities. Blek’s true identity was only exposed in 1991, when he was arrested by police in Paris. Nevertheless, Blek says he prefers to street to the gallery, with his first solo exhibition just 10 years ago, in London.

In keeping with this, Blek is not well represented in museums and galleries but you can see his work at the Quin hotel in New York City, which includes his work in its permanent collection.


While Blek may have inspired Banksy, JR is his French successor and some would say a more original artist than Banksy. He started out on the streets of Paris before making waves in a clutch of venues, from Rio’s favela slums (featured image: 28 Millimetres: Women are Heroes, Action in Kibera Slum – Train Passage 6 – Kenya, 2009, JR) to Shanghai and New York. Certainly, JR is a wildly ambitious artist whom our friends at Art Republik call “a master of manipulating images in context.” As far as contextual art goes, street art is tough to beat.

One of JR’s most emblematic projects involved collecting some 4,000 portraits via his mobile photo booth truck and putting the resulting “participatory” mass collage on display at the newly restored Pantheon temple in the French capital.

Earlier this year he wrapped the glass Louvre Pyramid in photographic prints, creating a trompe l’oeil effect appearing to make the structure blend into the actual palace facade.

A ceramic mosaic of 1970s US cartoon character Hong Kong Phooey created by Invader. © AFP PHOTO / FILES / Philippe Lopez

A ceramic mosaic of 1970s US cartoon character Hong Kong Phooey created by Invader. © AFP PHOTO / FILES / Philippe Lopez


Monikers are par for the course in street art and this one is particularly good. The contemporary French artist Invader gets his nom de guerre from “Space Invader” because he produces pixelated works reminiscent of early videogame figures.

Invader is a very active artist, who travels far and wide like the others on this list. With some 3,000 “invasions” on his CV to date, Invader has on occasion been taken in for questioning by inquisitive US police. Invader himself calls his artistic excursions “invasions.”

Last year his replica mosaic of 1970s American cartoon character Hong Kong Phooey sold at auction at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, fetching HK$2 million ($258,000). The popular piece of street art had been destroyed by the Hong Kong authorities, infuriating residents, and was later re-made for sale.

New York

New York City is the obvious cradle of the street art movement, graffiti artists having used subway tunnels and handy walls as canvases since the late 1960s.

The 1990s saw a move towards the mainstream with the Queens district hosting the 5 Pointz mural space on Long Island.

For two decades, some 1,500 artists had the run of 20,000 square meters (215,000 square feet) of space, creating an open-air museum and tourist magnet – until the site owner in 2013 had the area demolished for construction of a condominium complex.


Berlin’s East Side Gallery – a 1.3 kilometre (one mile) surviving section of the Berlin Wall – merits mention with its gallery of 1990 (the year after the fall of the Berlin Wall) paintings by more than 100 artists from across the globe.

With the site receiving an annual three million visitors, renovation was required in 2009.

One of the best-known frescoes depicts the “fraternal kiss” between former Soviet president Leonid Brezhnev and East German leader Erich Honecker, painted by Russian artist Dmitri Vrubel.


London’s edgy-but-trendy eastern district of Shoreditch is a true hive of street art in the British capital, “hosting” a raft of Banksy creations that see visitors beat a steady path to the area.

Somewhat less known is Leake Street Tunnel, an “authorised graffiti area” behind Waterloo railway station which lures an alternative crowd. Most output gets covered over on a regular basis.

Banksy, himself involved in turning “a dark forgotten filth pit” into “an oasis of beautiful art”, has also fallen victim to this artistic licence at what was for a while dubbed “Banksy Tunnel”.

Robert Pattinson Fronts Dior Homme Spring 2017

Robert Pattinson Fronts Dior Homme Spring 2017

Robert Pattinson proves that he is more than just a glittering vampire thanks to the new campaign for the Dior Homme spring 2017 collection. Set in Paris, the black and white images are captured by none other than Karl Lagerfeld. Of course, Pattinson has been closely associated with Dior for awhile now, being the face of Dior Homme and having fronted well-received fragrance campaigns for Dior in the past.

Dressed in a biker jacket, tuxedo and suit — one of which is embroidered with lily-of-the-valley motifs, Pattinson shows off a collection that was overseen by Dior’s creative director Kris Van Assche. The campaign is meant to evoke film noir.

“I’m always floored at the undeniable beauty of Paris,” said Pattinson in a statement. “And at night in the alleys and the side streets, emptied of crowds it’s almost more breathtaking. Contrasting shadows make everywhere you look seem like a frame from a movie.”

Saint Laurent Paris Fashion Week

5 Runway Trends: Paris Fashion Week

As far as the news cycle goes, Paris Fashion Week was overshadowed by the robbery involving Kim Kardashian and millions worth of jewelry. But that does not mean that the catwalks in the city delivered anything but the finest designs for the upcoming season. We take a look at five of the best runway trends from Paris Fashion Week.

Glitter Gang

The designers have brought the glitter to the catwalks in numerous ways. From the shiny vinyl fabrics that were used in jackets and skirts to tight 1980s-inspired off shoulder tops, Mugler and Kenzo brought some sparkle to their collections. Like Dior and Lanvin, Nicolas Ghesquiere used gold and silver gleam to provide a little rock-lux to the Louis Vuitton collection.

Under Where?
Lanvin Paris Fashion Week


Transparency is the name of the game for many this season. Most designers included at least one or two see-through dresses or tops in their collections with a majority of the sheer black tops and “Belle de Jour” tulle dresses were worn without bras on the runway. However, Chanel was one brand that used underwear as outerwear through lingerie dresses that were seen through most of the collection. Over at Lanvin and Agnes b, their silky pajama suits proclaimed “It’s summer, why get dressed at all…”

In Bad Taste

Saint Laurent’s Vaccarello went flashy with stilettos that had the letters YSL forming the heels. The designer also went with mono-boob dresses for women who preferred to make an entrance — or maybe Lady Gaga. There was no shame at Dior with the brand showing off the slogan “J’adore Dior” on shoulder straps, straps of its sandals and belts. Chanel embraced some style secrets of rappers by pairing its baseball caps with chunky rapper bling diamond jewelry.

Return Of The Establishments
Dior Paris fashion Week


While the last few years have seen young rebel labels take over the runways, this fashion week has seen the likes of Dior, Saint Laurent, Lanvin and Leonard climb back to the top of the pile. While neither Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior nor Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent are revolutionaries, there is a edgy energy in their spring-summer collections that promises the old stagers could surprise us yet.

Tickled Pink

From Chanel to Valentino and Nina Ricci, pink hues proved to be another trend on the catwalks. Pale ivory pinks were dominant for lingerie dresses. Two toga dresses from Celine used the soft shade to cut the edgy oversized feel.

Comics & Illustrations Auction By Christie’s

On Saturday, November 19, Christie’s Paris, in partnership with specialized gallerist and publisher Galerie Daniel Maghen, will host the second ‘Comics & Illustrations’ auction of the year. One month prior, a medley of these auction items will be on view in London (October 4-12) and Amsterdam (October 19-24) as a free public showcase before landing in Paris.

The selection of European comics on display spotlights beloved adventurers and heroes such as the unvanquishable Gaul Astérix; the scientist/captain duo Blake & Mortimer; the intrepid sailor Corto Maltese, the boyish, perpetually red-clad Spirou, and the forest-dwelling blue-hued community of Smurfs.

Albert Uderzo, ASTÉRIX, 'Astérix In Spain.' Original page n°16. Estimate: €170.000-190.000 © 2016 Goscinny - Uderzo Use only Galerie Daniel Maghen with Christie's

Albert Uderzo, ASTÉRIX, ‘Astérix In Spain.’ Original page n°16. Estimate: €170.000-190.000

Hergé — born Georges Remi — has been part of the popular imagination for over half a century with his ‘ligne claire’ style, and is currently the subject of a major retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris. His work is represented in the showcase here by a double-page spread from his first published series, “Quick and Flupke,” dated from 1930 (estimate: €90,000-100,000). In addition, an Hergé sketch for the 1957 calendar in ‘Le Journal de Tintin’ spotlights the 12 main characters from ‘The Adventures of Tintin’, seen dancing like mad (estimate: €110,000-120,000).

Edgar P. Jacobs, 'Blake et Mortimer, La Marque Jaune' (The Yellow M). Original page n°6. Estimate: €120.000-140.000 © © Studio Jacobs / Editions Blake & Mortimer, 2016 Use only Galerie Daniel Maghen with Christie's

Edgar P. Jacobs, ‘Blake et Mortimer, La Marque Jaune’ (The Yellow M). Original page n°6. Estimate: €120.000-140.000

“I believe that the subject of comics and graphic novels is no longer a niche. Over the last ten years, the demand has considerably grown and many galleries and institutions have organised exhibitions in response,” noted Daniel Maghen of the medium’s new wave of relevance. Moreover, he notes the changing regard is also affected by the nostalgia factor of a grown-up generations of young readers. “I think that when one buys an original page from his [or her] favorite adventure, it is above all motivated by the feeling of a nice memory that is materialized by a piece.”

There will be a special focus — for both the sale and the exhibition tour — on French graphic novelist Jean-Pierre Gibrat. This marks the first time that Christie’s Paris will devote an auction catalog to a contemporary artist. The tome features 17 full-page comics and original drawings, as well as a Q&A with the author, who noted that “the detail is what drives the composition.”

Jean-Pierre Gibrat, 'Le Sursis,' Original page n°24. Estimate: 35.000-40.000 © Gibrat Use only Galerie Daniel Maghen with Christie's

Jean-Pierre Gibrat, ‘Le Sursis,’ Original page n°24. Estimate: 35.000-40.000

Gibrat will attend the London and Amsterdam exhibitions and present his work to the public. They will draw from the seven volumes that constitute his celebrated publications: “Le Sursis” (1999), “Le vol du Corbeau” (2002 and 2005), “Mattéo” (2008, 2010, and 2014).

Additional contemporary figures like Moebius, Bilal, Vance, Rosinski, Guarnido, and Loisel are being shown as well.


5 Beauty Trends: Paris Fashion Week

As one of the fashion capitals of the world, Paris did not disappoint during fashion week. From the designs to the drama off the runway, the city ensured that all eyes were on it for one week. While the collections certainly captured our attention, we could not ignore the various makeup looks that models sported down the runway. We take a look at five of the top trends from Paris Fashion Week.



Models who walked for Rihanna’s Fenty X Puma collection showed off holographic pink highlighter and doubled-up lashes that gave off a doll-like look while their temples sported blusher with the help of the ‘draping’ technique. Chanel went with a similar theme where models sported low-slung side ponytails and baseball caps that were worn at a jaunty sideways angle. To cap off the look, was pink lip gloss.

Disco Lips
Maison Margiela Paris Fashion Week

Maison Margiela

While Fendi captured the audience at Milan Fashion Week with glitter lips, Maison Margiela brought it to Paris. Acne was another brand that adopted the trend though it went with a striking holographic gunmetal blue shade. The hue caught the light and was paired with thick, brushed brows, matter foundation and just a hint of under-eye highlighter.

The New Smokey

Dries Van Norton

The smoky eye look was turned up a notch at Dries Van Noten and saw eye shadow applied across the bridge of the nose for a shimmering mask. To enhance the effect of the eye shadow, the area immediately beneath was lightened. At Vivienne Westwood’s unconventional show, metallic shadow was applied to the inner eyes and bridge of the nose for a hollowed out effect.

French Girl Beauty


Loose curls, a matte base and just a smudge of liner under the eyes gave the models at Chloe (Main Picture) that laidback Parisian look that the brand is known for. Another fashion house that embraced sophisticated French beauty was Balmain with matte skin, soft taupe eyes, nude lips and a dash of highlighter that provided a carefree and glamorous evening look.

The Red Eye


Paule Ka chose to match cherry-stained lips with the eyes to bring about a tropical look. Over at Kenzo, the rulebook was thrown out the window by teaming statement red lipstick with a theatrical red eye for a greater impact.

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.”