Tag Archives: Paris

1951 Jaguar XK 120 Roadster OTS LHD – A Classic Upgraded and Meant to Be Driven

Sensuous curves and an aesthetic which tilts more to form rather than practical function are some of the reasons why classic cars like the 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster still continue to hold sway over our automotive dreams. That said, while the classic design and bodacious bodies of these ageless beauties have withstood the test of time, many of these vintage cars like the XK120 Roadster has obviously lagged in terms of engineering performance.

A classic like the 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster begs to be driven but if they were driven in today’s urban conditions at factory specifications, its a breakdown and maintenance nightmare waiting to happen. Thankfully, Heritage Motors Cars, is a bespoke car outfit by Jean-Luc Bois of Atelier Parisien Auto dedicated to making sure these original automotive wet-dreams run like they look – gorgeously.

1951 Jaguar XK 120 Roadster OTS LHD – A Classic Upgraded and Meant to Be Driven

When it comes to classic cars with modern engines, there’s certainly a lot of debate on just how much a vintage car can be improved without losing its “soul”. We would like to think that Heritage Motor Car’s 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster OTS LHD manages to walk that fine line – retaining the sweeping arcs and sensuous lines of the one of the world’s most beloved sports cars of the era but replacing the original heavy-weight steel for more aerodynamically efficient alloy panels.

This 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster has a body was rebuilt entirely of aluminium, further augmented by an all new 3.8 litre straight six engine modified to output 280 horsepower. Modern electronics permeate the internal workings as well as modern disc brakes for all wheels but the instrumentation panel has been kept decidedly old school, contrasting with the modernist matte gunmetal grey exterior.

The cabin of the updated XK120 Roadster is luxurious yet period authentic thanks to its fresh brown leather interiors and matching dashboard toggles and switches. Assorted heritage details like leather bonnet strap lend credence to the perception of the classic Jaguar Roadster’s pioneering soul without any of the anxiety that comes with driving a vintage beauty of this calibre in modern conditions.

Left Hand Drive Jaguar XK120 Roadster available €165 000 , Heritage Motor Cars, Paris

The Latest Beefbar In Paris Revived A 19th-Century French Hotel

© Francis Amiand

Minimalist design is all the rage today. Even as we bring back over-the-top retro, a minimalistic twist inevitably finds its way to refine these modern interpretations. However, we still marvel at art forms of the past. There is an undeniable and enduring appreciation for the restoration and preservation of historical art, monuments, and sites because they offer us glimmers into the past.

European restaurateur Riccardo Giraudi’s Beefbar is the third one to open in 2018 with interiors that find harmony between 19th-century architecture and modern industrial-style design. Following two other debuts in Dubai and Mykonos this year, the latest iteration sets itself in Paris within the restored Lamgham Hotel from 1898.

© Francis Amiand

Beefbar Paris: Breathing Life Into A Century-Old Monument

The design project had been undertaken by Emil Humbert and Christophe Poyet of Monaco-based architectural firm Humbert & Poyet. Engaged previously to design the editions in Hong Kong, Mexico, and Monaco, the duo challenged the boundaries of the forgotten space that was walled-up during World War II, only to be discovered by chance and made a historical monument in 1983, when it was thereafter left behind again.

© Francis Amiand

A slight departure from the “refined simplicity” concept of its predecessors, the resulting amalgamation of styles is impressively elegant and sensitively traditional. Art Nouveau elements such as the signature pastel green shades, patterned carpeting and intricate frescos were carefully restored, while Art Deco marble, etched staff walls, faceted mirrors, lacquered walnut and brass fittings were preserved. In all its glory, the original features were juxtaposed with industrial-style minimalist woodworks and ceiling.

The strong colours and modern furnishings were a befitting contemporary spin to revive a century-old monument. With the Eiffel Tower within eyeshot, Giraudi makes yet another bold statement with this Paris edition.

© Francis Amiand

Beefbar has been popular with meat eaters since its first Monte Carlo restaurant in 2015. In 2016, Beefbar Hong Kong earned its first Michelin star in the 2017 Hong Kong & Macau Michelin guide. The Paris instalment is another stunning addition to the lineup.

For more meat to the Beefbar story, visit www.beefbar.com.

Le Bristol Paris: Where Art Meets Luxury Living

Le Bristol Paris: Where Art Meets Luxury Living

Staying at Le Bristol Paris, which opened in 1925 and has been a five-star establishment for almost a century, means you’ll be able to immerse in the city’s most iconic destinations for art and couture. A stone’s throw away from Champs Elysées and La Madeleine Place, a key attraction of this hotel (that unveiled its full-scale renovation in October 2018) is its rooftop swimming pool, which offers views of the iconic Eiffel Tower views and a garden. It is also home to the award-winning Spa Le Bristol by La Prairie.

Some of the rooms have even been decorated with Louis XV or Louis XVI style furniture. At the moment, there’s even an exclusive art expo suite that was designed in collaboration with French artist, Bertrand Lavier – who decorated a reception room brightly, inspired by a Walt Disney comic strip about Mickey and Minnie’s modern art museum visit.

Peek out the windows of the hotel, and you’ll find views of the hotel’s flower-filled courtyard, or the famous shopping belt of rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré. Food is another highlight, as Le Bristol Paris houses 3-Michelin star restaurant, Epicure, and the 1-Michelin star restaurant, 114 Faubourg. There is even a kids’ club, Bonpoint, that will delight both children and adults alike.

This article was originally published on https://www.lofficielsingapore.com/ by Olivia Hayden Ong.

SAINT LAURENT Rive Droite—tethered by history, stretched by ambitions

The House of SAINT LAURENT opened two special museum-like flagships featuring limited-edition articles, books, vinyls, skateboards, yoga mats amongst other bric-à-brac. Curated by Anthony Vaccarello, the two boutiques do not shy away from the signature provocativeness that runs in the brand—from clothings, jewelry and now, even to YSL-branded condoms.

“We want to be more immersive for the consumer, and possibly reach some people who wouldn’t necessarily come to Saint Laurent, but who could – through this boutique – better understand the universe I’m trying to create.” – Anthony Vaccarello, YSL creative director

SAINT LAURENT Rive Droite—tethered by history, stretched by ambitions

With panache, the House of SAINT LAURENT opened two SAINT LAURENT Rive Droite flagships on 8 June—one in Paris, the other across the Atlantic, in Los Angeles’ Rodeo Drive. These museum-esque boutiques pronounce SAINT LAURENT’s aspiration to requalify the brand and an allusion to SAINT LAURENT’s legacy; or as YSL’s creative director, Anthony Vaccarello, puts it, “enlarging the universe and DNA of Saint Laurent”.

In both the Parisian and Californian flagship, the brainchildren of Vaccarello adhered assiduously to the iconic monochromatic layout, as with its testy apparel. Like the other YSL boutiques, the signature interior design—the immaculate white marble floor edged by large mirrors and black marble panels—is not lost with the new flagships, but rather, is enhanced by a myriad of bric-à-brac and furniture, and transformed into a retail destination for “expression, exchange and lifestyle”. Perhaps, considering YSL’s chic and edgy vogue, it is even provocatively appropriate to feature a portrait of a woman’s bare posterior in a netted pantyhose.

Apart from the usual men’s and women’s ready-to-wear apparel, the highly curated boutiques also offer limited-edition articles as well as books, vinyl, vintage, and even novelty pieces like skateboards and yoga mats. If that hasn’t yet raised any eyebrows, consider this—YSL branded condoms are on sale.

Universalising the SAINT LAURENT experience

When interviewed, Vaccarello explained, “We want to be more immersive for the consumer, and possibly reach some people who wouldn’t necessarily come to Saint Laurent, but who could – through this boutique – better understand the universe I’m trying to create.” True to his words, Vaccarello has intentions to universalise the spacious boutiques by hosting exhibitions, concerts and even film screenings to forge a more holistic brand identity.

While Vaccarello’s seeming frivolous use (or underuse) of some of the world most expensive land area may be puzzling to some, it is actually a stroke of genius. According to a Forbes’ interview of branding and marketing expert Olga Panacenko, the culture of ‘exclusion’ that luxury brands once embrace does not necessarily fit with Gen Z and millennials; rather, these marques need to be more culturally inclusive to woo the young money. This is precisely the reason for the birth of the two new flagships. The immersive and open concept of SAINT LAURENT Rive Droite plays down the sense of hyper-commercialisation as customers can now unpretentiously step foot into the boutique to learn about YSL’s heritage and distinctive style per se.

Paradoxically, without feeling pressurised to buy, it creates a stronger personalised brand-customer loyalty (and possibly better sales) that transcends the realm of the physical merchandise—the brand loyalty that increasingly affluent young adults identify with nowadays is grounded in the experience, heritage, and human feelings associated with the consumption of the product. This strategy is not unique to YSL. Hermès also has been meticulously sculpting its brand image for years by featuring veteran craftsperson at work to spread the artisanal-quality and authenticity of the brand. Being able to relate to the intangible-but-emotive qualities of the brand, young customers will be more willing to shell out.

Safe to say, LUXUO is not surprised if these experience-based emporiums rake in more revenue than the conventional minimalist boutiques.

A Tribute to Yves Saint Laurent’s first boutique—SAINT LAURENT Rive Gauche

Yves Saint Laurent once said, “I had had enough of making dresses for jaded billionaires.” Thus, when the namesake designer Yves Saint Laurent first founded his boutique, SAINT LAURENT Rive Gauche, in 1966 along the left bank of River Seine, he promulgated the eponymous Rive Gauche line that helped democratise luxury fashion in the sixties. That said, the Rive Gauche line is not a haute couture knock-off; each piece in the collection was afforded as much care, or even greater dedication, to nudge Parisian towards high-quality ready-to-wear fashion against YSL’s haute couture-oriented contemporaries.

53 years on, the house of SAINT LAURENT came full circle—except now with stores worldwide and as today’s fashion pride—to establish SAINT LAURENT Rive Droite along the right bank of River Seine, as a nod to YSL’s first Rive Gauche boutique and collection. Metaphorically traversing the River Seine from the left to the right bank, and religiously abiding by the house’s distinctive palette in face of luxury fashion’s changing paradigm, the new museum-like emporiums are the ultimate embodiment of SAINT LAURENT’s perpetuating relevance in fashion.

Fire Rages as Workers Rush to Save Notre Dame Precious Artworks

Notre Dame is on fire. There’s a very real danger of the flames will consume everything but the skeleton of the famed Parisian cathedral. But in our memories and the pages of Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, we can nurture hope.

Great edifices, like great mountains, are the work of centuries. Art often undergoes a transformation while they are pending, pendent opera interrupta; they proceed quietly in accordance with the transformed art. The new art takes the monument where it finds it, incrusts itself there, assimilates it to itself, develops it according to its fancy, and finishes it if it can. The thing is accomplished without trouble, without effort, without reaction,— following a natural and tranquil law. It is a graft which shoots up, a sap which circulates, a vegetation which starts forth anew. Certainly there is matter here for many large volumes, and often the universal history of humanity in the successive engrafting of many arts at many levels, upon the same monument. The man, the artist, the individual, is effaced in these great masses, which lack the name of their author; human intelligence is there summed up and totalized. Time is the architect, the nation is the builder. – Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Fire Rages as Workers Rush to Save Notre Dame Precious Artworks

Hugo is right. Notre Dame was built, it was once rebuilt. And it can be rebuilt. The Grand Lady was once condemned and neglected. It’s hard to imagine that today, the most popular landmark in Paris, eclipsing even the signature Effiel Tower by double the visitors was once the subject of a campaign for demolition. Hugo himself predicted, “the church will, perhaps, itself soon disappear from the face of the earth.” In a feat of poetic irony, success of Hugo’s novel drove enough popular sentiment that the King ordered Notre Dame’s restoration in 1844.

Now, even as fires continue to rage, Notre Dame stands as a collective testament of human will and endurance. Workers are now fighting to save its soul even as fire ravages her body, considered one of the world’s great works of architecture. Within the stone walls of Notre Dame lies some of the world’s (and Christiandom’s) greatest treasures.

The Precious Artworks of Notre Dame

Notre Dame is home to the Relics of Sainte-Chapelle, it is said that a relic of the true cross is housed at the cathedral as is the preserved crown of thorns placed on Jesus before his crucifixion. According to a Parish Priest, these have been rescued; but first responders continue to toil for Notre Dame Artworks like: the 50 “Mays” of Notre Dame

The “Mays” of Notre Dame were a series of large paintings commissioned every May (hence the name) each year from 1630 to 1707. Notredamedeparis.fr has a full list of the artworks listed in French. When disaster struck, some of these pivotal artworks were on display:

  • Jacques Blanchard, The Descent of the Holy Spirit, 1634
  • Charles Poerson, The Preaching of St. Peter in Jerusalem, 1642
  • Sebastien Bourdon, The Crucifixion of St. Peter, 1643
  • Louis Cheron, The Prophet Agabus predicting to St. Paul his sufferings in Jerusalem, 1687
  • Not a “May” artwork but still greatly important – Jean Jouvenet, The Visitation, 1716, depicting the visit from the Angel Gabriel to Mary

The “bones” of the Notre Dame – The organs, still require saving. The five keyboards and its 8,000 pipes, the Great Organ of Notre Dame is woven into the interior architecture of the grand cathedral. These would take some time to extricate as fire-fighters continue to manage the blaze.

“The most valuable works have been sheltered,” said General Jean-Claude Gallet, commander of the Paris Fire Brigade, according to Le Parisien.

Though statues of the 12 apostles had been removed during some of the renovation work, Notre Dame is home to some of these significant statues as well:

  • Our Lady of Paris – a representation of the Virgin Mary with the Christ child
  • Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, Mausoleum of Count Harcourt, 1776
  • Louis Castex, Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, 1934

“Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame,” – Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot

While Notre Dame’s architecture is largely masonry and stone, the cathedral’s wood interior is likely to be gutted. The iconic stained glass windows which pioneered cathedral window architecture throughout the Europe were built in 1260 but in its current incarnation, is not the original after centuries of damage culminated in the 1830 fire which required its replication.

The cathedral’s iconic spire as well most of the roof is gone. But the twin towers, the facades, bell towers and flying buttresses ( a testament to early engineering ingenuity) and much of the building’s general structure still remain. Only one serious injury has been reported thus far.

Meanwhile, François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering Group, holding company for brands such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga has pledged $113 Million to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral. We have saved the Grand Lady before, we will save it again. Deo Gratias

A City Mourns

Live The Crazy Rich lifestyle In The Most Expensive Cities

Live The Crazy Rich lifestyle In The Most Expensive Cities

For the first time in 30 years, the Economist Intelligence Unit revealed its list of the most expensive cities to live in and the No. 1 spot is split in a three-way tie between Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong. The annual survey, which evaluates the cost of over 150 items in 133 cities around the world, features a top 10 largely dominated by Asian and European cities. The report, entitled the “Worldwide Cost of Living 2019,” analyzes regions based on several factors including food, transportation and clothing prices, as well as currency fluctuations.

Singapore retained its number one spot from last year but what the ‘Crazy Rich Asian‘ city truly expensive to live in? “Singapore remains consistently expensive in several categories. It is the most expensive place in the world to buy and run a car, thanks to Singapore’s complex Certificate of Entitlement system,” Robert Wood, Principal Economist at The Economist Intelligence Unit, says. “Transport costs in Singapore are 2.4 times higher than in New York. Alongside Seoul and Japanese cities, Singapore and Hong Kong are also very expensive locations to buy clothes and pay for utility costs.”

One of the factors behind Asia’s strong showing at the top of the table is that some Asian cities are among the world’s priciest locations for general grocery shopping, according to the EIU. Though Singapore has maintained its spot since 1992, it now shares its spot with French and Chinese metropolises. According to the EIU, Paris has been one of the ten most expensive cities since 2003.

New York and Los Angeles were the only two U.S. cities to make the top ten. The strengthening of dollar has resulted the change in the American cities. “This trend can be attributed to a stronger local currency, as well as to changes in the ranking elsewhere rather than U.S. cities becoming more expensive domestically.”

The full list, below:

1. Singapore, Singapore
1. Paris, France
1. Hong Kong, China
4. Zurich, Switzerland
5. Geneva, Switzerland
5. Osaka, Japan
7. Seoul, South Korea
7. Copenhagen, Denmark
7. New York, United States of America
10. Tel Aviv, Israel
10. Los Angeles, United States of America

Where to Stay in Paris: A Romantic Getaway at a Five-star Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris

Paris, is undeniably the dream destination for romantics. For decades, lovers have been heading to the French City of Lights with their significant other, aspiring to prove their love and faith – eventually by attaching a lock to the famed Pont des Arts. The bridge may now be gone, but the romantic spirit lives on in the numerous other establishments around the city and we take a look at one hotel that fits the bill: Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris.

Paris has much to offer visitors and each hotel in the city has its own magic spin that will lure you in. Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris, a boutique hotel located near the Faubourg St Honoré neighbourhood, joins the list of exclusive locations that one might turn to, to bring their loved ones to. Situated in the same neighbourhood as haute couture Maisons such as Dior and Chanel, the exclusive hotel is a charming alternative to the luxury chain hotels around the city.

Buddha Bar Sunset party hotel paris

Sunset Party at Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris (©Christophe Madamour)

From the outside, the Buddha-Bar Hotel looks as it did in days gone by. The historic building, which was once owned by Augustin Blondel de Gagny, art collector and treasurer to King Louis XV, was constructed in 1734 and has stood tall through the many changes over the centuries. Transformed in a luxury travel establishment 20 years ago, it has maintained the magnificence while going through an assertive revamp. Inside, the French art de vivre meets the calm of an Asian temple. Aiming to be a phantasmagoric representation of 1930s Shanghai, the hotel, established around a paved inner courtyard, merges traditional architecture with a surprisingly modern decoration, that evokes a sense of wanderlust and inner peace.


Grande Suite Historique, Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris (©Guillaume de Laubier)

The most luxurious suite of the hotel, La Suite de Gagny, which is named after the historical owner of the hotel, stands out from the rest of the establishment with its look. Frescoes and original mouldings have been restored to preserve the 18th-century aspect and pink granite fireplaces and crystal chandeliers add to the Parisian atmosphere. The rest of the furniture, though are contemporary and suit the Asian spirit brought to life by Buddha-Bar Hotel concept creator Raymond Visan.

With two bedrooms, and of a total182m², the suite is noticeably large. One has to admit it is rare to find such a space in Paris. And, because it is tempting to stay inside when the cold seizes Paris during the winter, the suite has the perfect escape with a golden bath that sits proudly as the centrepiece of the 30 square metre bathroom.

Salon de Bain de la suite de Gagny, BuddhaBar Hotel Paris (©Guillaume de Laubier)

Salon de Bain de la suite de Gagny, Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris (©Guillaume de Laubier)

For those who are not lucky enough to stay in the best suite, Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris also boasts 55 other rooms which include 18 suites and three new Prestige suites, that are all available for your enjoyment.

For more information visit Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris website

Quirky, Retro Paris Hotel Panache

Parisian designer Dorothée Meilichzon is behind some of Paris’ hippest venues –  including the Beef Club and Mojo; and she happens to be the creative mind behind boutique Hotel Panache near the Grands Boulevards. Having taken over two 19th-century buildings in the heart of the bustling 9th arrondissement, Dorothée Meilichzon’s retro-inspired Hotel Panache is a quintessential Parisian stay both for its quirky design and friendly staff.

Quirky, Retro Paris Hotel Panache

In a 19th-century building occupying a corner of busy Faubourg Montmartre, Hotel Panache is the fourth hotel for the Panache group in the French capital. Marble, mirror and other playful design elements are used as not just touches of luxury but also as quintessentially Parisian accoutrements. Interior designer Dorothée Meilichzon and Hotel Panache owner Adrien Gloaguen have embraced the oddly-shaped rooms, making the most of the triangular corner building and playing to its offbeat geometry with geometric patterns on the floor and counter reminiscent of another global triangular architectural icon – New York’s ‘Flat Iron’ building.

The bold use of pattern and texture puts this boutique Parisan hotel a major visual experience in a city already rich in culture and the arts. All 40 rooms are different, with hallway sofas, corner mirrors and triangular desks making the most of quirky layouts. Room 203 takes special mention for its floor-to-ceiling windows and a small balcony while Room 701 has an amazing top-floor vista and its own one-hole putting green. Decorated with vintage telephones, Bauhaus light switches and Art Nouveau bentwood furniture, the retro Hotel Panache is no ordinary Parisian boutique hotel.

Within walking distance of all the attractions situated in Paris’ 9th arrondissement; Hotel Panache between the Grands Boulevards and South Pigalle is in a highly animated borough of eateries, picturesque streets and live entertainment. Touristy attractions like the Musée Grévin waxworks and auction house Drouot  are nearby including the former Folies Bergère cabaret if you’re interested in the month’s musical or theatre production.

If a late night out before has you knackered, Hotel Panache’s own corner restaurant is a popular eatery with the locals thanks to its delicious yet inexpensive meal sets (€28/£23), it also serves as a breakfast spot for hotel guests.

Book Hotel Panache now, from $150 from Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Chaumet Unveils A Temporary New Address At 165 Boulevard Saint-Germain

Fine Jewellery crafted by Chaumet

As of January 2019, visitors of Chaumet will be able to discover the Maison’s contemporary creations in an ephemeral boutique, in hôtel particulier at 165 Boulevard Saint-Germain,  Paris. While, the historic 12 Place Vendôme address is undergoing restoration.

Chaumet Moves To The Left Bank Of Paris

Chaumet relocates in 2019

Chaumet, a Parisian jeweller since 1780, is already entwined throughout the Right and Left Banks of Paris and the House will continue writing the tale that has linked it to Paris from the very beginning.

Choosing Saint-Germain-des-Prés, a legendary quarter situated at the heart of the iconic Left Bank neighbourhood, the new location will host a series of exhibitions open to all. The Maison will share its history with Parisians through a series of exhibitions and events.



From the beginning of February, there will be an exploration of the inspiring relationship between Chaumet and writers.

The new address will see Chaumet share its history, its attachment to the arts and the most beautiful pieces from its heritage.

As you enter into the ground floor, you are met with an aurora of connection to the many artists who have utilised the space. From Edith Wharton, Karen Blixen, Olga Picasso, Louise de Vilmorin and Marie-Laure de Noailles among its celebrated clientele.

Today, hôtel particulier at 165 Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris is the epicentre of effortless and well-read elegance. Making it a choice as bold as it is natural for Chaumet.

Chaumet has lit up the Place Vendôme for more than two centuries, and intends to shine as brightly in its temporary address, on the Left Bank.




Legendary Fragrance Chanel No.5 Experiences Close To 100 Years Of Success

Lily-Rose Depp in Chanel advertisement, following in mother Vanessa Paradis footsteps.


Gracing the skin of an infinite amount of women and making every single one of them a lady when it has. This divine scent from Chanel embodies a regal essence that leads it to be favourably embraced by grandmother, mother and daughters.


A Scent So Exquisite It Is Embraced By The Generations


lens magazine


The alluring fragrance imagined by Coco Chanel was created by celebrity perfumer Ernest Beaux in 1921. He took her desire and placed it in a little bottle. Chanel is reported as saying (upon smelling it) … this is,

“what I was waiting for. A perfume like nothing else. A woman’s perfume, with the scent of a woman”.

This little bottle of femininity and independence would become known as the epitome of perfumes internationally. Forming the bar to which all others continue to be measured.

Worn by pin-up goddess Marilyn Monroe, as the only thing she wears to bed. Chanel No.5 grew in popularity.


Marilyn Monroe with her Chanel No.5


What was it that encapsulated Chanel with the number five that led her to name one of her masterpieces after it… Acquiring the signature name occurred solely by coincidence. Coco Gabrielle Chanel was presented with a selection of 10 samples. They were numbered one to five and 20 to 24. Chanel smelt every sample, deciding the final pick would be the fifth. As of this choice, the legendary name was born.


Chanel media image via theglampad.com


To celebrate, Chanel invited French-Russian perfumer Beaux and friends to a popular upmarket restaurant on the Riviera and sprayed the table with the perfume as a fun celebratory gesture. It was a scent Chanel felt in-sync with because

The fragrance balanced her teenage years in a convent and then this luxurious life as a mistress

Imbued with jasmine, rose, sandalwood and vanilla, every single woman that walked past her table asked what was that fragrance and where did it come from.

Chanel’s choice for the uniquely shaped bottle we recognise today, was modelled off a whisky decanter, taking the masculine item and turning it into a epitomised female symbol.

As a woman who lived a life both encapsulated by love and as an independent lady, she never lost the strong sense of belief she held within herself, even in her later years. Chanel’s belief in herself, is a belief that we all seem to relish with every single spray of her luxurious perfumes.

Chanel No.5 has lived for almost 100 years … and undoubtedly will be loved for another 100.


Chanel, as herself


Guillaume Alan’s Kennedy Apartment Paris is a Minimalist’s Dream House

Based in Paris and London, Interior designer Guillaume Alan is a master at filling spaces, not with fixtures and furnishings as one might expect, but with light. Indeed, Alan’s Kennedy Apartment in Paris is expert demonstration of using the quiet interplay of light and shadow to bring the best of the architectural and furniture elements, creating a minimalist’s dream house in the process.

Guillaume Alan’s Kennedy Apartment Paris is a Minimalist’s Dream House

Guillaume Alan’s Kennedy Apartment is a terrace penthouse with views on the Seine and Eiffel Tower but one could argue, the best views are within, thanks to Alan’s deft monochromatic palette. The brief was simple and to an amateur, perhaps all but impossible to execute but Guillaume Alan handles the Kennedy Apartment’s owners high requirements with much aplomb: turn the Hausmannian apartment into something unique, no design cliches like feature walls and most importantly, make ample use of natural lighting which the penthouse provides.

If you’re wondering what makes Paris uniquely Paris, Georges-Eugène Haussmann (for which the architectural style is named) was commissioned by Emperor Napoléon III to overhaul the French capital city in the 19th century, clear it of  of medieval overcrowded medieval slums and sewage which French social reformer Victor Considerant once commented: “Paris is an immense workshop of putrefaction, where misery, pestilence and sickness work in concert, where sunlight and air rarely penetrate. Paris is a terrible place where plants shrivel and perish, and where, of seven small infants, four die during the course of the year.” It was no exaggeration, the street plan on the Île de la Cité and the quartier des Arcis neighbourhood, between the Louvre and the “Hôtel de Ville” (City Hall), was little changed since the Middle Ages. Thus, Paris’ unique “openness” is the result of on the Emperor’s own orders to Haussmann on 29 June to aérer, unifier, et embellir Paris: “to give it air and open space, to connect and unify the different parts of the city into one whole” likely the inspiration for Guillaume Alan’s own transformation of Kennedy Apartment Paris given the lavish amounts of open space and airiness.

The 20+ year veteran interior designer kept it simple, the beauty of French classicism exemplified by the traditional arches with the modern colour palette of light grey or off-white, punctuated off and on with dark furnishings, a bespoke painting here and there, the warmth of oak wood flooring and natural linen rugs and the detailed embellishments of leather, silk, wool to compliment the monochrome tones – it would be zen minimalist, except it has too much warmth, depth, and texture.

Guillaume Alan’s Kennedy Apartment Paris may look Neo-European to uncultured eyes but he has skilfully and unobtrusively incorporated elements of the exotic Far East into his interior repertoire – table lights inspired by old Chinese lanterns and Ming period Tao dining armchairs, all against a backdrop of marble, wood and bronze – this is the pinnacle of sophistication.

More pics at Cool Hunter



Kenzo Spring/ Summer 2019 is a New Perspective on the Traditional Kenzo Code

Kenzo SS19 Setup

Inspired by its own roots, current creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim revisited Kenzo Takada‘s original designs that led his eponymous brand to success in the 70s and 80s – Splashes of colours and his signature blend of tailoring and sportswear. The result? A new perspective on the traditional Kenzo code. Presented at the grand proscenium arch theatre, the exhilarating setting is the most befitted for the final show on the men’s calendar in Paris.

A Piece of Memory Stitched in Clothing

“It’s like a traditional ceremony but twisted,”

With floral suspensions, a brass band and a laser light show, the Kenzo presentation transported show-goers into a magical picturesque arena. And while the presentation of the show was all the hype (perhaps due to the last day of the fashion week marathon), the clothes did too, rise to the occasion. The reimagined Kenzo Spring/ Summer 2019 sees a more liberal use of colours than before. Complementary hues of yellow, orange and blue horde the runway, set in sporty silhouettes and oversized volumes.

“What we like to create is a moment in time, a memory you can take with you,” said Lim. Quite literally, a decades-old invitation from when Kenzo showed in the Louvre courtyard was reborn as a print on a shirt and a rubberized tote.

This lineup was ostensibly informed by summer ceremonies, executed in layering pieces ranged from slouchy blazers to oversized button-downs. Toeing the line of tailoring and athletic gear, blazers sported nylon pull tabs at the sides, with drawstrings and zippers subtly adding further functionality to the collection. And as with all the looks presented on the runway, comfort took precedence.

Albeit having the collection reflect the traditional vision of Kenzo Takada, the pivot to sporty then and polish now is revealing. The new Kenzo succeeded in dressing the old in its current ethos, just as how we tend to think of Kenzo: Inclusive but not trendsetting.

This Inspiring 3D Installation Has Taken Paris By Storm

A Japanese tech firm, teamLab, known for creating stunning 3D installations is showcasing some of its best works from May 4 to September 4 at La Villette, an expansive exhibition hub in Paris.

Get close and personal with a waterfall like never before at teamLab’s “Beyond the Limits” exhibition in Paris.

The exclusive event is scheduled right before Japonismes 2018, a cultural event marking the 160th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and France. The astounding spaces are created by a massive array of computer-controlled digital projectors.

As part of the inviting 3D spread, one can experience, the “Universe of Water Particles on Au-dela des limites” – an enormous waterfall projected on a wall 11 meters high and 26.5 meters wide. Amongst other gaze-worthy installations are the “A Whole Year per Hour / Flowers and People, cannot be Controlled but Live Together” which basically showcases flowers blooming, growing and eventually shedding their petals in a never-ending cycle.

Visitors can also lie down on many of the digital images and virtually feel them for a more, life-like experience.  Most of the images are interactive: changing according to the participant’s position and physical touch, almost creating a shared virtual reality. Beyond the technical brilliance the images and sounds are simply gorgeous, and ever changing.

Per TeamLab leader Toshiyuki Inoko, “The exhibition will inspire people to rethink about boundaries in their daily lives and across the world.” And we second that thought in 3D!

Enter the enchanting space and glimpse into the brilliant minds of an extremely creative and generous team of artists that simply defies the boundaries of creativity and imagination.

Le Dîner en Blanc 2018: Interview with Alexis Lhoyer, Guillaume Chabrieres and Jasmine Tuan

Currently, in its 6th year in Singapore, Le Dîner en Blanc 2018 is confirmed to be held on Saturday, 12 May 2018 at a secret location only to be revealed at the last minute. The concept of this elegant picnic is to simply: Pack a set of foldable table and chairs along with white dinnerware (no disposable plates and cutlery allowed), get dressed in not cream, not ivory but your best white ensemble and gather at an assigned departure location where you’ll be taken to the undisclosed location. The secrecy of the venue makes for an interesting conversation for friends to curate their outfits.

Over the course of the night, attendees get to enjoy a three-course one Star Michelin meal and drinks – all to be pre-reserved on the e-store, accompanied by fine entertainment under the stars. Le Dîner en Blanc 2018 marks not just another edition in Singapore but the event’s 30th anniversary since its first introduction in Paris. Years in the making and spanning across almost 80 cities internationally, the fundamental concept of the event remains the same – a celebration of life, friendships and community spirits through good food and great hospitality. Now, regarded as an international epicurean phenomenon. For those who are lucky enough to secure a spot for this most exclusive of events, here are a few things that you can expect for the coming edition:

Le Dîner en Blanc 2018: Interview with Alexis Lhoyer, Guillaume Chabrieres and Jasmine Tuan

Le Dîner en Blanc is ever so much more than just a collective meal, how do you keep each edition fresh and a step higher than the last?

Alexis Lhoyer: Putting the Diner en Blanc together is always a challenge to find a new venue that will surprise everyone, as well as make sure the experience is seamless. But at the end of the day, it’s all about having a great food experience with friends, and we’re putting all our efforts into making sure it’ll be an unforgettable experience.

Guillaume Chabrieres: We constantly try to raise our game with more and more exciting venues. Finding the perfect location is always the most challenging part of Singapore.

Jasmine Tuan: We up our game by the secret venue we chose for the year, the entertainment and surprises we’ve lined up for the evening.

Singapore was the first Asian city to host the event in 2012. And now,Le Dîner en Blanc 2018 is going to be one of the few biggest versions outside of Paris. (To Alexis Lhoyer) How does it feel to be the man co-hosting this event in Singapore? 

Alexis Lhoyer: Hosting Le Dîner En Blanc is a very rewarding experience, but also a tough one. The whole team of hosts, all the volunteers, as well as a big part of our Chab Events team, works countless hours on personal time and late night to make it happen.

We try to bring in as much entertainment and experience as possible in the budget we have, and expectations are always very high so we work hard to please all the guests. However, it is also incredibly rewarding as the energy you get from thousands of friends and attendees happy, with a big smile on their face during the diner is tremendous.

For a country as confined as Singapore, finding a scenic location in Singapore that can house more than 2000 people is definitely a challenge. How do you go about the process of preparing for the secret location?

Alexis Lhoyer: Finding the perfect venue for the Dîner En Blanc is usually the result of more than 6 months of efforts. We start looking for a new venue directly after the end of the previous edition. Months of work are necessary to align all the government bodies, agencies, as well as suppliers to make sure the event can take place and run with a smooth logistic, even though for the regular guest, it looks like an easy feat as everyone is bringing their own tables, chairs and food!

How do you balance the cultural aspect of the dinner? How does the French and local culture translate to the Singapore edition of Le Dîner en Blanc – Food perhaps?

Alexis Lhoyer: Food is definitely one element, but also the entertainment, and ultimately, the landscape in which the diner takes place. We try to create the perfect blend of both cultures to make the experience interesting to all guests, both local and foreign!

Guillaume Chabrieres: One of my favourite parts is to see that every culture, the 4 dominant cultures in Singapore together with the Western guests really blend in this event. Everyone feels welcome to appropriate themselves the DEB by bringing certain types of food, table decor or dress up in white with little accessories that remind people of where they come from.

Jasmine Tuan: Guests can choose to prepare their own 3-course meal (Starter, Main, Dessert) or order dinner set menus curated by one Michelin Star restaurant Saint Pierre celebrity chef, Emmanuel Stroobant; SQUE Rotisserie & Alehouse; and Rocks Urban Grill & Bar. One of the menus comes with a vegetarian option too. Guests are very welcome to bring their favourite food or food that’s close to their heart, be it local dishes or fusion creations. Bring out that chef in you! We want to see what’s on your plate too! Hashtag us #whatsonmyplateDEBSG2018 #DinerenBlancSG #DEBsg2018

Speaking of food, will Le Dîner en Blanc ever be open to cater localised dishes like Laksa or Curry chicken, given that there would be a high chance of risking sartorial damage?

Alexis Lhoyer: We definitely welcome all kind of food. Le Dîner En Blanc is a celebration of both the culture of its country of origin, France, and the hosting country, Singapore. As we aren’t a full-fledged restaurant, we can only offer a limited selection of menus on our e-store, but people are free, and even more, encourage to cook and bring their own food! Remember the starting of the Diner En Blanc in France was a simple picnic!

Guillaume Chabrieres: Every type of food is welcome. People often think that the food has to be white too, the team always tries to share the right information for people to get ready the best way possible in terms of food. Jasmine is also doing a terrific job on social media with inspirational posts.

Jasmine Tuan: Ever since the 2012 Chicken Rice saga, Le Dîner en Blanc – International is very relaxed with the type of food guests are bringing. After all, this is an international event held in Singapore. Chicken rice is definitely a must! Laksa and Curry chicken too! Just be sure to bring your own white napkins for the napkin wave to announce the start of dinner and to protect your all-white outfit from potential food stains. Last year, at the VIF table, our guests brought White Pepper Crab, Chicken Wings, Dry-Seasoned Mee Siam, Shepard’s Pie, Marinated Capsicum Prawns, Salmon Tartare, and so on, to share.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the food presentation, taste and company.

Share with us your idea of an amazing night out.

Alexis Lhoyer: The best night out is the one with friends. Whether you are on for a big night out, or a simple catch-up, the people you are with are the key to the best night out. Spice it up with a few surprises or unplanned changes and you’re on for something exceptional.

Guillaume Chabrieres: Quality times, quality times, quality times. A perfect night out is all about spending a great time with your friends and loved ones. A perfect night out is always too short but at the same times filled up with a series of great moments.

Jasmine Tuan: A night filled with good company, delicious food, and lots of alcohol! (Haha) Be sure to order your alcoholic drinks from our E-store latest by 8 May, midnight! Guests are not allowed to bring their own alcohol. Alcohol will be on sale at the after-party. Cash transactions only.

Where do you plan to take Le Dîner en Blanc to next – anymore Asian countries in mind?

Alexis Lhoyer: We’d love to takeover Bali, as it’s such a beautiful island.

Guillaume Chabrieres: We’d love to takeover Bali.

Jasmine Tuan: We are thinking of Bali, Malaysia, and … surprise!

St Germain Apartment on Rue Bonaparte Paris

St Germain des Pres Bonaparte View

Situated on Rue Bonaparte in Paris, with an enviable address, this stunning apartment is just a short distant away from the legendary Saint Germain des Prés, Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots.

Sprawling over an area size of 173m² across the entire third level of the Haussmanien building, this St Germain des Pres Bonaparte View is valued at USD 5,308,075 and it is most distinguishable by its wrap-around balcony. Built with a gracious outlook, it is truly a luxurious haven and a prime destination where residents can look forward to live, laugh, dine, work and play, and meet a choice of interesting people the world over.

Touches of modern refinements

During the overhaul, work has been undertaken to transform this apartment into a plush and colourful living space – one that speaks of grandiosity, vitality and vibrancy. Perhaps, the designs are sensitive to the original history that took after the inspiration of the many periods’ charm, so much so that the residence’s original features have been retained, highlighting the beautiful fireplace, parquet flooring and library.

Step into the apartment, is the marble flooring and leading from this interior space into a spacious salon featuring a fireplace and dining room. Walk further down towards the dining table set, gives access to the Library with the television and the first suite.

“This suite has access to the balcony, as well as a dressing room and private bathroom.
Coming back into to the entrance, there is a classic hallway with the guest toilet and guest cloakroom.”

Enter the second suite, there’s an office area, dressing room, private bathroom and a hammam. “The kitchen is fully equipped with a dining area and a laundry room as well as air conditioning, security, home automation system for sound and lighting.”

The St Germain des Pres Bonaparte View features an elevator as well as a cellar, and 24 hours caretaker services are available to provide the necessary convenience. All in all, this sanctuary could probably make an excellent investment choice for those hankering after a coveted property.

For more information about the property, please visit FrenchEntrée.

Karl Lagerfeld Designs this year’s Claridge’s Christmas Tree

London’s Claridge’s on Brook Street, Mayfair is most happy to reveal Claridge’s Christmas Tree this Nov 22. This year, the tree is designed by Karl Lagerfeld, who is widely regarded as one of the fashion world’s most influential and a decorated designer of his time, and he is also at the helm of his eponymous fashion label.

Visionary, eclectic, and iconic, is what Karl Lagerfeld is! Over the years, Karl has put his fashion sense into designing more couture collection for the haute couture and has also spent his time being involved in a wide variety of fashion projects and art-related undertakings. And this year is no exception.

Image courtesy of Drapers

Think of Karl Lagerfeld, and you’ll be reminded of his white hair and his most prominent black sunglasses with high starched collars.

In the past years, Claridge has invited creative visionaries to redesign the tree according to the tastes and styles of the designers. Big names such as Dolce and Gabbana, Jony Ive and Marc Newsome, Burberry just to name a few, had done so and Claridge has always been pleased with the iconic designs. This is the eighth year and German designer, Karl was invited to flaunt his decorative skill.

This year, Claridge’s Christmas Tree will be designed by Karl Lagerfeld

Commenting on the collaboration, Karl Lagerfeld said: “Christmas trees are the strongest ‘souvenir’ of my happy childhood.”

This landmark in London has always attracted visitors and Londoners to admire the decorated tree. All the more, Claridge’s Christmas Tree is a big deal in London as it ushers in a significant season that marks the start of the festivity.

For guests and visitors to Claridge, let’s wait to find out very soon what’s in store for you this Christmas!

France awarded world’s top tourism destination in 2016

Audrey Hepburn once famously declared, “Paris is always a good idea.” Years later, it seems that the doe-eyed actress’s sentiments are still being echoed by many a globetrotter. Yesterday, the UN’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) announced that France was once again the world’s top tourism destination in 2016.

For many, the news might come as a surprise, especially after the string of deadly terror attacks that the country’s capital has seen in recent years. It is apparent, however, that to the 82.6 million tourists who visited France last year, the city of romance — with its beautiful historic monuments and exquisite local wines — still held its appeal.

However, the figures did reveal a drop of over 2% from 2015. The figures in the US were dealt with a likewise blow, falling 3% to a number 75.61 million tourists. Not all countries suffered the same fate, though — as was the case for Spain. Hot on the heels of the US, the country came in third with 75.56 million visitors. The 10% jump in visitors from 2015 reflects Spain’s newfound role as an alternative to the lands of Turkey, Egypt and North Africa — all of which are prone to unrest in the volatile political climate of today.

This has certainly worked to the Spain’s advantage; the country seems to be attracting a well-heeled crowd, judging from the staggering $60 billion earnings it received from tourists last year. It was beaten from the top position only by the US, whose $206 billion earnings put it miles ahead of any other countries in the running. Thailand and China came in third and fourth respectively.

Meanwhile, the Brexit referendum has evidently taken a toll on Britain. After voting to leave the European Union last year, the British pound was significantly depreciated against the US dollar. As a result, Britain fell four places down to the seventh position, making only $34 billion in tourist earnings in 2016.

Exhibitions in Paris, France: The Organic Mechanic, Émeric Chantier at A2Z Gallery

Émeric Chantier, ‘A child’, 2017. Image courtesy A2Z Gallery

As natural as it is mechanical, Émeric Chantier sculpts vegetal material alongside industrial components to awaken the collective consciousness of humanity towards the environment. Through an unusual combination of dirt and wood against metal and polyurethane foam, his sculptures communicate the symbolism of daily objects and their cultural impact in great detail. Objects such as weapons and masks are emulated organically, with the organism growing unobtrusively despite the physical boundaries or limitations of the industrial materials of the sculpture.

With each sculpted figure, Chantier tries to encourage a double reading of it both macroscopically and microscopically vision. While many of his pieces are of miniature sizes, they elevate viewers into a gigantic perspective – therefore macroscopic – of the artwork. He believes that the power of nature will always prevail against human constraints, portrayed by vegetal elements growing inside even the smallest of nooks and crannies of the sculpture, therefore leading the viewers to take a detailed observation of each figure and inspecting it microscopically. “The observer loses the overview and is required to look more caring, more carefully to the environment in which he lives,” explains Chantier. “By seeing the sculpture in details, the public is led to a personal interrogation.”

The contrast between the ever-growing shrubs against the stark mechanical pieces reminds viewers to be conscious of their surroundings and to rethink their place in the environment. “It is not an act of ecological activist but a personal reflection on the function of our society,” Chantier declares. Looking at his piece titled ‘Cross’, viewers may refer to medieval art history of the martyr as the sculpture can be seen as a representation to how the environment suffered the consequences contemporary society’s action, bringing forward the question of how human should position himself against nature. Meanwhile, the mechanical womb enveloping the vegetal infant in the sculpture titled ‘Foetus’ can be interpreted as a man-made protection of nature, or instead an obstruction against natural growth. Chantier leaves it to the viewers to interpret his works, as he enjoys challenging the public’s eyes.

Émeric Chantier, ‘Foetus’, 2013. Image courtesy A2Z Gallery

Growing up in the suburbs of Montreuil, Paris, surrounded by fields and forests, Chantier has always felt a strong connection with nature. His fondness of manipulating Lego toys honed his skills as a sculptor from early on. He started to create sculptures to change the less-than-ideal situation at his last employment, fulfilling his longing for nature after his move to the capital for the job. He cited his inspiration as coming from his great-grandparents old house, where he would found mundane objects such as old plastic bottles of syrup and used cans, which he would turn into miniature vessels of nature.

When it comes to the technicalities of his sculpture, the artist has had previous artisanal training that taught him to experiment with many different assembly techniques. Chantier enjoys creating minuscule sizes as it implies quality, expertise and mastery of the gestures. It also signifies patience, tenacity and tenderness. He credits his affinity towards it to his childhood of making diorama Legos, a sense of accomplishment achieved every time he managed to create a miniaturised and precious universe.

Émeric Chantier, ‘A child’, 2017. Image courtesy A2Z Gallery

In a solo exhibition titled ‘Look at Me’, presenting at A2Z Art Gallery in Paris until 29 July, Chantier continues his unconscious critical responses towards environment and society through sculpting toys and weapons, in order to communicate the experience human body has in discussion with the ecosystem. He is hoping to find the balance between the collective awareness and personal questioning, and eventually creating a utopian system where humans can live amicably alongside nature.

This article was written by Wintang Warastri for Art Republik.


Art auction in Paris: Auguste Rodin’s sculpture ‘Andromede’ sells for $4.1 million

“Andromède” by Auguste Rodin.

Auguste Rodin’s white marble sculpture of the mythical Ethiopian princess “Andromede” fetched nearly 3.7 million euros ($4.1 million) at a Paris auction Tuesday, well above the top estimated price of 1.2 million euros. The rediscovered masterpiece—created in 1886-1887 and depicting the daughter of Ethiopian King Cepheus nude and asleep on a rock—was sold by the Artcurial auction house just as Paris is marking the centenary of Rodin’s death.

An exhibit of more than 200 of his works and those of artists he influenced is showing at the Grand Palais in the French capital until the end of July.

In 1888, Rodin presented the work to Carlos Morla Vicuna, a Chilean diplomat living in Paris at the time, as a gift, said Bruno Jaubert, Artcurial’s director of the impressionist and modern art department. It has been in the Vicuna’s family ever since. “For 130 years she stayed in this family of diplomats despite the members’ different foreign postings,” Jaubert said.

The work, one of five carvings Rodin created of the subject, is especially notable for the contrast between Andromede’s smooth finish and the virtually untouched roughness of the jutting slab of rock.

The $4.1 million sale price, while substantial, is far from the record set last year for a Rodin sculpture—his “Eternal springtime” marble sculpture of lovers sold for $20.41 million at Sotheby’s in New York in May 2016.

The Louvre Pyramid, designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum

Parisian Louvre pyramid designer I.M. Pei turns 100

The Louvre Pyramid, designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum

The Louvre Pyramid, designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum

The Chinese-American designer endured a roasting from critics before the giant glass structure opened in 1989, with up to 90 percent of Parisians said to be against the project at one point.

“I received many angry glances in the streets of Paris,” Pei later said, confessing that “after the Louvre I thought no project would be too difficult.”

Yet in the end even that stern critic of modernist “carbuncles”, Britain’s Prince Charles, pronounced it “marvellous”.

And the French daily Le Figaro, which had led the campaign against the “atrocious” design, celebrated its genius with a supplement on the 10th anniversary of its opening.

Pei’s masterstroke was to link the three wings of the world’s most visited museum with vast underground galleries bathed in light from his glass and steel pyramid.

It also served as the museum’s main entrance, making its subterranean concourse bright even on the most overcast of days.

Pei, who grew up in Hong Kong and Shanghai before studying at Harvard with the Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, was not the most obvious choice for the job, having never worked on a historic building before.

But the then French president Francois Mitterrand was so impressed with his modernist extension to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC that he insisted he was the man for the Louvre.

The Socialist leader was in the midst of attempting to transform Paris with a series of architectural “grands projets” that included the Bastille Opera and the Grand Arch of La Defense.

Already in his mid-60s and an established star in the United States for his elegant John F. Kennedy Library and Dallas City Hall, nothing had prepared Pei for the hostility of the reception his radical plans would receive.

He needed all his tact and dry sense of humour to survive a series of encounters with planning officials and historians.

One meeting with the French historic monuments commission in January 1984 ended in uproar, with Pei unable even to present his ideas.

“You are not in Dallas now!” one of the experts shouted at him during what he recalled was a “terrible session”, where he felt the target of anti-Chinese racism.

Not even Pei’s winning of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the “Nobel of architecture” in 1983, seemed to assuage his detractors.

Jack Lang, who was French culture minister at the time, told AFP he is still “surprised by the violence of the opposition” to Pei’s ideas.

As the Louvre is the former palace of the country’s kings, Lang notes that “the pyramid is right at the centre of a monument central to the history of France“.

“The project also came at a time of fierce ideological clashes” between the left and right, he added.

The Louvre’s then director, Andre Chabaud, resigned in 1983 in protest at the “architectural risks” Pei’s vision posed.

The present incumbent, however, is in no doubt that the pyramid is a masterpiece that helped turn the museum around.

Jean-Luc Martinez is all the more convinced of the fact having worked with Pei over the last few years to adapt his plans to cope with the museum’s growing popularity.

Pei’s original design was for up to two million visitors a year. Last year the Louvre welcomed nearly nine million.

For Martinez the pyramid is “the modern symbol of the museum”, he said, “an icon on the same level” as the Louvre’s most revered artworks “the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace”.

The Eiffel Tower, now synonymous with Paris, faced opposition during the time of its construction

The Eiffel Tower, now synonymous with Paris, faced opposition during the time of its construction

Pei is not alone in being savaged for changing the cherished landscape of Paris.

In 1887, a group of intellectuals that included Emile Zola and Guy de Maupassant published a letter in the newspaper Le Temps to protest at the building of the “useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower“, an “odious column of sheet metal with bolts”.