April 13, 2015
On a recent rainy Paris afternoon, I found myself in a secret courtyard off the fashionable rue Saint-Honoré. A haven from the crowded street, lined with haute couture boutiques, the showroom of Caroline De Marchi, luxury handbag designer, offers a respite for the weary shopper as well as a welcome change from the typical Paris shopping experience.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Caroline, catching her just after she had returned from a trip to Milan, where she splits her time between stays in Paris. Caroline is of Belgian origin, but has spent most of her life in Paris, with stints in other locations around the world. She followed her Italian husband to Egypt, where she lived for four years, and has also called Sao Paulo, Brazil home. And influences from these séjours abroad are wildly evident in her bag’s styles. The stunning Bali sac, for example, is in the shape of a pyramid, a direct reference to Caroline’s time in Egypt.
March 6, 2015
Art and culture are such an integral part of French society that even in English we use the term chef d’oeuvre, and these are the words that swarmed through my thoughts as I visited the Fondation Louis Vuitton last month. Fashion not your thing? It is not the museum’s either. The Fondation was built by LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault to celebrate contemporary art and French crafts, but for now, the most thrilling thing about the building is the building itself.
March 11, 2014
The Finish Institute (Anna Brones)
Clean lines, fresh food, cozy cafes – it is no surprise that so many of us have an obsession with Scandinavia. Paris is having its own love affair with the Nordic countries, and if you want a mini-escape to the cultures of a colder climate, you don’t even have to leave the French capital. From food to fashion, there’s plenty of Scandinavia to be had on the streets of Paris.
Whether it’s a little grim, gray and rainy out, or you’re treated with blue skies and sun, Le Café Suédois at l’Institut Suédois is equally inviting. This cozy café space in the Swedish Institute in the Marais feels like stepping into any café in Sweden, complete with strong dark filter coffee and plenty of Swedish baked goods.
In the summer you can sit in the beautiful courtyard and eat your kanelbulle (cinnamon roll), or come for lunch and order a classic Swedish open-faced sandwich.
Icone (Anna Brones)
At the Institut Finlandais you’ll find Coutume Institutti, a partnership with local coffee roaster Coutume. The Finns are known for their coffee consumption, and in this typically Scandinavian designed café, you can sit for hours nursing a big cup, catching up on some work on your computer, or simply sitting and feeling a wave of Scandinavian inspiration.
March 12, 2013
Nichole and Evan Robertson of Obvious State (formerly Little Brown Pen) have been helping us keep our Paris dream alive through their colorful, oh-so-Paris prints for years now. Today, we’re thrilled to be giving away three sets of their gorgeous new travel posters, throwback prints designed by Evan. You can win one right here on the blog, one on our facebook page, and one on Pinterest! HiP Paris readers also get 20% off orders on the Paris Print Shop. Instructions for winning after the jump…-Geneviève. Please note: this giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winners!
I love travel posters – both for the sense of adventure they instill, and the way they allow the artist to take a complex subject like a city and distill it to a simple icon.
When it comes to Paris, it’s no secret that my wife Nichole and I have a penchant for the pedestrian pleasures. So with this project, my aim was to create a series of travel-poster-inspired illustrations, but with a twist: to focus on the moments that you enjoy now and remember fondly later, rather than on the monuments, which instead serve only as an architectural backdrop. The result is a series of four prints that give a playful prominence to the things you do over the things you see.
December 18, 2012
Some people love stationery. A lot. These are the people who browse stationery stores like others do cheese shops, picking up notebooks and greeting cards, smelling, weighing, pressing the pages between their fingers, thrilled by the possibilities within. These people are often diligent list makers, brainstormers, budgeters and recorders of funny expressions overheard in the subway.
I am one of those people. I carry around a total of four notebooks with me at all times: the day planner for appointments (never, ever trust your iphone to keep up with time-zone hopping), the list journal, the ideas journal, and the diary. I have slimmed down over the years, shedding the fuzzy-heart adorned secret-keepers of my youth in favor of lighter, more “mature“ versions. Ahem. I swear.
October 3, 2012
Yvan Le Bozec, Youkali/Diffuse Nebula Galaxy, Sound and light installation, variable dimensions 2005© Collection FRAC Languedoc-Roussillon — at Nuit Blanche 2012
Art-lovers and appreciators of beautiful things, rejoice! October runs on art & design shows in Paris, and there is a lot to see. With several hip artsy events on our agenda – and all within walking distance of each other – I think we’ll all be welcoming November feeling a bit more enlightened. The weather has cooled in Paris, but rather than buy a new coat and some warm boots, I may indulge in new-restaurant-testing and dance my way through the chills at several concerts instead. At least for now.
Anne Sophie Pic (Wines Travel)
Anne-Sophie Pic just opened her first restaurant in Paris, La Dame de Pic, and she’s being warmly welcomed to the city. High gastronomy has always been a bit of a boys’ club, but Pic challenged that norm and is the only woman in France with three Michelin stars. As Pic announced on her blog – how much do we love that she writes a blog? – her Paris resto is dedicated to pleasure and simple, spontaneous, emotional food. A meal here is definitely in order.
Cutlog at the Bourse du Commerce (Cutlog.org)
October 6: Nuit Blanche is in its 11th edition, but I have a feeling this year’s will up the ante. Laurent Le Bon, notorious for putting Jeff Koons sculptures in Versailles, curated this year’s events. The theme is “Paris à l’infini” and the events utilize city spaces to offer visitors different perspectives on Paris’ literary, artistic and architectural elements. Some of the evening’s happenings will occur in places usually off limits to the masses, and all will offer stimulating takes on everyday Parisian fixtures: an astounding view of the city from the 24th story of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Bach played on the Île Saint-Louis, six hours of Philip Glass in the 5th, dancers depicting Parisian monuments interspersed along the Seine, and a giant crescent moon hauled on the top of the Eglise St Eustache. And this is only a small sampling.
January 16, 2012
Paris is known for many things: its light, its bistros and, of course, its fashionably chic women. But what about its men? Do les hommes parisiens share that certain je ne sais quoi for which their female counterparts are so admired?
Alas, in a word, non.
Parisian men do, however, have distinctive style that manages to marry the rakish allure of Vincent Cassel or Olivier Martinez with the more bourgeois appeal of, say, Francois Cluzet. In short, his cool charm derives from an unstudied, imperfect look that works without looking overworked. Matchy-matchy, perfectly pressed and impeccably coordinated is just un-Parisian.
Here are some hallmarks of Parisian style pour homme, as seen on the city’s streets this chilly season.
Le foulard: There may be no look more “French” than an artfully tied scarf. Men are rarely seen in Paris without stylish neck wear — rain or shine. From the classic Burberry check to sumptuous cashmere or printed cotton, a casually wrapped neck is simply a must.
Les chaussures: Men’s shoes have gone narrow and pointy; classics like leather oxfords and sporty suede bucks have seemingly been stretched. A gently pointed toe is the only shoe shape that looks right right now. For weekends en ville, swap out the dress shoes for a well-worn pair of tennis — Puma or Adidas, please.
Les pantalons: Athletes with ample quads, beware: Modern Parisian trousers are très slim cut. Like those spotted on fashionable Parisiennes, slim-cut dark wash jeans for men can go almost anywhere in Paris these days. Worn with a tailored blazer or fine-knit sweater (think body-hugging), un jean works just as well for a stroll through the Centre Pompidou as it does for a dinner at a swank bistro. Whether it’s jeans, chinos or wool trousers, keep the cut close; a flared leg or tailored cuff is a definite style don’t.
December 16, 2011
As soon as our timetable lets us go, my husband and I move from our base in Amsterdam to our tiny apartment in Paris.
We’ve lived here in Paris part time for more than 4 years now, but I still discover new places, neighborhoods, and restaurants every single time we go on a stroll. Paris is inexhaustible when it comes to surprising me in any unexpected ways.
My dear friend, stylist, photographer and author Pia Jane Bijkerk, used to live here too, and she wrote a wonderful guide that everyone should have when they go to Paris. It’s a little book that takes you on a tour of Paris’ best shops and ateliers for handmade goods. So that’s right up my alley, of course.
October 4, 2011
Parisian shops devoted entirely to a single specialty (like olive oil, honey, or communist literature) are considered obvious fixtures in an urban landscape where commercial efficiency is, if anything, an afterthought. So, when my roommate Winnie showed me a place on our street specializing in piñatas, of all things, my only thought was, “Of course. Naturally.” It was, incidentally, just across the street from our radical left-wing bookstore.
Winnie, a journalist, was covering the shop in a story with an unusual social twist. The piñatas, it turns out, are made by prisoners.
July 28, 2011
Baccarat House (Hotels Paris Rive Gauche)
Most visitors to Paris don’t know what they’re missing by not knowing the word fondation. I know I didn’t when I moved from New York. When I heard about the Yves Saint Laurent or Henri Cartier-Bresson fondations, for example, I just assumed they were boring non-profits or something. Silly girl.
Fondations are Paris’ little artistic gems. Often housed in magnificent old hotels particuliers or modern spaces designed by world-renowned architects, these “foundations” are like miniature museums, dedicated to preserving the memory and achievements of influential movers and shakers. Here are some not to be missed.
Fondation Cartier (Tim Brown Architects’)
By far my favorite is the Fondation Cartier. The modern, airy Jean Nouvel-designed building invites the lush cedar and fig trees surrounding the building inside, and the surrounding wild gardens make for a perfect pit-stop after taking in the art. And then there’s the art. Seeing as it’s the hoighty-toighty French jeweler’s fondation, the work is nothing short of sterling. Exhibitions are really well curated, ranging from Japanese megastar Beat Takashi Kitano’s kitschy-controversial paintings to the wildly popular 2009 graffiti art exhibition to William Eggleston photographs.
261 Blvd Raspail (14th arr.). 01 42 18 56 50. Open every day, except Monday, from 11am-8pm; Tuesdays until 10pm.
Yves Saint Laurent is a god to the French, to fashionistas and to feminists. So it only makes sense that there’s a fondation devoted to the iconic fashion designer in one of the city’s chichi-est arrondissements. Don your finest and dive deep into four decades’ worth of original sketches, accessories, haute couture and ready-to-wear. While many of the rotating exhibitions are devoted to YSL, not all of them are. Past standouts include shows by painter David Hockney, interior designer Jean-Michem Frank and American socialite Nan Kempner.