January 3, 2013
January 9 – February 12: Winter Soldes: Making good on New Year’s resolutions is in full-force at this time of the year and perhaps a wardrobe update is on your list? Even if it isn’t, tackling the winter soldes is a must! These nationwide sales happen only twice each year – in the winter and summer – so brace yourself for the crowds and hit your favorite shops during these few weeks!
January 19-21: Salon de la Lingerie at the Porte de Versailles: Paris is a city of many names, and for me it’s always been the queen of beautiful lingerie; decorative, carefully-crafted lace and silk wares that are true investment pieces. For a few days this month, Paris will formally become the Capital of Lingerie with a giant exposition at the Porte de Versailles entirely dedicated to beautiful under-garments. And guys needn’t be shy, menswear is au rendez-vous as well.
The Sales are happening January 9 – February 12 in Paris (Melle Bé)
Through January 20: Impressionism and Fashion at the Musee d’Orsay: I had never really thought of the Impressionists as illustrators of modern fashion, but this exhibition at the Musee d’Orsay has changed by mind. Pieces by the greats – Monet, Degas, Renoir, etc. – are shown to highlight the fashion and beauty trends that were popular during their day. Continue Reading »
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September 5, 2012
I have a lot of fond memories of Paris in September. It’s been a few years since I studied abroad there, but I distinctly remember the late-August excitement of leaving for my favorite place in the world, knowing I’d get to stay for more than a handful of days. There is a lively buzz around the city in September.
Everyone has just come off long vacances and is duly rested and ready for fall. I’ll be heading back to Paris in a few days, the same week I left for my study abroad program several years ago, and I may be as excited as I was then. Here are some of the events I will not be missing:
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June 4, 2012
Fête de la Musique
June 21 brings the Fete de la Musique back for its 31st year. This year the festival celebrates 50 years of pop, and with a full lineup of gratuit concerts, there is certainly something for every taste.
June 5: Magnificat: Polychoral music at Notre-Dame de Paris. An extraordinary opportunity to enjoy a concert in one of the world’s most famous cathedrals. This show celebrates the works of famed composers Michael Praetorius and Giovanni Gabrieli, who drastically shaped the transition from Renaissance to Baroque music in Europe.
June 6: Brooklyn synth pop duo Chairlift is playing at La Gaîté lyrique. If ethereal harmonies (and the Apple ad featuring their 2008 “Bruises”) is your thing, this is your show. Continue Reading »
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February 8, 2012
For those of you lucky enough to be heading to Paris this month and looking for some interesting things to do, here is a roundup of great events and general goings on. Amusez-vous bien! – Erin Dahl
February 23: Brooklyn rockers Real Estate, whose albums are consistently rated Best New Music by Pitchfork and the like, will perform at Nouveau Casino.
February 24: Pop-dance producers Simian Mobile Disco, a British duo that broke off from previous band Simian, will perform a DJ set at La Machine du Moulin Rouge.
Through February 19: Les Femmes savantes, a favorite amongst Molière’s work and a satirical criticism of the ridiculous préciosité that penetrated 18th century French salons, is showing at the Théâtre de la Tempête.
Through February 19: Chic! Une grande maison at Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine – a look into the history of Paris architecture, specifically the lovely hôtels particuliers that dot the city. Child friendly.
Through March 15: You may know Maxim’s for its resto and boutique, but they also have an exhibition space and this month “Moi, Sarah Bernhardt” is on show. Bernhardt, often thought of as the world’s first and most famous actress, paved the way for female performers to come. Now you can take a peek into her life and passion.
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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.
Fondation Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent
Exhibit at Fondation Pierre Bergé Yves St. Laurent (Virginie Arnoux, Tulio Borges)
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.
5 Avenue Marceau (16th arr). 01 44 31 64 00. Open Tuesday – Sunday from 11am to 6pm. Continue Reading »
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April 26, 2011
Literary woman about town Sara Rahman has the scoop on Paris’ newest and hippest artsy event: The Book Club, occurring monthly at trendy SOPI wine bar, Le Carmen. The next gathering takes place tomorrow, so here’s everything you need to know. -Geneviève
Dress code: book required, clothing optional (not really, please don’t do that). The Book Club at Le Carmen was launched this February in order to promote a new literary magazine, A Tale of Three Cities (TOT), which will be debuting this June. The lit-chic fête is held the last Wednesday of every month at Le Carmen near Place Pigale in Paris’ 9th arrondissement, in the rooms where Bizet composed his most famous oeuvre.
I recently met with Rosa Rankin-Gee, one of TOT’s founding fathers and a talented writer, editor, and purveyor of merriment in her own right. We sat atop a hill this Easter Sunday and chatted about her most recent work in progress.
Naturally, my first question was who attends.
“Beautiful people who read.” Excellent. Those non-prescription Ray-Ban specs are being put to good use after all. Truly, though, the crowd at the two parties I attended was mighty fine looking indeed (see photos).
Now, if that isn’t reason enough, why did TOT decide to do TBC?
“It’s all to do with the magazine which is a join-up of dots between Paris, London, and Berlin. And I suppose it’s the exchange of stories by writers in those cities. The Book Club’s quite a nice way of doing that. We’re sharing books, we’re sharing stories.”
So, what to wear? Continue Reading »
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October 21, 2010
Lily Heise from the Paris walking tour experts Context Travel recently stopped by the Monet exhibit currently taking place at the Grand Palais. Since Paris is currently overrun by an imminent shortage of petrol, enduring public transport strikes and the madness known as contemporary art week, we thought it would be fitting to give you a little dose of tranquility, starting with Monet’s lovely waterlilies…
Every season ushers in a series of new exhibits in Paris and one of the most talked about this autumn is certainly “Claude Monet 1840-1926” at the Grand Palais. Slightly skeptical due to all the buzz, I visited the show last week to see if it was actually worth all the hype… and left two and a half hours later completely enchanted by the artistic impressions of the master impressionist.
The retrospective is certainly a must for impressionist art-lovers, bringing together over 200 works from 70 international collections, it offers a once in a lifetime chance to see so many of his paintings united side by side. Many of the works come from the Musée d’Orsay, however, dozens come from North America, where an avid appreciation of the Impressionists developed much ahead of France.
I was rather lucky to tour the exhibit with artist Marie Theres Berger who gave us some wonderful insight into the works on display, the artist’s career and his personal life. The show was beautifully curated, with the works organized thematically instead of purely chronologically, demonstrating how Monet’s style evolved through his subject matter, often revisiting the same subjects years later, such as the stormy Normandy coastline. Continue Reading »
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June 14, 2010
It’s funny to think how my first visit to Paris involved the requisite art stops (the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay), and how I now get my artistic thrills by lurking in the dark doorways of artist ateliers in Paris’ fringy Belleville neighborhood. But as my relationship with the city has evolved, my understanding of the “real” Paris has evolved as well. I’m not knocking the d’Orsay (it’s worth it every time), but today’s contemporary art scene often happens behind closed doors. A few times a year, these doors open up, and I was lucky enough to be in Paris last week for the Portes Ouvertes de Belleville.
Having lived in this neighborhood this winter, I suspected that there was either some crazy drug trafficking or crazy art-making (or maybe both) going on in the ateliers that lined the rue de Belleville, rue Denoyez and rue Ramponeau. I really wanted to learn more about the scene but—because I am not cool by nature—I figured this was a dynamic subculture that was inaccessible to me. No longer!
My first stop the other week was at “Frichez Nous La Paix,” an artistic collaborative that is responsible for much of the incredible street art in Belleville. I had watched the evolving graffiti on rue Denoyez all winter, and meeting the artists responsible for it felt kind of like discovering that Santa Claus does, in fact, exist.
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April 14, 2010
While Paris is one of the best cities in the world to stroll through museums and gallery-hop, Melissa Ladd — friend and author of the wonderful blog Prete Moi Paris — has unearthed one of the more raw and authentic ways to discover the Right Bank’s true emerging artistic talent. Here she shares with us the return of the artist squat, right on the rue de Rivoli!
There’s ‘artsy-fartsy’, and then there’s what we call in French Bobo, meaning bourgeois-bohême… Meaning, well, ‘artsy-fartsy’! And then, there are actual real artists who don’t always come from affluent families that can afford to pay for a studio in Montmartre where they can pretend to philosophize on contemporary works that are too main-stream and “don’t dig into the real meaning of life”. The real artists are niched in little pockets of society, and they band together in hopes of surviving and being able to create their art.
You’ll find one such pocket at 59 rue de Rivoli, where an entire building has finally been given by the city of Paris to a band of bohemians.
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June 9, 2009
While many tourists may be flocking to more traditional art institutions (the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay), in-the-know Parisians are simply soaking up the art in their own neighborhoods. That’s right… public art is on the rise in Paris, and it is all around if you keep your eyes open! This week, you won’t want to miss the final few days of Parcours Saint Germain, an annual contemporary art exhibition that takes place in sites throughout the 6th arrondissement — from designer boutiques, to historic cafés, to public squares, to the local Monoprix. Continue Reading »
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