“The Chiffon Trenches”, a fashion testimony with wit from André Leon Talley

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Arthur Elgort photographs André Leon Talley

“My mother loved clothes, though I am not sure she ever fully loved me” says André Leon Talley halfway through his amazing book “The Chiffon Trenches”, the history of the fashion world between Andy Warhol’s “Interview” magazine and today’s “Vogue”. This well known figure of the first rows of fashion shows, was African American and died last Tuesday at 73 in White Plains, N.Y.

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Anselm Kiefer again, in full splendor at Thaddaeus Ropac

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Im Herz des Bergs, 2021, photo, Charles Duprat © Anselm Kiefer

You might have missed the Kiefer/Celan exhibition at Grand Palais Ephémère which, alas, only lasted a month, due to the numerous fashion activities of the place. So now is your chance to catch up with very different paintings which were done during the same period of lockdown and with the same huge talent by the German painter who lives mostly in France. The show of eighteen paintings in Pantin at Thaddaeus Ropac is dazzling, with the wonderful light which comes from the ceiling and the immaculate white space of the large warehouse. Where Grand Palais was all in darkness and drama, Pantin is flamboyant with colors and gold. Do not miss it (until May 11).Read More

At Roger Viollet, Gaston Paris shows his fantastic eye!

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Worker and rosace en contre-jour at Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris, Paris, ca 1935. © Gaston Paris / BHVP / Roger-Viollet

Roger-Viollet is this magical gallery on rue de Seine where millions of historical negatives owned by the City of Paris are stocked and sold. Recently taken over by photo lover Gilles Taquet, it has become more dynamic and organizes regular exhibitions of their archives. At the time when Centre Pompidou is doing a retrospective of photo reporter Gaston Paris (1903-1964), you can go and see his prints chosen among 15 000 negatives, and acquire them for a modest price. I was surprised by the diversity of this photographer’s style. From surrealist pictures exhibited at Georges Wildenstein’s gallery in January 1938, to theatrical portraits, industrial and urban pictures, and reporting in Berlin after the war, his black and white square Rolleiflex shots are really interesting.Read More

Gigi is very pretty and almost very good

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The terrace on the upstairs level is spectacular

I met a man on the elevator to Gigi, on the 6 th floor of Théâtre des Champs Elysées, who had been there before and he said that on a day like this the place would be spectacular but is a little noisy. He was right all the way and my excitement to discover the new Laurent Gourcuff Paris Society group spot in Paris was not deterred. The decor by Hugo Toro is very theatrical with yellow marble from Sienna and travertine from Rome for a fabulous floor. But of course, it is a little noisy. The menu is Italian, the customers very mixed but young (30 to 40), and obviously very trendy because, wearing jeans and T shirts for the men and high heels for the girls seems to be the rule. The food was good except for my favorite dessert, the Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc) which looked like the mountain in the Alps but did not taste like anything. Read More

Happy Birthday Parisdiary!

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It’s been seven years since on January 19, 2015, Parisdiary was born thanks to Gaspard d’Hautefeuille’s brilliant coding technique. The idea came from Cathleen McGuigan and Susan Reed, both successful journalists living in Sag Harbor who ordered me to start the newsletter for my American friends who liked Paris. The first issue reviewed Jean Lebrun‘s biography of Chanel which won the first Prix Goncourt de la Biographie and Louise Pressager‘s wonderful art videos.

Louise Pressager still develops her huge sense of humor today

It has now become YOUR newsletter and your messages throughout lockdown have kept it going. Keep sending your cheers, it’s wonderful to stay in touch when we can’t travel… And let’s drink to the Diary’s future seven years.

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Fondation d’Entreprise Hermès reveals its talents in Pantin

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Olivier Sévère and his cristal cubes shows at Galerie Sinople

It’s always a huge effort to go to Pantin, a suburb north of Paris where Chanel and Puiforcat have their factories but also, and this is the reward, is an area where much contemporary art is taking place. On the ground floor of Magasins Généraux,  Fondation d’Entreprise Hermès is showing the result of 10 years of artists’ residence in its different manufactures of cristal, silver, leather and silk. The show already took place in Seoul and in Tokyo and it gives a good idea of tomorrow’s trends.Read More

Affordable or out of reach, you find great art at Galerie Lelong

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Wang Yan Cheng, Untitled 2021, © Wang Yan Cheng / Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co.

Galerie Lelong has three spaces in the 8 th arrondissement and going to an opening there is like going to a fair: there is something for everybody’s (good) taste. This time I fell in love with Californian artist, Alison Saar, a sculptor who presents prints rue de Téhéran, for the first time, and French naturalized Chinese painter, Wang Yan Cheng, who was showing his very colorful and thick paintings, avenue Matignon. The late Lebanese artist Etel Adnan is also exhibited on the first floor of the main gallery and simultaneously in New York, at 528 W 26 th.

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Venitian slippers with an Uzbek twist

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Covered in Uzbek fabric the Friulane is a very elegant slipper at Capulette

One of the good surprises of Christmas was a pair of fancy Venitian slippers made with Uzbek fabric by Capulette. Mine are pink and green but hey come in multiple colors, in cotton or velvet and are the original Friulane shoes worn by gondoliers with a gum sole. They were designed by the very pretty Capucine Lebrun, the owner of the minuscule shop located at 2 rue d’Aguesseau, across the street from St Michael’s church and in front of the British Embassy. Multiple lines of cushions, summer handbags made with weed of palm tree leafs and baby slippers are also available and everything is in perfect taste. Read More