A very special Infante at the opera

Le Cid / Massenet - Roubaud

Annick Massis as the Infante and Sonia Ganassi as Chimène in “Le Cid” by Massenet at the Paris Opera (photo Agathe Poupeney, Opera national de Paris)


It was a grand evening of Association pour le Rayonnement de l’Opera de Paris (AROP) and Palais Garnier was looking glitzy with hundreds of guests for dinner ! The arrival of former President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing seated on the first row of the balcony, created a little stir and he seemed very concentrated on « Le Cid » the opera composed by Jules Massenet on Pierre Corneille’s verses. The King of Spain, the brave Captain and Rodrigue’s victory must have reminded him of some of his political battles !Read More

Literary dinner in London


Polly Samson with husband David Gilmour whom she writes lyrics for

Polly Samson with husband David Gilmour whom she writes lyrics for.

I was surprised and flattered to be summoned to London for a dinner party at Quo Vadis,  in honor of Polly Samson, whose latest novel « The Kindness » (Bloomsbury) is on display in every book store.Books_TheKindness
New York book publicist Lynn Goldberg, had asked me with her usual charm, to join an incredibly distinguished group of writers and publishers on the eve of the London Book Fair. Our host was Clare Conville, Samson’s literary agent, who had a few of her authors around the table. Bloomsbury’s editor in chief Alexandra Pringle, was in deep conversation with Maria Campbell, the New York queen of scouts, and George Gibson, her New York colleague, spoke passionately with his new author, whose book will be out in September in the US.

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A new glass roof for Chantilly

The new glass roof of the Galerie de peintures at Chantilly Castle

The new glass roof of the Galerie de peintures at Château de Chantilly, with Le Nôtre gardens in the back, photo M.Savart.

Nicole Garnier in front of a Corot with Chantal Millet

Nicole Garnier in front of a Corot with Chantal Millet

The occasion was festive and « the Friends of Musée Condé » in Chantilly, could be proud of themselves for having contributed to the restoration of the paintings from the famous Duc d’Aumale collection. Pierre Antoine Gatier, architect in chief of Monuments Historiques, was discussing the color of the original 1895 mural fabrics by Binant, which he managed to save. A dark red which is not cherry and not brown. Very typical of the period. « Very shabby chic » as someone said, not glitzy at all and very Chantilly.Read More

Alexander McQueen takes a revenge

In the Romantic gallery a fabulous coat with goose wethers painted in gold

In the Romantic Gothic gallery, a fabulous coat (center)  made of goose feathers painted in gold

« London is where I was brought up, it’s where my heart is and where I get my inspiration » writes Alexander Mc Queen at the entrance of the exhibition of the V&A in London. I had seen the show previously at the Metropolitan Museum in 2011 but felt it would be more meaningful in London, and it was… The crowds are similar, some of the dresses too (there are 66 more in London) but there is something crazy and elegant about this new show that made me run back and forth for a couple of hours to try and understand this genius of couture who died tragically at 40 after having worked on Savile Row, succeeded John Galliano at Givenchy in 1996 and created his own house.

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Back to youth at la Géode

Géode jour

Inside this dome is a 400 seat theatre with a 180° screen and many dreams.

A fabulous sound system and a 1 000 square meter screen for very special films in 70 mm ! This is what the Géode, an Imax movie theatre, is all about since it was inaugurated 30 years ago in La Villette, in the Northern part of Paris.Read More

And let them have a fête!

The fabulous lounge of Cinema du Panthéon

The fabulous lounge of Cinéma Le Panthéon

Frédérique Bredin with Jack and Monique Lang

Frédérique Bredin with Jack and Monique Lang. photo Farida Brechemier


cnchommage a bertrand tavernier 2015 143

Bertrand Tavernier, the director, with Jean Pierre Marielle. photo Farida Brechemier


The evening at Cinéma Le Panthéon was fun and seeing Jean Rochefort, Jean Pierre Marielle and Bertrand Tavernier celebrate their producer, Michelle de Broca, was a moving moment of cinema. At the invitation of Frédérique Bredin, President of CNC, Centre national du Cinéma, they were all celebrating forty years of movie making with the screening of a historical film « Que la Fête commence » set in France and Britany just after Louis XIV th’s death. But also remembering a time when actors were having a ball on each film they shot. Especially those actors ! And former culture minister Jack Lang, was as gracious as ever, talking about Frédérique Bredin who started her career at his ministry and his current project, IMA, the Institut du Monde Arabe, and Woody Allen’s recent visit there with his daughters.Read More

Treasures of sand and fire


Lino Tagliapietra vase, 1993, photo Jean Tholance


Hu vase, China, 1736-1796, Photo Jean Tholance

It is hard to make a choice among the 600 pieces of glass that are exceptionnally exhibited at the Galerie Rivoli of Musée des Arts Décoratifs. This attempt to illustrate the history of glass making in Venice and in France but also in China and Vienna since the Renaissance is a great success and a quiet moment to enjoy.

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A new dashing tailor

Charles Balsan shows the factory his ancestor started in 1864, in Chateauroux

Charles Balsan shows the factory his ancestor started in 1864, in Chateauroux


The Dormeuil tweeds are wonderful.

It is an amazing come back for Charles Balsan who has just opened a men’s tailoring shop, at 122 bd Haussmann, next door to the shop his father used to run thirty years ago. Balsan was born and raised in a textile factory, his family owned since 1864, when his great grandfather Pierre Balsan bought the Manufacture royale de Chateauroux. Originally from the Cévennes, a mountainous region of Central France, the family has always developed the manufacturing of woolen drapes since 1675. And he still remembers his grandparents boarding the ship to Argentina to find the best sheep or the smell of wet wool around the factory when he came home from school.

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