“Fashion forward”, three centuries of fashion

Offrande a Pan, tapestry from Beauvais, 17 th century is the background for a hunting jacket of embroidered leather1690, and justaucorps for child and adult

“Offrande à Pan”, a tapestry from Beauvais, 17 th century, is the background for a hunting jacket in embroidered leather, 1690, and two justaucorps for child and adult

I must say I never suspected, when I recently had dinner with Olivier Gabet, director of Musée des Arts décoratifs, that his exhibition of « 300 years of fashion », would be as pretty and as much fun as it is. The first rooms of 17 th to 19 th century are ravishing, with a very special decor created by Christopher Wheeldon and Jérôme Kaplan, who both usually work in the dance and theatre worlds. Furnished with tapestries, antique wallpapers and some furniture, they show the best of Louix XV dresses and men’s embroidered vests, Directoire costumes and romantic crinolines from Napoléon III rd’s times.Read More

Prix Emile Perreau Saussine, a moving moment

 

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Pierre Manent, President of the jury, and the dashing director of Sciences Pô, Frédéric Mion

For the sixth year, friends and family of Emile Perreau Saussine met at Sciences Pô for the prize giving ceremony in his memory. He was a teacher of philosophical politics at Cambridge university and at Institut des Sciences politiques in Paris, and his PhD adviser, Pierre Manent is the president of the jury.Read More

Marquet, a magician of atmospheres

Quai Saint Michel avec fumée, circa 1908-1909, courtes galerie de la Présidence, Philip Bernard

“Quai Saint Michel avec fumée”, circa 1908-1909, courtesy Galerie de la Présidence, Philip Bernard

Ever since I discovered a painting of the Seine by Albert Marquet at a friend’s house when I was 20, I was struck every time I saw a Marquet again. He had made a lasting impression on my young eyes. Eight years ago, Musée de la Marine had an extraordinary show of this turn of the century sensitive artist, who always loved to paint water scenes, of sea and rivers alike. This year again, Musée d’art Moderne de la ville de Paris, is having a retrospective with a strange name « Peintre du temps suspendu » (painter of suspended time). It is nevertheless a beautiful exhibition with many paintings of Algiers and Naples which were unknown to me. The light of Le Havre is reminiscent of Africa and the foggy views of Algier’s harbor could (almost) be in Normandy. What a versatile painter with a love of colour !

La Marne à la Varenne Saint Hilaire, 1913-1915

La Marne à la Varenne Saint Hilaire, 1913-1915

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Seydou Keïta, a natural photographer

Sans titre, 1949-1951, CAAC- The Pigozzi collection, Geneva

Sans titre, 1949-1951, CAAC- The Pigozzi collection, Geneva

He was born in Bamako when it was still the French colony of Sudan, never went to school and started as a wood carver at age 7. When he received his first Kodak Brownie at 14, he became an avid photographer.  Seydou Keïta, who died in Paris fifteen years ago, gets his first major retrospective at Grand Palais, thanks to the large collection of Jean Pigozzi.

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A witty lunch at the French Academy

 

Hugues Gall, President of Giverny was presenting the book over lunch

Hugues Gall, Director of Giverny was presenting the Monet book before lunch

It’s always impressive to have lunch at the French Academy, one of the most fabulous 17 th century building, designed  by Louis Le Vau along the Seine, and when you are invited by Academician Hugues Gall, the witty and charming Director of Giverny (who was born in Honfleur!) it is even more exciting. The excuse for gathering twenty guests in the salon Vuillard, was the presentation of a new book published jointly by Giverny and Alain de Gourcuff on Monet’s private art collection. And it was fun !Read More

Bistro Volnay is excellent again

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Saint Nectaire cheese with mushrooms and cacao powder

I was introduced to Bistro Volnay, on rue Volney, by a friend who used to live at Hotel Park Hyatt Vendôme, in the back of it. It had become his “cantine” and I profited from it. He has left the hotel and the bistro has changed hands, but we went back anyway, on pilgrimage. And it was a great success.
The beautiful and quiet decor has not changed. The host, Philippe Marques, a sommelier trained at Lucas Carton and Prince de Galles hotel, is delightful and knowledgeable as is his deputy who recommended a fabulous white wine from the Vallée du Rhone, Saint Péray, les Pins from Domaine Gripa.

The two sommelier who run the place are knowledgeable and understanding or customers tastes

Philippe Marques and Oliver Bury, two sommeliers who are knowledgeable and understanding of customers’ tastes

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Popelini, a very light sin

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Behind the counter at Popelini, fifteen different kinds of cream puffs

Having lunch with a very thin friend, who eat nothing, is always a little frustrating for me and after resisting taking a dessert after two big dishes, I ran to three different galleries including the very pretty « Laubiès » exhibition at galerie Alain Margaron, and the classic and excellent « Arman » show at Galerie Templon. This strenuous afternoon made me completely vulnerable to the cream puffs of Popelini, a shop I had never spotted before on rue de Turenne. `They are small enough that you don’t feel sinful, yet they are large enough to give you a shot of sugar on a busy aternoon.Read More

Barcelo, a big surprise

A detail of "verre de terre", 195m x 6 m at Grande Bibliothèque

A detail of “verre de terre”, 195m x 6 m at Grande Bibliothèque

Majorcan artist, Miquel Barcelo is one of my favorite artists. In 1987, I was given one of his first etchings of a boat and have been looking at it every day, since. It is briliant. There are two exhibitions of his in Paris at the moment. One, in the cellar of Musée Picasso, shows a large painting and wonderful pots made on his island of Majorca. The other one at Bibliothèque François Mitterrand is completely striking.Read More