France Magazine #94 - Summer 2010

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No.94 The Fa s h io n & B e au t y Issue


$5.95 U.S. / $6.95 Canada /

Sophie thÉallet • cosmetic valley • sailor chic • revisiting ’70s and ’80s fashions


the best of culture, tr avel & art de vivre




Fashion REWIND

Spo nsors France Magazine thanks the following donors for their generous support.

For additional information on our sponsorship program and benefits, contact: Marika Rosen, Director of Sponsorship, Tel. 202/944-6093 or e-mail

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Summer 2010 features 26 Sophie Théallet

departments 42 Beauty’s Secrets

A fashion designer talks about her fairy-tale moment

Will the fountain of youth be discovered in Cosmetic Valley?

by Renée Schettler Rossi

32 Sailor Chic Stripes haven’t been this hot since Queen Victoria! by Sara Romano

5 The f: section

58 Calendrier

Culture, Film, Music, Books, Travel, Shopping

French Cultural Events in North America

by Amy Serafin

edited by Melissa Omerberg

by Tracy Kendrick

48 Fashion Rewind

22 Vacances

64 Temps Modernes

A two-part exhibit revisits four decades of fashions—starting with those scary ’70s

The Digital Driver

King of Hearts

by Amy Serafin

by Michel Faure

by Tina Isaac

100 Great French Books

24 Littérature by Roland Flamini

A joyful menagerie of striped sea creatures from Tricots Saint James. Story page 36.

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Image: Georges Seurat, Eiffel Tower, ca. 1889. Oil on panel.

France magazine Publisher EMMANUEL LENAIN

Director of Sponsorship Marika Rosen

Director of Advertising Meredith davis

Accountant Maria de Araujo

Intern Brenna Mulvaney

France Magazine is published by the French-American Cultural Foundation,

a nonprofit organization that supports cultural events as well as educational initiatives and exchanges between France and the United States. Tel. 202/944-6090/91/69 advertising

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JUNE 5 — SEPTEMBER 26, 2010

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Dear Readers, To be perfectly honest, we hesitated to call this a “Fashion & Beauty” issue. We were worried that you might expect splashy reports on the latest designer collections, the summer’s hottest lipsticks, must-have handbags and other of-the-moment topics typically found in glossy fashion magazines. As much fun as producing those stories would have been, that is not our turf. Instead, this issue takes you behind the scenes of these fascinating industries, presenting the dressmaker’s art, the anatomy of a fashion trend, the army of scientists behind every jar of face cream, the subtle and radical events that have shaped the history of haute couture and ready-to-wear. All of these stories touch on the notion of “Made in France,” three words that have conferred royal status upon fashion and beauty products for decades. Today, many companies in these highly competitive industries are faced with a dilemma: They have to keep their economic edge, yet they realize that outsourcing production can lead to the disappearance of domestic expertise and savoir-faire, thus undermining French prestige. COVER A dress from Sophie •Théallet’s Spring/Summer 2010 The issue has become particularly sensitive in the collection exemplifies her signature approach: technical haute couture industry, which has seen the ranks rigor underpinning easy-to-wear of façonniers dwindle dramatically. These are the designs. Story page 26; photo ©Dan & Corina Lecca. embroiderers, the feather makers, the specialized weavers, the hatmakers—all the petites mains and artisans that make haute couture gowns and accessories works of art. Cheaper if inferior foreign labor has put them on the endangered species list. Professionals such as Agnès Troublé, founder of the tremendously popular Agnès B brand, warns that the phenomenon extends to ready-to-wear, threatening the extinction of local talents capable of producing sophisticated, high-quality French designs. A first attempt to reverse the tide took place this past April, when the Minister of Industry and representatives of professional associations signed a charter of good conduct setting forth standards to be observed between fashion houses and subcontractors. Hermès, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior and others were on hand for the landmark event. It took months to hammer out the document, and its terms are not binding, but all consider it an important first step. We will continue to follow this story, which is dear to the hearts of all of us who have long valued the legendary creativity and workmanship behind the “Made in France” label. Karen Taylor

France magazine Editor Karen Taylor

Senior Editor/Web Editor Melissa Omerberg

Associate Editor RACHEL BEAMER

Copy Editor lisa olson

Proofreader steve moyer

Art Director todd albertson

Production Manager Associate Art Director/Webmaster patrick nazer

Contributors MIchel faure, now

retired from L’Express, is pursuing a variety of journalistic ventures • ROLAND FLAMINI, a former Time Magazine correspondent, now writes a foreign policy column for the Washington-based CQ Weekly and is a frequent contributor to France Magazine • Tina Isaac, the Paris correspondent for Travel + Leisure and Flare magazines, also regularly contributes to a number of other international print and online publications • TRACY KENDRICK is a freelance journalist who often writes about French culture • Sara romano covers French cultural topics for a number of international publications • Renée Schettler Rossi is a New York-based freelance writer; she has worked as editor and writer at Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple and The Washington Post • JULIA SAMMUT is a food writer and partner in TravelFood, a company offering custom culinary tours • AMY SERAFIN, formerly editor of WHERE Paris, is a Paris-based freelance journalist who has contributed to The New York Times, National Public Radio, Departures and other media • Heather Stimmler-Hall is an author and a hotel and travel writer for Fodor’s, Hotelier International and easyJet inflight. EDITORIAL OFFICE

4101 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, DC 20007-2182; Tel. 202/944-6069; mail Submission of articles or other materials is done at the risk of the sender; France Magazine cannot accept liability for loss or damage.

Editor 4

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Liu XiaoFang’s mysterious “The Cloud,” from the artist’s 2008 “I Remember” series, is part of the Rencontres d’Arles.

Edited by melissa omerberg

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Paris & the provinces exhibits paris

Irving Penn An admirer of August Sander’s “People of the 20th Century”—a photographic series depicting Germans from all walks of life— Irving Penn embarked on a similar project when Vogue sent him to Paris in 1950 to photograph runway shows. Shot in Paris, London and New York, Penn’s “Small Trades” series portrays the practitioners of traditional métiers together with the tools of their trade. A hundred of these images are displayed in the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Les Petits Métiers, a posthumous tribute to the eminent photographer. Through July 25; Arts of Gandhara Located in what is now northwest Pakistan, the kingdom of Gandhara reached its apogee between the first and third centuries. The Musée Guimet’s Pakistan, Terre de Rencon-

sculptor, working on projects such as the Théâtre des Gobelins and the Trocadéro fountains. Corps et Décors, at the Musée Rodin, focuses on this oft-forgotten aspect of the master’s oeuvre; many of the 160 works on view—among them vases, objets d’art, drawings and decorative sculptures—are on public display for the first time. Through Aug. 22; Yves Saint Laurent What would Hillary Clinton—or any number of professional women—be wearing today had Yves Saint Laurent not come along and designed the pantsuit? During his 40-year career, YSL revolutionized women’s wear, and whether he looked to the street or drew inspiration from imaginary journeys, he always made fashion a celebration. Paris’s Petit Palais pays tribute to the great couturier with an eponymous retrospective that includes more than 300 articles of apparel along with sketches, archival documents and films. Through August 29;

tre Ier-VIème Siècles: Les Arts du Gandhara

Rodin and Décor Rodin began his career as a decorative

This stunning gown from John Galliano’s Fall/Winter 2004 collection for Dior is on view this summer in Granville.

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Empire on the Nile Located 125 miles north of Khartoum in modern-day Sudan, the ancient royal capital of Meroë is best known for the pyramids of the kings and queens who ruled the region between 270 BC and 350 AD. Featuring some 200 works of art, the Louvre’s Méroé, un Empire sur le Nil surveys the everyday life, commerce, social system, monarchical customs and religious practices of an ancient civilization where African, Egyptian and Greco-Roman inf luences intermingled. Through Sept. 6;

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Willy Ronis With his warm-hearted images of Provence and postwar Paris, Willy Ronis was a major figure in the mid-century Humanist movement. La Monnaie de Paris celebrates the great photographer, who would have turned 100 this year, in Willy Ronis : Une Poétique de l’Engagement. In addition to his iconic nudes, street scenes, portrayals of children and young lovers, and scenes from everyday life, the show presents a number of never-beforedisplayed travel photographs. Through August 22;

Dynasty The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris/ARC and the Palais de Tokyo are launching a major collaborative project this summer: Their joint exhibit, Dynasty, is showcasing 40 up-and-coming French artists, focusing on their diverse techniques, stylistic approaches and concerns. According to the ground rules laid down by the curators, each participant is to show two works for the occasion, one at each museum— thus underscoring the complementarity of the two institutions and offering the artists a unique opportunity to expand their creative reach. Through Sept. 5; and

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showcases the brilliant civilization of that ancient realm through some 200 objects— Buddhas and bodhisattvas, bas-reliefs from temples and stupas, and works of terra cotta and stucco—that harmoniously combine classic Greek, Persian and Indian influences. Through Aug. 16;

Monet and Abstraction It’s easy to forget that Impressionism was once a radical movement that represented a shocking break with the art-historical past. In this sense, Claude Monet was a seminal figure. Monet et l’Abstraction, at the Musée Marmottan, looks at the artist’s influence on the abstract artists of the second half of the 20th century, pairing the Impressionist master’s canvases with works by Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Joan Mitchell, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Gerhard Richter and others. Through Sept. 26; Contemporary Fashion Following a series of highly regarded monographic shows, the Musée de la Mode et du Textile is presenting its first broad overview of contemporary fashion. Spanning a full year, Une Histoire Idéale de la Mode Contemporaine 1971-2008 is divided into two “volumes,” each covering two decades. Featuring some 150 articles of clothing and accessories as well as 50 videos, Vol. 1: 70-80 is bookended by two groundbreaking fashion-world events: the presentation of Yves Saint Laurent’s 1971 collection and the outrageous 1990 “Les Rappieuses” show by Jean-Paul Gaultier, a.k.a. l’enfant terrible de la mode. (See article, page 32.) Through Oct 10; Second Hand The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris/

ARC examines the notions of appropriation and imitation in Seconde Main through a series of “oeuvres sosies,” or “duplicate works,” created by some 50 artists and artistic teams during the past 40 years. The show takes on the ultimate art-world taboos: the question of what exactly constitutes a copy, and by extension, the issue of fakes and counterfeits. Through Oct. 24; Animal Magnetism Humans have always imbued animals with all kinds of symbolism—something that can be seen in art (all the way back to the first cave paintings) as well as advertising (“Put a tiger in your tank!”). And of course their fur and feathers, skin and bones are all used to manufacture and embellish clothing and decorative objects. Animal, at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, looks the multiple ways in which animal motifs and materials have been used in fashion, furnishings, posters, design and décor over the centuries. Nov. 30; DINARD

Exploring Hope Hope isn’t just a campaign slogan—it’s also the title of a large multidisciplinary exhibit at Dinard’s Palais des Arts et du Festival.

Twombly at the Louvre Known for his oversized abstract works incorporating calligraphy and splashes of vivid color, Cy Twombly—who has lived in Italy since 1959—has long drawn inspiration from the mythology and poetry of antiquity.

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This spring, the Virginia-born painter became the third contemporary artist, following François Morellet and Anselm Kiefer, to install a permanent work at the Louvre. His 3,750-square-foot ceiling in the Salle des Bronzes is a mostly monochrome work—an abstract composition of overlapping circles on a luminous Mediterranean-blue background inscribed with the names of the greatest 4th-century Hellenic sculptors.

Vassily Kandinsky’s “Bild mit drei Flecken, N. 196” (1914) is featured in the Musée Marmottan’s “Monet et l’Abstraction.”

Divided into four sections—“Genesis,” “Exodus,” “Apocalypse” and “Grace”— Hope! looks at how major and up-and-coming artists have dealt with this optimistic theme from 1960 to the present. Among the best known are Richard Serra, Takashi Murakami, Damien Hirst, Bill Viola, Ed Ruscha, Pierre & Gilles, Yan Pei-Ming and Wim Wenders. A group of seven Iranian artists also examine the hope and creativity found in today’s Middle Eastern art scene. Through Sept. 7; GRANVILLE

Belles of the Ball Le Grand Bal Dior traces the history of formal dances from the 18th century to the present through paintings, audiovisual materials, literary works and—the pièce de résistance—50 exquisite Dior ball gowns. The first half of this exhibit at the Musée Christian Dior de Granville evokes Dior’s sources of inspiration, while the second half examines the resurgent popularity of these lavish soirées starting in the 1980s. Through Sept. 26; LE HAVRE

Unknown Degas In 2004, Le Havre’s Musée Malraux received an extraordinary donation of 205 works from

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Culture METZ

opening Maison Jean Cocteau Located less than an hour from Paris in Milly-la-Forêt, the MAISON JEAN COCTEAU


just opened to the public following five

Wearable Art Contemporary ceramic jewelry—a highly experimental if often overlooked art form— has finally been given its place in the sun. Un Peu de Terre sur la Peau, at the Fondation Bernardaud in Limoges, presents 150 compelling creations by 18 international artists. Minimalist or baroque, ethnic or cosmopolitan, organic or highly refined—practically the only thing these highly diverse pieces have in common is the use of clay and their extraordinary level of craftsmanship. Through Oct. 16;

years of preparation. Visitors to the house


Lydia D. In October 1932, a young Russian woman named Lydia Nikolayevna Delectorskaya appeared at Henri Matisse’s studio to serve as his assistant. Within a few years, she had become his secretary, close friend, muse and model, posing for some 90 canvases and hundreds of drawings. Through paintings, drawings, photographs and correspondence, Lydia D., Muse et Modèle de Matisse, at the Musée Matisse, spotlights the life and work of this extraordinary woman who provided invaluable contributions to Matisse scholarship. Through Sept. 27;

where Cocteau spent the last 17 years of his life—and where he created some of his most important work—will see perfect reconstitutions of his bedroom, office and sitting room. Also on view: a selection of works from the Cocteau estate that includes drawings by the versatile artist himself, as well as portraits by artists such as Picasso, Man Ray, Modigliani, Buffet and Warhol.

Impressionists in Rouen Pissarro asserted that Rouen was “as beautiful as Venice”—a sentiment shared by many of his peers. Indeed, the Norman capital was a leading destination for 19th-century artists, who were attracted by its riverside location, bustling quays, quaint old city and splendid cathedral. The 100 canvases on view in Une Ville pour

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©Marie Pendariès

Costume Drama For the Romans, the word “diva” signified a goddess. While the term nowadays is attributed to any female celebrity with prima donna tendencies, it is still indelibly associated with the opera. Vestiaire de Divas, de Maria Callas à Dalida, at the Centre National

Inédit: Les Degas de la Collection Olivier Senn

compares these creations with 15 works on loan from the Musée d’Orsay; highlights include pastels of bathers, studies of jockeys and horses, and a rare watercolor landscape. Through September 19;



the collection of Olivier Senn, a local cotton merchant with a discerning eye and a passion for art. Among the drawings, watercolors and pastels by the likes of Boudin, Whistler, Delacroix, Guillaumin and Rodin were 47 youthful works by Edgar Degas that had never before been publicly displayed. Degas

du Costume de Scène, takes a peek into the wardrobes, jewelry boxes and travel trunks of 25 larger-than-life opera stars, actresses and chanteuses, including Sarah Bernhardt (La Divine Sarah!), Edith Piaf, Kiri Te Kanawa, Jessye Norman and Isabelle Adjani. Through Dec. 31;

© F l o r i a n K l e i n e f e n n , C o ll e c t i o n SENN / M u s é e M a l r a u x , v i ll e d u H av r e ; J . H ASS L ER

Edgar Degas’s “La Toilette” (1888) is one of the pastels showcased in “Degas Inédit,” in Le Havre.

20th-Century Masterworks Bringing together 500 20th-century works— among them paintings, sculptures, installations, graphic pieces, photographs, videos and films— Chefs-d’oeuvre?, the inaugural exhibit at the Centre Pompidou-Metz, explores the notion of the “masterpiece.” Among the intriguing questions it raises are: What are the components of a masterpiece? Who decides what qualifies? Is a masterpiece eternal? And does the very notion of a masterpiece still have meaning today? Through Aug. 29, 2011;

l’Impressionnisme: Monet, Pissarro et

at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, highlight the city’s role in the Impressionist movement. Through Sept. 26;

Gauguin à Rouen,


Giacometti and Maeght Celebrated mainly for his sculptures, Alberto Giacometti was in fact a triple threat who also excelled at painting and drawing. The Fondation Maeght explores all these aspects of the master’s oeuvre in Giacometti & Maeght 1946-1966, a wideranging retrospective that brings together some of the artist’s bestknown bronzes along with paintings, plaster casts and drawings—some 170 works in all. Through Oct. 31;

©Marie Pendariès

© F l o r i a n K l e i n e f e n n , C o ll e c t i o n SENN / M u s é e M a l r a u x , v i ll e d u H av r e ; J . H ASS L ER


summer’s anniversary, the festival— whose performers include such stalwarts as The Cranberries, Luz Casal, Dan Ar Braz and Alan Stivell— returns to its roots with a focus on Brittany. An event highlight is “Planète Celtique,” a work created for the occasion that references the diversity of the contemporary Celtic world and features more than 150 musicians and singers. Aug. 6 through 15; MARCIAC

Jazz in Marciac This summer’s Jazz in Marciac festival boasts a stellar lineup, including Wynton Marsalis, Ray Hargrove Miller, Chucho Valdes, Gilberto Gil, Esperanza Spalding and Paco de Lucia. The prestigious event kicks off with what promises to be an electric opening night featuring the Yaron Herman Trio and Diana Krall. July 30 through Aug. 15;

Giorgio Morandi “Nothing is more abstract than reality,” Giorgio Morandi once said, and • Marie Pendariès’s 28-piece “Dowry” (2008) is a highlight of indeed, his masterful still lifes— “Un Peu de Terre sur la Peau,” in Limoges. often depicting the same rearranged ORANGEORANGE bottles, vases and boxes—are renowned for AVIGNON Grand Operas their geometric abstraction. With their subtle Festival d’Avignon Every summer, Orange’s outdoor Roman shifts in color and their supreme attention to The Festival d’Avignon, one of Europe’s pre- theater serves as a magical setting for the rhythm and balance, these works—despite eminent theatrical events, presents a num- Chorégies d’Orange. The 2010 program, their relatively small size—have a monumen- ber of new works and French premieres. presenting Puccini’s “Tosca” and Gounod’s tal quality. Giorgio Morandi, at the Hôtel des Co-directed by French writer and drama- “Mireille,” highlights some of the world’s Arts in Toulon, features oils, watercolors, turge Olivier Cadiot and avant-garde Swiss greatest voices—Nathalie Dessay, Robert engravings and drawings by the Bolognese director Christoph Marthaler, the festival— Alagna, Juan Diego Florez—as well as rising artist, with a special focus on the floral bou- which features more than 30 different plays, stars such as Nathalie Manfrino and Florian quet, a little-studied motif. Through Sept. 26; musical performances and readings—has a Laconi. Also on the menu: a lyric concert decidedly Middle European accent this year, with works by Bellini and Donizetti, and a with new productions of works by Brecht, symphonic performance of music by TchaiKafka and Musil mounted alongside original kovsky under the direction of Kwame Ryan, FESTIVALS contemporary creations. July 7 through 27; with soloist Fazil Say at the piano. July 15 through Aug. 7; ARLES Rencontres d’Arles The slogan of this year’s Rencontres d’Arles is LORIENT PARIS “Du Lourd et du Piquant.” The 2010 edition Festival Interceltique Quartier d’Eté of the famous photography festival boasts The Festival Interceltique de Lorient is fêting Culture is accessible and fun during the popsome 60 exhibitions at venues throughout its 40th birthday in 2010. A celebration of ular Paris Quartier d’Eté, when streets, squares, the Southern French town; themes include Celtic music and culture from Australia to churches, parks and community centers Argentina, rock music, film photography Northern Spain, the venerable festival serves throughout the French capital are filled with and prison life. Talented young photogra- up a lively program of performances and music, dance and theater performances— phers are also showcased, and as usual, there competitions showcasing both traditional many of them free. Among this year’s attracis an “off” festival boasting additional shows, sounds and Celtic-inflected folk, rock, jazz, tions are Sistema Tango, the Cirque Aïtal and workshops, colloquia and other programs. dance and so on. Other attractions include the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève. July July 3 through Sept. 19; sporting events and a marketplace. For this 14 through Aug. 15;

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spotlight on ... Casanova Forever Returning to his home town of Venice from Barcelona where he had narrowly escaped an assassination attempt and ended up in jail, the notorious Giacomo Casanova—adventurer, spy, con man, memoirist and (need it be said?) womanizer—slowly made his way across the Languedoc-Roussillon region during the winter of 1769. In Montpellier, he spent a couple of weeks with a former mistress; in Nîmes, he was welcomed by the illustrious botanist Jean-François Séguier. And now he’s back. This summer, Languedoc-Roussillon is paying tribute to the legendary libertine with a region-wide festival. Coming on the heels of 2008’s successful “La dégelée Rabelais,” which honored another great bon vivant, Casanova Forever features some 30 exhibitions and installations as well as lectures, discussions, screenings and concerts. Don’t expect literal accounts of Casanova’s exploits. While these shows touch on many of the themes associated with the famous philanderer—sex, love, money, gambling, travel, magic—most of the artists included in the 15-week event are more concerned with capturing the spirit of the man: his love of freedom, his curiosity (“love is three-quarters curiosity,” he notably remarked), his childlike sense of play. In Sérignan, for example, the group show “Ecce Homo Ludens” explores masks and games in contemporary art while in Aigues Mortes, Geneviève Favre Petroff examines sexual roles, libertinage and transgression in the age of the Internet. On the musical front, the Festival Pablo Casals is presenting a chamber program dedicated to Casanova, who had a short-lived career as a violinist (look for Mozart’s variations on Don Juan and excerpts from Don Giovanni). The Festival Radio France et Montpellier, too, is staging a concert in homage to the irrepressible Italian. Prepare to be seduced. Through Oct 3;


© C é cile H esse et G a ë l R omier / C ollection F rac L ang u edoc - R o u ssillon

Casanova might have been amused by “L’Eplucheuse – Pour le meilleur et pour le pire” (2008), above, part of a photography exhibit in Mende featuring works by Cécile Hesse and Gaël Romier that explore issues of sexuality.

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Beaux Livres PIERRE CARDIN 60 Years of Innovation

by Jean-Pascal Hesse

After getting his start with Elsa Schiaparelli and Christian Dior, Pierre Cardin opened his own couture house in 1950. He soon earned a reputation as a highly original designer—his experiments with geometric, asymmetrical forms lent his creations a distinct architectural sensibility, while his fascination with space-age materials gave them a boldly futuristic flair. This lavish volume pays tribute to Cardin’s indelible contributions to the art and business of fashion over six fertile decades. Assouline, $75.


by Danièle Bott

Initially trained as a ballet dancer, Thierry Mugler founded his own label in 1975; over the years, his work—architectural, provocative, ultra-stylized, body-conscious and futuristic—has drawn inspiration from film noir, 1950s comic books, robots, the insect world and the wonders of the cosmos. Packed with sketches and fashion shots, this monograph offers a visual journey through Mugler’s career as a cutting-edge couturier and purveyor of best-selling fragrances. Thames & Hudson, $50.

PARIS VOGUE Covers 1920-2009

by Sonia Rachline

Condé Nast purchased Vogue in 1909 and launched its Paris-based sister publication in 1920. As part of his “class not mass” development strategy, Nast commissioned chic, arresting covers from top illustrators and photographers. This new book assembles 90 years’ worth of covers, many by artists—among them Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, David Hockney, Edward Steichen, Irving Penn and William Klein. Taken together, they offer an amusing history of style, fashion and pop culture. Thames & Hudson, $45.

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by Florence Müller and Farid Chenoune

Published in conjunction with a major Paris retrospective on the legendary designer, this comprehensive work by the exhibit’s curators chronicles YSL’s entire career. Along with a richly illustrated chronology of the couturier’s life, the book features Saint Laurent’s drawings and pioneering fashions. Also highlighted are the muses and models who inspired him, and the artistic creations—paintings, plays, operas, books and films—that nurtured his creativity. Abrams, $55.


edited by Christiane de Nicolay-Mazery

Together with Pierre Bergé, his lifelong friend, former lover and longtime business partner, Yves Saint Laurent amassed one of the world’s largest private art collections; in addition to Baroque bronzes, Art Deco furnishings and precious objets, it included works by such artists as Picasso, Mondrian and Brancusi. This sumptuous volume published with Christie’s showcases 100 remarkable pieces—many photographed in situ—that were auctioned off after the couturier’s death. Flammarion, $95.

THE HERMÈS SCARF History & Mystique by Nadine Coleno The Hermès scarf made its début in 1937. Since then the maison has produced 2,000 different designs, some bearing classic equestrian motifs, others inspired by nature, science or modern art. Deceptively simple in form, each hand-finished carré is a model of craftsmanship and finesse. This new volume celebrates the beauty and diversity of these coveted accessories, which—even after more than 70 years—remain symbols of timeless elegance. (Available in August.) Thames & Hudson, $95.

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Sons & Images • Guillaume Canet

and Emir Kusturica star in Farewell.

Music Various artists France: Une Anthologie des Musiques Traditionnelles

Compiled under the artistic direction of renowned music journalist and collector Guillaume Veillet and spanning more than a century of French music and oral tradition—1900 to 2006—this 10-volume set traverses the regions of France, overseas territories and Francophone countries. The compendium is the first of its kind to be released to the public and includes cover art by the American cartoonist and musician Robert Crumb. (Frémeaux et associés)

On Screen FAREWELL Emir Kusturica and Guillaume Canet bring intensity to the screen in this Cold War

espionage thriller by director Christian Carion. Set in 1981 and based on the Farewell Dossier, the film tells the story of Vladmir Vetrov (Kusturica), a disenchanted KGB colonel who—in hopes of making a better world for his son—clandestinely and without compensation passes documents to a French engineer (Canet) working in Moscow. Co-starring Willem Dafoe and Alexandria Maria Lara. (NeoClassics Films) OSS 117: LOST IN RIO Popular French television actor and former locksmith Jean Dujardin reprises his role as the handsome, bumbling Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, alias OSS 117, in director Michel Hazanavicius’s James Bond spoof. Set in Brazil in 1967, the latest mission takes Hubert, the “pride of French intelligence,” to Rio, where he must foil a former Nazi who is blackmailing France. Hubert, who shares the screen with Dolores (Louise Monot), a lieutenantcolonel from the Israeli secret service, is up to his usual shenanigans involving beautiful women, bad guys and politically incorrect jokes. Co-starring Alex Lutz. (Music Box Films) THE HIDEAWAY Director François Ozon’s latest film centers around Mousse (Isabelle Carré), a complex and troubled young woman who finds herself pregnant after her boyfriend, Louis (Melvil Poupaud), overdoses on heroin. Seeking refuge by the sea, Mousse soon develops a close bond with Louis’s gay brother, Paul (singer Louis-Ronan Choisy), as the two cope with their loss and prepare for the birth. Ozon (5x2, Time to Leave) wanted an actress who was expecting in real life, and Carré was in fact pregnant throughout the filming. (Strand Releasing)

Angélique Kidjo Oyo

Musician and political activist Angélique Kidjo, originally from Benin, got her start in Paris in the ’80s after fleeing the turmoil in her home country. On Oyo, the versatile and expressive Kidjo sings traditional Beninese melodies as well as songs in both French and English. She is joined by Bono, John Legend and Diane Reeves. Album highlights include “Petite Fleur,” a tribute to her late father, and a remake of the Curtis Mayfield anthem “Move on Up.” (Razor and Tie) By RACHEL BEAMER Additional film and music reviews as well as sound clips are available on


DOGORA (2004) With Cambodia as his


Tunisian-born director Abdellatif Kechiche is known for his heartfelt films that share the experiences of individuals living on the margins of society. With The Secret of the Grain, he tells the story of a dockworker in Southern France who uses his severance pay to open a floating restaurant. Kechiche took home three Césars for the film, and scene-stealing Hafsi Herzi, a former law student, won the award for breakthrough actress. (Criterion Collection)

muse, director Patrice Leconte takes his audience on a visual tour of the country without employing a script or actors. Set to a dramatic original score by French composer Etienne Perruchon, Leconte’s breathtaking portrait of the country offers a fresh take on documentary filmmaking and represents yet another departure for the ever-evolving director. The DVD also includes a featurette with Leconte commenting on his varied filmography. (Severin)

Louis Trintignant stars as the hot-headed Clément, a right-wing extremist, in director Alain Cavalier’s film noir. After a botched assassination attempt, Clément must flee to the countryside with his charismatic and unappreciated wife, Anne (beautiful Romy Schneider), a former theater actress. While Anne hides out with Clement’s childhood friend Paul (Henri Serre), a romance develops, causing tensions to flare up and explode. (Zeitgeist Films)

N e o Cl a s s i c s F i lm s

new on dvd

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Bon Voyage

Notes for the savvy traveler PLOT DEVELOPMENT

For garden lovers, BEDS OF LUXURY

• Located on Quai Saint-Michel across from the cathedral, the newly renovated Hôtel Notre Dame is the latest Paris hotel to be given the full-on design treatment by couturier Christian Lacroix. Guestrooms reference the city’s art and history through murals, wall hangings and even trompe l’oeil carpets; many offer stunning views, but even those facing the courtyard have screens that relay live images of the quay. From €230 (free Wi-Fi included); • Comprising 59 elegantly appointed rooms and suites, Le Burgundy—a new hotel in the Madeleine district—combines contemporary and classic décor elements in that deceptively effortless way that seems to come so naturally to Parisians. This deluxe establishment (five stars are The new Burgundy hotel boasts refined pending) also houses a bar and restaurant, contemporary décor. a spa and a swimming pool. From €342; • Just a few yards from Cannes’s old town and harbor, the four-star 1835 White Palm Hotel serves up the proverbial luxe, calme et volupté. Eighty percent of the rooms—done up in a palette of soothing neutrals with little pops of color—have ocean views, while Le 360º rooftop bar and restaurant boasts magnificent panoramas. The hotel’s luxurious H20 seawater spa is a destination in itself. From €310;

in Chaumont-sur-Loire is truly a growth experience. This year’s theme, “Body and Soul,” explores the therapeutic nature of gardens—both physically and spiritually—through some 20 diverse creations by selected international designers. Fittingly, the jury was headed by French neuroscientist Jean-Pierre Changeux—a biologist by training who has authored


This year’s summer sales run from June 30 through August 3, with savings of up to 70 percent on clothing and accessories. But even if you miss this big event, there are still plenty of bargains to be found: Once limited to two sales annually, French stores can now hold up to two weeks of “mini-sales” throughout the year to help stimulate the economy. • Making Connections The new “Culture Connect” program entitles Eurostar travelers to two-for-one tickets at select museums and galleries. Once you reach your destination, you have five days to take advantage of the offer—just make sure to hold on to your train ticket. Participating Paris venues are the Musée du Quai Branly, the Jeu de Paume, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Cité de la Musique and the Grand Palais. • The Loire for Less There’s good news for those who are planning on working the Loire Valley into their fall trip to France: During five weekends in November and early December, they’ll be able to get half-price at more than 50 hotels, plus coupons for various tourist attractions. A list of participating properties will be available online as of October 12.


International des Jardins

• Discount Fever

works on art, ethics and philosophy. Through Oct. 17;

christophe bielsa ; Eric Sander


the innovative Festival

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Bon Voyage

Notes for the savvy traveler VINTAGE FINDS

Galeries Lafayette has teamed up with Groupe Duclot to offer Bordeaux aficionados a one-stop shopping opportunity in the French capital. The


• Located in the heart of

grand magasin’s new

Paris, the new eco-friendly

six handmade “cocoons” whose interiors resemble the inside of a Chinese lantern. Within these unusual structures, guests enjoy massages and holistic treatments employing natural, recyclable ingredients such as seaweed and honey. 3 rue de Castiglione, 1er; • The Ritz Paris has introduced a luxury detox program featuring body treatments and massages at the hotel spa, fitness activities supervised by personal trainers and healthy gourmet menus. This four-day package includes accommodations in a Superior room and full board. €5,640 for two through Dec. 10; • For a tantalizing overview of the Paris Spa experience, pick up a copy of Kim Horton Levesque’s Pampered in Paris: A Guide to the Best Spas, Salons and Beauty Boutiques. Illustrated with attractive photographs by Kristyn Moore, this little volume showcases 70 of the best places to indulge. The Little Bookroom, $16.95. The Six Senses spa •redefines “cocooning.”


some 12,000 bottles—is reportedly the planet’s largest cellar of Bordeaux wines. Centered around a rotunda capped by a golden cupola, this stunning new space offers an incredible selection,


• La Régalade Saint Honoré is the latest offering from chef Bruno Doucet of La Régalade, a temple of Parisian bistronomie. Located in the heart of Les Halles—historically known as le ventre de Paris—this new eatery is a blessing for those who don’t feel like trekking to the city’s southern edge whenever they have a craving for a terrine and cornichons, poitrine de porc or extra-creamy rice pudding. Dinner menu €33. 123 rue Saint-Honoré, 1er. Le Café Caché is proof that you can eat really well at a • La Régalade’s chocolate quenelle with vanilla crème museum. Well, maybe not every museum, but certainly at Le anglaise. 104. Just behind the pizza truck, there’s a hidden café run by Delphine Zampetti, fiancée of the famous Inaki Aizpitarte. On the menu you’ll find nicely presented small plates—beet and avocado carpaccio with ginger; salmon and radish tartare; a little chocolate-orange pot de crème—all deftly seasoned and spiced. Three dishes for €12; €11 for the daily special. 104 rue d’Aubervilliers, 19e. • Le Bus Palladium isn’t just a legendary Parisian nightclub; it’s also the restaurant on the floor above. Boasting vintage ’70s décor (think wallpaper, mismatched chairs and funky mirrors) and a view of the lights of Pigalle, this trendy hotspot serves up cheeseburgers au foie gras, ravioles de Royan with Parmesan cream sauce, and molten chocolate cake. About €45. 6 rue Fontaine, 9e.

from the most legendary grands crus to affordable

Heather Stimmler-Hall and Julia Sammut contributed to this section.


bottles starting at €3.90.

SI X SENSES ; c o u r t e s y o f l a r É g a l a d e ; F RAN ç OIS DA B URON / G a l e r i e s L a fay e tt e

Six Senses spa contains

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Our New Luxury Property in Paris

a five-star


Bessé Signature is proud to announce the addition of the Hôtel de Sers, “baby palace” on the Champs-Elysées, to its portfolio of prestigious French

its creation in

2009, Bessé Signature

has redefined the notion of the luxury hotel.



of its four exquisite properties offers

a unique experience, from custom-designed décors to the personalized service extended to every guest.


group’s signature style is to marry

these distinctive ambiances with a relaxed, contemporary elegance perfectly in keeping with the desires of today’s discerning travelers.


Edouard 7

Hôtel Bel Ami

Domaine de la Bretesche

Just off the Champs Elysées, the Hôtel de Sers evokes the splendors of 19th-century Paris.

A couture-style décor on the Avenue de l’Opéra pays tribute to the fashionable monarch Edward VII.

In the heart of the Left Bank, an urban and romantic oasis with a seductive élégance negligée.

A 15th-century dépendance transformed into a “mini-resort,” complete with restaurants, spa and golf course.

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What’s in store


SEVEN BEAUTIES Each of the exquisite rings in fashion designer/jeweler Erik Schaix’s new collection—dubbed “Les Sept Péchés Capitaux” or “Seven Deadly Sins”—contains a gorgeous Tahitian pearl accompanied by one to three diamonds; these lustrous beauties are all the same size but vary in hue. Thou shalt not covet? Yeah, right. From €9,000;


SCENTS AND THE CITY Honoré des Prés dedicates its latest perfume collection, “We Love New York,” to the Big Apple. This trio of eaux de parfum includes Vamp à NY, a tuberosebased fragrance; the unusual I ♥ les carottes, a mélange of earthy carrot seeds, sweet orange, Caribbean vanilla and iris; and Love Coco, a combination of coconut milk and coriander. All come in “paper cups” reminiscent of the ones used throughout the Five Boroughs. €76 each;

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E 2 ; APRI L PARIS ; A l’at e l i e r ; p ’ t i t g lÉ n at; G a l e r i e T h o m a s - N e l s o n

Leave it to Jean Paul Gaultier to make recycled plastic look sexy. With their pencil-thin four-inch stiletto heels, his new sandals for Brazilian footwear label Melissa are real headturners—and eco-friendly to boot. Available in black, caramel, tangerine, lime and beige. €320;

melissa pl astic dre ams ; bonjour mon coussin ; erik schaix; Honoré des Prés


You’ll never get lost in the French capital if you’re carrying around one of the new Paris totes from Bonjour Mon Coussin—as long as you stay in the right neighborhood. There are three versions of the cotton bag, each printed with the map of a different arrondissement (the first, third or fourth). Even if you’re not using them to chart your itinerary, they’re pretty cool graphically. And they’re large enough to accommodate a Plan de Paris, if necessary. €54; http://


The new Galerie

For his striking new Pretty Vase Collection,

Thomas-Nelson is the

François Xavier Balléry has repurposed the humble PVC pipe. When displayed together, the individual lacquered pieces make for a colorful ensemble that oozes industrial chic. €110 to €140 for individual components; €530 for the collection; or

safe bets place to go if you want to Lexon is jumping

on the green get a jump on tomorrow’s bandwagon with

its new fashions. Boasting ansafe collection. The GOLD STANDARD Designed for mothers and daughters, April Paris’s first line of ethical green jewelry— “Alma Mater”— made its début this spring. The collection incorporates responsibly mined gold, recycled silver and natural materials such as leather and linen (the gold comes from Columbia, but the craftsmanship is strictly French). The delicate rings, bracelets and necklaces are broadly inspired by the organic forms of Art Nouveau. From €98;

eco-oriented line, expertly curated selection which incorporates bamboo, corn-based of clothing, accessories plastic, LEDs and technology, and jewelry, solar this elegantly consists of wall and alarm clocks, spare boutique in Paris’s a pocket light, a calculator and a

third arrondissement hand-cranked radio with an iPod port.

showcases the creations of up-and-coming young designers. Their

LUXURY FOR LESS Edgard Hamon, a Parisian “creator of fine objects” since 1919, has made belts and jewelry for such labels as Chanel, Saint Laurent and Givenchy. Now the company has launched its own brand, A l’atelier, where it is bringing the same savoir-faire to its maiden line of jewelry and accessories. Clients can even customize their purchases, picking out fabrics and leather colors from a menu of choices. It’s a great way to get designer quality without the Avenue Montaigne price tag. From €98;

Design team Michèle Meunier and Olivier Chatenet are obsessed with making the old new. E2, their fashion label, alters and reworks existing couture dresses, adding fresh details to original frocks or fashioning entirely new creations out of vintage fabrics and designer scarves. The result: absolutely one-of-a-kind, handcrafted garments with major environmental creds.

E 2 ; APRI L PARIS ; A l’at e l i e r ; p ’ t i t g lÉ n at; G a l e r i e T h o m a s - N e l s o n

melissa pl astic dre ams ; bonjour mon coussin ; erik schaix; Honoré des Prés


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names—Rose Felix, Makabu, Talismane, Dutch de Treat Namola, Le Monde Long associated with

avant-garde Julie—maythenot be onDutch

firm Droog Design,

Marceltongue Wanders is the the tip of your

latest top designer

to collaborate yet ... but they will be. with Baccarat. Inspired

by nature, his united 4 rue du Bourg l’Abbé; crystal woods

collection includes vases, candlesticks and wine glasses featuring his signature humor and whimsy: Check out the red, face-like stoppers on the decanter and the stick-figure deer candelabrum. From $550;

CRAYON COUTURE Nurturing a budding fashion designer? The bilingual Yves Saint Laurent co-published by the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent and P’tit Glénat, features the couturier’s most iconic creations. But let the kid decide whether to stay inside the lines. €10; Coloring Book,

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What’s in store

Making up is easy to do with L’Occitane’s new “Peony” cosmetics. Inspired by the colors and beauty of its namesake flower and containing a natural peony extract, this new collection of face powders, rouge and lipstick is the fruit of an exclusive partnership with an expert nurseryman in the Drôme region. $14 to $28; http://usa.

Bedecked with beads and adorned with embroidery, minaPoe’s ethnically inspired summer fashions will transport you to the souks of North Africa and the Zen gardens of Japan. Best of all, these bright knits and seductive silks work in both casual and dressy settings. It’s all delightful, from the intricate Lama shawl to the white Panama hat embellished with Swarovski crystals.

Louis Vuitton is once again partnering with popular Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, this time on a limitededition line of clothing, accessories, leather goods and beachwear called “Cosmic Blossom.” Vinyl canvas bags, scarves, bikinis and other items feature candy colors and cheerful manga-style graphics. From $165 to $1,480;

HEAVEN SCENT Diptyque, the high-end candle maker famed for its natural fragrances, just launched a new eau de toilette. Redolent of Indonesian and Caribbean vetiver, the unisex Vétivério also includes notes of ylang ylang, Turkish rose and peppery geranium along with hints of citrus and spice. In other words, everything nice. $88 and $120;


m i n a p o e ; l’ o c c i ta n e ; m i c h e l c e c c o n i / DYP T IQUE ; L OUIS VUI T T ON


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CASUAL CORNER The French women’s wear brand Diplodocus is no dinosaur when it comes to fashion; its casual-yet-chic styles are thoroughly contemporary. Updated marinières (€45 to €49) and summery jewelry in fresh pinks, ocean blues and mother-of-pearl (from €15) are some of the season’s affordable must-haves. All items are adorned with the company’s whimsical logo—a cross between a dinosaur and a fish.

GEEK CHIC You don’t have to be a gamer to find Christofle’s new Space Invaders jewelry out of this world. The prestigious French silversmith has turned the pixilated alien mascot from the seminal 1978 arcade game into a large silver charm sold with two chains—one short, one long—enabling it to be worn as a necklace or dangled from a purse or backpack. $131;


m i n a p o e ; l’ o c c i ta n e ; m i c h e l c e c c o n i / DYP T IQUE ; L OUIS VUI T T ON



Founded in 1935, Pare Gabia—the name means “matchless” in Basque—is renowned for its highquality hand-stitched espadrilles. Now the southwestern French company has teamed up with Tsumori Chisato, a onetime protégée of Issey Miyake, whose aesthetic, according to, includes a “healthy dose of manga/bohemian cuteness.” Her colorful Spring/Summer line for the brand features both shoes and bags. €60 through €260;

So the usual mall retailers aren’t good enough for your little precious? Check out Lucien Zazou. This new brand contracts with les façonniers—the skilled French artisans who do so much of the detail work on couture pieces—to produce an adorable kiddie collection. All of their chic yet comfy outfits—blouses and bloomers, jumpers and jumpsuits, cardigans and caps—are made from organic, biodegradable fabrics; sizes range from 0 to 36 months.


This June saw the opening of a new high-end shopping destination in the Riviera resort town of Saint-Tropez. The brainchild of Orianne Collins, a French-born jewelry designer known for colorful pieces that reference her Swiss and Thai origins, the OC Concept Store features a selection of unique, limited-edition jewelry, watches, beauty products, fashions, accessories and lifestyle items. The boutique is located in the luxurious new Muse Hôtel; a U.S. version of the store is slated to open this fall at 655 Madison Avenue; the two-level space will also house a Champagne bar. F r a n c e • S U M M ER 2 0 1 0

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The Digital Driver

publishing its travel guides in France 110 years ago, it was the only game in town. Now that the typical globetrotter has his pick of guidebooks, Web sites, blogs and smartphone applications, the tire company is working hard to keep one step ahead of the pack. With an ever-expanding array of print and digital products, its ultimate ambition is to become the go-to brand for road trippers throughout the world—not only for tires to get them from point A to point B, but also for planning all the experiences to be had along the way. In 2001, the company made its first foray into digital travel aids when it launched ViaMichelin (, a Web site offering maps, driving directions, weather and traff ic information, and hotel and restaurant recommendations throughout Europe. Travelers going from Paris to Bordeaux, for example, can select from different types of itineraries such as “sightseeing,” “quickest,” “cheapest” and so on. Route details indicate distances, how 22

much the trip will cost in tolls and gas, and even point out every speed camera along the way. With 400 million hits per year, it has been a runaway success. This past spring, Michelin added a new feature to the site: ViaMichelin Travel. Here you can create a personalized “travel book” by typing in a destination, then clicking on suggested excursions, hotels, restaurants and tourist sites, all of which have helpful descriptions. As you make your selections, you add them to your book, putting them in whatever order you like. You can even add your own addresses—say, a friend’s apartment or a small boutique you read about somewhere. You can then generate regional or city maps that include your choices and request directions for getting from one to the next. Once your “travel book” is finished, you simply print it out and take it on the road. The site’s deep content is drawn from Michelin’s extensive collection of guidebooks and maps. Tourist attractions as well as cultural and practical information

(rewritten for the Web) are sourced from more than 300 Green Guides; hotel and restaurant listings come from the famous Red Guides. And as in the print editions, the Web listings include all the familiar Michelin ratings. According to A la in Cuq, CEO of ViaMichelin, the new service is a response to the typically frustrating experience of planning a trip via the Internet. “Often you spend hours online and accomplish nothing,” he notes. Here, a century’s worth of research and data collection is gathered in one place. For now, Europe is by far the most extensively developed part of ViaMichelin Travel, but information on other areas of the world is being added progressively. By year’s end, it will include 36,000 tourist sites, 57,000 restaurants and 100,000 hotels in 90 countries. “Visitors will also have access to 500 exclusive Michelin-recommended tourist routes,” adds Paul Gilbert, Michelin’s U K Ma rket i ng & C om mu n ic at ion s Manager. “And they will be encouraged

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c o u r t e s y o f m ic h e l i n

When Michelin first started

© B r ya n F. P e t e r s o n / C OR B I S

by Amy Serafin

to post reviews and to share their own customized travel books with others.” Development plans also include adding new languages; an English version is already online, although it is tailored to a British public (for example, prices are given in British pounds). A North American interface is reportedly in the works. Before designing ViaMichelin Travel, Michelin conducted a two-year survey of 14,000 travelers in France and found that 98 percent of respondents prepare their trips online, then use a paper guidebook once they arrive at their destination. With this in mind, the company is confident that although the new service is free, it won’t create undue competition for its Green Guides. Instead, the two are complementary—the idea is to tuck a printout of your personalized selection into the guidebook and take both. After all, even the best-planned trips allow for serendipity and improvisation.

Michelin’s guides, maps and

non-tire products may represent a mere 1 percent of its turnover, but they are valuable to the company because they create a bond with customers, increasing brand recognition and loyalty. The same holds for the Michelin Man, born in 1898 when an artist noticed that with the simple addition of arms and legs, a pile of tires would look

c o u r t e s y o f m ic h e l i n

© B r ya n F. P e t e r s o n / C OR B I S

maps to apps Travelers are increasingly using their smartphones, Kindles, iPads and other devices while on the road, wherever they are in the world. Michelin is obliging with an iPhone app featuring Red Guide listings, Green Guides that can be downloaded onto Kindles and, new this spring, driving tours designed for those same devices (they can also be downloaded onto smartphones and computers). To date, these tours include scenic routes in New England, California and Florida; each features detailed maps, hotel and restaurant selections, and tourist attractions. Michelin’s offerings for mobile devices are still relatively limited compared with the range of products it has developed for print and computers, but the company leaves no doubt that these platforms will all loom large in its future.

Michelin launched its Red Guide in 1900 and its Green Guide in 1926. In the years since, the tire company’s travel business has grown to include hundreds of maps and books, Web-based products and offerings for mobile phones.

like a man (albeit a strange one). The French call him Bibendum, from the Latin phrase Nunc est bibendum, or “now is the time to drink.” In his first poster appearance, Bibendum was a rotund character with a cigar in one hand and a goblet of nails and glass shards in the other, proclaiming that the company’s tires “drink up all obstacles.” Over the years he has slimmed down and quit smoking, though French filmmakers turned him into a foul-mouthed cop in this year’s Oscar-winning animated short film, Logorama. Any publicity is good publicity, or so they say…. The Michelin Ma n ha s eaten a nd drunk his way through his namesake’s travel guides for almost as long as they’ve been around. The Red Guide came about during the 1900 Paris Exposition, when the company’s founders, brothers Edouard and André Michelin, created a complimentary booklet for motorists with listings of places around France to sleep and eat, send a telegram or have one’s car repaired. In 1920, the company began charging customers seven francs for the guide and eliminated advertising, which allowed it to freely rate and recommend hotels and restaurants. The Red Guide even proved invaluable during WWII for its maps; because the Germans had destroyed many road signs, the Allied soldiers landed in France armed with the latest available edition, from 1939. From 1919 to 1939, a special division of the company, the Bureau des Itinéraires, mailed detailed routes and trip information to travelers upon request, and for free. The demand for this service was so overwhelming

that in 1926, Michelin created a touristic guidebook based upon the most frequently requested route: Brittany. It was the forerunner of the Green Guides, which replaced the Bureau des Itinéraires after the war. They have developed a loyal following and now represent nearly a third of the French market. (Michelin claims that while travel guide sales dropped in France by 1.5 percent during the recession in 2009, those of the Green Guide rose by 3 percent.) Longtime readers might notice a number of recent changes: They are now organized geographically rather than alphabetically; the tall, skinny format has been modified so they fit more easily on bookshelves and in bags; and establishments are classified by price. Today the Green Guide collection counts about 340 titles, each revised every two to three years, with some two-thirds translated into other languages (57 are available in English). And new titles are always in the works—recent additions include China, New England and Rajastan. Then there are the weekend guides, French regional guides, city guides…. In all, Michelin annually sells 10 million maps and guides in more than 170 countries. A s for the Web site, the compa ny estimates that the total route distance calculated by ViaMichelin users every single day equals three times that between the Earth and the Sun. Says Jean-Dominique Senard, the Michelin Group’s managing partner, “We are still doing the same thing we did one hundred years ago, just with new tools. I find that reassuring.” It appears that travelers do too. F r a n c e • S U M M ER 2 0 1 0

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Literary Hors d’Oeuvres


a lively introduction to classic and quirky must-reads

by roland flamini

If more Americans than usual show up in Paris this summer talking knowledgeably about French authors they have never actually read, blame it on the newly published One Hundred Great French Books (BlueBridge, 2010). Written by Lance Donaldson-Evans, a professor of 16th- and 17th-century French literature at the University of Pennsylvania, this delectable literary appetizer was conceived as a “quirky” list of suggested good reads. The selected titles span the Gallic landscape of novels, poetry and plays, from La Chanson de Roland (c. 1095) to Michel Houellebecq’s La Possibilité d’une île (2005), with appropriate stops at Voltaire’s Candide, Alexandre Dumas’s Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince, Albert Camus’s L’étranger and Marguerite Duras’s Moderato Cantabile. The quirkiness


lies in the fact that Donaldson-Evans veers off the beaten path to include Astérix comic books; George Simenon (Inspector Maigret’s creator); Samuel Beckett’s seminal, avantgarde play Waiting for Godot; the journal kept by the great painter Delacroix; the reminiscences of film director Jean Renoir; and a spiritual treatise by Catholic bishop and saint François de Sales. Each book gets a two-page critical appraisal that includes some background on the author and historical context, complete with savory anecdotes. Read its 205 pages on the flight over, and you’ll be ready to impress French friends with your mastery of French Lit—and perhaps even make them slightly envious. Donaldson-Evans believes that the average French person will probably have read between 60 and 70 of his 100 recommended titles but admits “that might be a bit optimistic.” A good tidbit to start with might be the fact that Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, author of the celebrated La Physiologie du goût (The Physiology of Taste), was not, as is commonly thought, the first gourmet chef of the modern era. That distinction, according to Donaldson-Evans, goes to Marc-Antoine Carême, who “chefed” for Napoleon I,

among others. As for Brillat-Savarin—who incidentally spent some years in the United States—he was “the first non-professional gourmet, the first real foodie.” Or you can trot out the professor’s nugget about André Malraux, the writer and onetime minister of culture in the De Gaulle government. In his twenties, Malraux was “a kind of pre-Indiana Jones figure, exploring the Cambodian jungle for archeological artifacts with his first wife.” During one expedition, he was arrested for purloining some bas-reliefs from a temple. And who knew that between her many marriages, Colette, author of Chéri and famous for “her perceptive depiction of French society and her dissection of its hypocrisies,” once worked as a music hall dancer and mime? As amusing as these tales are, DonaldsonEvans’s main purpose in writing One Hundred Great French Books was not to provide fodder for a literary trivia pursuit. It really is meant as an appetizer—an encouragement to become involved in what Roland Barthes called le plaisir du texte, the pleasure that comes from reading a great book and being captivated by it. Students may find the book useful as summer reading, but the professor says that its focus is too general for serious study. “With this book, I decided to reach out to the general public rather than to the specialist,” he says. “And to further entice readers, I gave preference to shorter texts.” Those who take his lead will discover that some of the older works selected for

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the compendium still resonate in today’s world. The theme of La Chanson de Roland, the gory founding epic of French literature, is Christians vs. Muslims. And DonaldsonEvans recommends that Le Livre de la cité des dames (The Book of the City of Ladies) by Christine de Pizan be read in the context of what was known as La Querelle des femmes (The Debate about Women), “a literary battle that was waged for two centuries,” he writes, “between those who saw woman as an imperfect and sinful creature, responsible for the Fall in Eden, and those who viewed her as a superior being.” With four decades’ experience teaching French literature, the professor is thoroughly at home with these works and is a whiz at explaining in engaging, clear prose the wider cultural effect they have had. He notes, for example, that the principal character of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is really Notre Dame Cathedral itself, “as is evident from the original French title” and the large amount of architectural information Victor Hugo piles into the novel. Hugo’s work “transformed the taste of the day and eventually led to the restoration of the (Gothic) Cathedral,” which had fallen into disrepair in the 18th and 19th centuries. Similarly, he calls Madame Bovary, titular heroine of Gustave Flaubert’s novel, “the poster child of adultery” in modern times. He points out that allusions to her are legion in the movies

• Lance Donaldson-Evans’s book recommends highbrow lit but also popular favorites such as Astérix

and Le Petit Prince. Top row: Simone de Beauvoir, Jean de la Fontaine, Astérix, Emile Zola. Middle row: Albert Camus, Michel de Montaigne, Marguerite Yourcenar, Victor Hugo. Bottom row: Marguerite de Navarre, Jules Verne, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Marguerite Duras.

such as Les Noyers de l’Altenberg, aren’t available. And only a small proportion of Le Clézio’s works are in English—Le désert was translated only after he won the Nobel Prize. Yet he has much to recommend him to a wider audience; his interest in

As amusing as these tales are, the main purpose in writing One

Hundred Great French Books was not to provide fodder for a literary trivia pursuit. and on TV, such as the episode in “Desperate Housewives” where the women’s book club reads and discusses the novel. In order to appeal to the broadest possible audience, Donaldson-Evans limited his selection to works available in English. That turned out to be a major constraint. “I discovered that there are still a huge number of books that either have not been translated or whose translations are no longer in print,” he says. “Several of Malraux’s works,

multiculturalism, in particular, makes his work timely.” Bonjour tristesse was not available in English when Donaldson-Evans was writing his book two years ago, so he took it off his list. Since then, however, the 1950s novel that made its 18-year-old author, Françoise Sagan, an overnight sensation has been reissued in its original translation. “Of course, the opposite may have happened to other books since I went to press,” he says. “Some of the books

I included may no longer be readily available. Such are the vagaries of publishing.” The professor, who has authored a number of scholarly texts, candidly admits that he got into the book-list business by accident when he submitted a critical work on Montaigne’s essays to various publishing houses and got nary a nibble. “In my proposal, I mentioned that in some ways, Montaigne’s essays are a self-help book; he gives advice about leading the good life and the search for happiness,” he says. “But the (publishers’) reaction was, ‘that’s very interesting, but it won’t sell in this country.’” Then one of them suggested the concept of a hundred great French books, and Donaldson-Evans liked the idea. So far, reception has been quite positive. One critic even liked it enough to suggest that the professor write a sequel: One Hundred More. For the moment, however, he is otherwise engaged, preparing for his retirement at the end of this year. And while he is delighted that Great French Books has been well received, it will not be his academic swan song. That honor will go to a more scholarly topic, one that is a longtime passion: a collection of 16th-century French religious poetry, both Catholic and Protestant. F r a n c e • S U M M ER 2 0 1 0

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Sophie Théallet From princess dresses in t h e p r o v i n c e s t o fa m e i n t h e Fa s h i o n D i s t r i c T

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By Renée Schettler Rossi

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Sophie Théallet in her former Brooklyn apartment-cum-atelier.

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Sophie Théallet knows a thing or two about fairy tales—

of the contemporary variety. The free-spirited fashionista who once sewed dresses for her dolls has spent the last decade quietly defining her métier and tirelessly designing her namesake line of simple, exuberant dresses. Recently, though, it seems that a magic wand has touched this passionate 46-year-old French woman. During the past year or so, her label has been worn by coutureconscious celebrities including actress Sarah Jessica Parker and First Lady Michelle Obama. Her fashions have been deemed “flattering and feminine” by the Wall Street Journal and said to “give pleasure rather than seek attention” by The New York Times. Her creative flair and impeccable precision were singled out for a prestigious design award. And her creations so endeared her to the editors of Vogue that the venerable glossy flaunted her work half a dozen times; editor-in-chief Anna Wintour described her as “a very rare creature in fashion these days.” Rare indeed. Both Théallet’s personality and her collection are imbued with a sense of grace and ease. There’s not a lot of la-di-da, just lovely little hand-finished flourishes here and there in the form of perfect pin-tucking, crinkled chiffon and delicate little ruffles—the type of exquisite craftsmanship that prompted Wintour to laud her for the “reminder that a strong technical foundation is priceless.” Théallet recently traded the tiny workspace afforded by her Brooklyn atelier for more spacious digs in Manhattan’s trendy Fashion District. But before packing up her sewing machines, bolts of fabric and dress forms draped with next season’s designs, she talked with France Magazine about fashion, punk music … and fairy tales. 28

When were you first drawn to fashion? Rumor has it that when you were eight, you were already creating dresses for your dolls. I had five older brothers, so as a little girl, I was kind of a tomboy. Yet I still played with dolls. I liked to read fairy tales. And I always drew princess dresses. I grew up in the South of France, and when I was a teenager, I visited my cousins in London. That was a revelation. It was the peak of the punk movement, and I loved music. At the same time, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren really inspired me with their strong fashions. I thought they went together quite well. Music and fashion? How so? I need music in my life. I love silence too, but if you think about it, there is music even in silence. Music is a sort of personal expression. And Westwood and McLaren created fashions that similarly made a statement. At the time, I was 14 years old, so I didn't exactly get the full sense of it. Yet after my experience in London, I decided to attend

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Far left: Sophie Théallet’s Web site echoes her creativity with this slick photo by Leda & St. Jacques and a haunting remake of Gershwin’s “Summertime” by Henri Scars Struck. Left, top to bottom: Théallet posing for her husband in New York’s Court Street subway station (2008); the designer receiving the 2009 Council of Fashion Designers of America / Vogue Fashion Fund award; Michelle Obama wearing a dress from Théallet’s Spring/Summer 2009 collection.

Studio Berçot, the fashion design school in Paris, which I loved. Was studying fashion different than what you’d expected? In the beginning, yes, it was different. The school didn't play punk music, and it was hard work! [Théallet laughs.] But at the same time, I enjoyed it, and when you do any job that you enjoy, you do your best. After graduating from Studio Berçot, many young designers try to launch their own labels. Yet you chose to work for Jean Paul Gaultier. Why? I wanted to learn from the greatest. It was the 1980s, and Gaultier was huge. It was a fantastic experience, I was totally immersed in the Paris fashion scene. It reminded me a little of my time in London. Gaultier created a lot of things for people in the music world, so I met Boy George and all these other celebrities. But it’s not just that it was way cool to see rock stars. It’s that what we were designing was so chic.

And after that, you spent a decade as the right hand of Azzedine Alaïa, who has what seems to be an opposite approach to fashion. Not opposite. Complementary. For me, it was the perfect choice. Gaultier is a free spirit and was doing what he thought was right at the right moment. He was playing. With Alaïa, it was more about the world of couture, but there was a lot of creativity there too. The creativity was in the rigor of his couture, the way that he cut the clothes. Did you take away any lasting lessons from these designers? This is what fashion is about: You play, you work, you learn, you maintain a proper balance, and you keep in mind the fantasy of fashion. Both of these designers embraced those qualities. It was crazy, going out every night and going to work every morning. But I’m happy I did it because my life has changed. I’m much more responsible now. But you need to have the craziness. You need to know that you have to work, but at

the same time, you need to have fun with what you do. That is the creative process. Does your French background and training continue to influence your work? Living in New York for more than 10 years has completely changed my way of looking at things. That said, I grew up in France and learned in the best ateliers in France. My training is the backbone of my work, yet my creativity is borderless. Where do you find inspiration for that creativity? I look at life outside of work. I read a book. Or look at art. Or see an article or a TV show about traveling. Even when I share a bottle of wine with friends, I find inspiration. I’m always inspired by native cultures, especially by Pueblo Indians. Their work is really beautiful. I try to reinterpret this beauty through the eyes of couture fashion, yet some crafts cannot be realistically reinterpreted. Sometimes it can look a little too hippy-ish. But I take a little bit of this and a little bit of Fran c e • SU M M ER 2 0 1 0

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that, and eventually I get a dress. That’s what fashion is, it’s capturing the essence of life. Do you have a muse? My muse is women. All women in one. No one body is perfect. For me, it’s more about thinking of a woman’s body in terms of wanting her to look the best she can. Not in a way that’s overtly sexy and reveals everything. I love to play with the subtleties. I prefer that the mind be involved, that women be attractive in a way that makes you have to find something, like a message. Something more subtle. 30

In the past you’ve described your look as “bohemian luxe seen through the eyes of a sophisticated couturier.” Could you give us a single word that defines your fashions? Freedom, I think. Freedom that looks chic. We want to have easy clothes, we want to be able to breathe and move and look really chic all at the same time. And we can. How would you describe your personal style? I have a lot of respect for flea markets and secondhand stores, for clothes that aren’t

expensive but look good. If you have a good look and are confident, you can be really beautiful without a designer label on your back. Or you can mix designer fashions with flea market finds. I don’t think most women realize that. Fashion isn’t just philosophy, it has its own sort of energy. Are there any design flourishes that you’re partial to? I love the little ruffle. And I love to play with color. I love seeing a simple dress but then— boom!—there is a color that makes it really different and right and fashionable.

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That’s what fashion is, it’s capturing the essence of life. among countless emerging designers. It’s been said that it takes a decade to become an overnight sensation. Would you agree? Yes, I would. It doesn’t just happen. I don’t even know if you feel it when it happens. And what does success really mean? I think you have to continue to work and to look at yourself and to be proud every day and not just wait for success. I want that sense of bien-être, the way you feel about yourself when you are complete. I want to always feel that I can breathe, not like I’m always waiting for that moment when I won’t be under a tremendous amount of pressure. For me, it’s not about success, but about well-being. Sophie Théallet’s Fall/Winter 2010 collection offers a “country chic” look that references folklore and princess dresses. A mood board (center) brings together the ideas, fabrics and colors that inspired the collection; sketches are shown above; the finished dresses are modeled at far left.

Speaking of flourishes, there’s a lovely little melody on your Web site, although it’s not exactly punk. Where did it come from? It’s an arrangement by Henri Scars Struck. He’s the composer who does the music for all of my shows. I like to show that you really can transport someone through clothes and music. He and I discuss the connection between music and my fashion, and he creates a different composition for each collection. I love his work. He makes music that takes you somewhere else, that opens your heart.

When you are working, do you ever find yourself thinking like that girl who designed princess dresses and believed she could magically transform things? I treat cotton as though it was the richest fabric. I don’t know why everyone thinks it’s not chic. It’s a noble fabric. You wash it, and you’re ready to go. There’s nothing better. That’s something that is very important to me, that my clothes are very wearable. Last fall, you were honored by the Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund, which singled you out

Is it very different to be an entrepreneur in New York compared with Paris? I think that in Paris, being an entrepreneur is more of a weight, more of a worry. The energy here in America is such that if you work, you can make it. It’s a lot of work, but at the same time, that’s part of the game, so you deal with it. What made you decide to leave Paris? [Théallet points at Steve Francoeur, her husband and business partner.] That guy. I’m someone who moves with my feelings. So I go where my heart tells me to go. When he went to New York City, I went to New York City. And I fell in love—with the city. And they lived happily ever after? The prince, the princess and her design studio? [Théallet smiles.] Yes. So far I have no regrets. It’s a happy little life. Fran c e • SU M M ER 2 0 1 0

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S a i lo r

Jean Paul Gaultier has an abiding passion for sailor stripes. Here he poses in the hallway of the ELLE Décoration apartment at Paris’s Cité de l’Architecture, which he recently swathed in the iconic blue-and-white fabric.

This year’s hot trend was launched in europe— 150 years ago. by Sara Romano

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Left to right: A circa 1900 photo of French sailors wearing marinières (the fellow to the right also sports a vareuse); a nautically inspired outfit for a costume ball; the 1846 portrait of HRH Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, that helped spark the sailor suit craze in children’s wear.

ablo Picasso, Brigitte Bardot and Yves Montand all wore it. If you’re even remotely into fashion, you’re probably wearing it too. The striped sailor shirt, or marinière, has spilled off Paris runways and onto the streets of just about every city in the industrialized world. Managers of the two Brittany-based brands that have produced the boat-necked top for decades say business is booming: At Saint James, firstquarter sales of the shirts were three times those registered during the same period last year; at Armor-Lux, purchases of the lightweight jersey version were up 250 percent. “I’ve been working here for 30 years, and this is the first time I’ve seen a phenomenon like this,” says Yannick Duval, president of Tricots Saint James. Demand from retailers in France and abroad is so strong, he says, that his company is having a hard time meeting orders. French boutiques that previously wanted his marinières only for their spring and summer collections now want them for the winter too. In the U.S., meanwhile, high-profile stores such as J.Crew and Ron Herman / Fred Segal are carrying the Saint James brand for the first time. Armor-Lux tells a similar story. “All of a sudden, buyers from places like Bloomingdale’s, who really wouldn’t have thought about our product two or three years ago, are saying, ‘We want your shirts, we want your quality,’” says Marco Petrucci, the company’s export manager. “They don’t even try to negotiate prices. It’s really crazy.” In France, the marinière is a sartorial staple, a quintessentially Gallic item of clothing that never goes out of style. Like Jean Seberg in Jean-Luc Godard’s A bout de souffle, every young Parisienne has one 34

that she throws on with a pair of jeans and Converse sneakers. It’s the shirt that never gets tossed out, regardless of wear and tear. In the public imagination, the look is inextricably linked to Brittany and the Atlantic coast, to idyllic summer vacations by the sea. French marine paintings in seaside art galleries often feature subjects wearing the traditional blue-and-white striped tops, making them especially appealing to visitors soon to return to their big city life. Bretons, who see the simple garment almost as part of their regional dress, are at once proud yet amused by the current international craze. “We often wear marinières that are completely worn-out, so when we see tourists going around in brand new ones, it makes us smile,” says Thierry Dobé, owner of the Galerie Vue sur Mer in Dinard. “To us, it looks like a costume.” “At the same time, the people who wear it are declaring their love for our Brittany,” he concludes cheerfully. Dobé says he no longer fits into his old marinière, which he wore years ago to go sailing, so his nephews now use it when they visit. What launched the current fad? “Sometimes street

fashions originate on the catwalks; other times, the catwalks copy what’s out on the street. In this case, the catwalks really did influence the street,” says Delphine Allannic, co-curator of the 2009 exhibition

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and François Girbaud made little sketches that they later used to give their line more of a marine bent. Beyond France’s borders, other factors fed the trend. The movie Coco Before Chanel—starring Audrey Tautou, the dark-eyed ingenue who starred in Amélie—had unquestionable influence, especially as Tautou wore a striped shirt on the film poster. In the United States, actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s mention of the Saint James shirt as a must-have had a similar impact. “The classic French T-shirt always looks right in spring year after year,” she cooed last year on her blog,, with a picture of herself wearing a striped top. “This one by Saint James is as authentic as it comes.” “The fact that she blogged that she was loving our shirts definitely got people to talk more about our brand,” says Guillaume Jamet, managing director of Saint James USA. “The extensive press coverage we received last year started because of her.” An article followed in the New York Times (May 3, 2009) that underlined the nautical trend—“it looks like Fleet Week in certain parts of town”—and made an explicit reference to Paltrow’s blog, further spurring excitement stateside.

Around that same time, bold women authors such as Colette and Isabelle Eberhardt also adopted the sailor look. “Les Marins font la Mode” at Paris’s Musée de la Marine, which also played a key role in triggering the nautical trend. According to Allannic, also the museum’s archivist and librarian, French fashion designers began digging through the Musée de la Marine’s archives back in 2004 and 2005, poring over old illustrations of sailors’ uniforms. The result was Fall/Winter 2008 and Spring/ Summer 2009 collections filled with marinières and cabans (reefers); the striped shirt then showed up in the racks of lower-priced retailers such as H&M, Promod and Zara. Allannic’s exhibition mapped out the history of the navy-inspired fashions that, by coincidence, were popping up on the streets. The timeline began in the 19th century and was illustrated with numerous sketches, photographs, paintings and original garments that visiting designers could study. Jean-Charles de Castelbajac was so inspired that he produced an entire nautically themed collection; Marithé

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TRICOTS SAINT JAMES Seaworthy styles crafted in the shadow of Mont Saint-Michel

The Saint James brand originated around 1850, taking its name from a little Breton town about 12 miles from Mont Saint-Michel. There, the Legallais family began to spin and dye wool, which they then sold in balls and skeins. Gradually they expanded their activity to making undergarments and, later, the famous chandail du marinpêcheur—the fisherman’s pullover, which was to become the company’s trademark. Steered by Léon Legallais, also mayor of Saint-James, the little spinning concern evolved into an industry. When it celebrated


its centennial in 1950, Saint James boasted a prestigious past but faced an uncertain future. An entrepreneur from Roubaix named Julien Bonte came to the rescue. Moving himself and his family to Saint-James, he transformed the company into a fashion brand specializing in Breton-style pullovers and cardigans. One particular model, marketed as le vrai chandail marin breton, was so tightly woven that it was said to be practically waterproof. It was so successful that in 1970, the company changed its name to Tricots Saint James.

In 1972, Bonte’s son, Bernard, took over from his father and began an expansion that would continue into the 21st century. Within five years, he had inaugurated a new 20,000-square-foot factory; the added capacity allowed Saint James to put out a new collection every season. By 1982, the company had introduced a line of cotton products. In 1989, to mark Léon Legallais’s 100th birthday, Saint James’s factories wove the world’s biggest pullover: Measuring 26 feet high and 42 feet wide, it was duly inscribed in The Guinness Book of

World Records. A year later, the staff of Saint James became its majority owners, and the company came under the leadership of President Yannick Duval. He modernized and enlarged the facilities in 1994, then again in 2001. Today Saint James chalks up annual sales of about €35 million and has 30 boutiques, from Paris to New York to Tokyo. The brand is also sold by 1,000 retailers worldwide. Spokesman Rémy Lescure says that throughout its expansion, the company has maintained its commitment to quality. “One of our ongo-

ing priorities is finding new techniques to continually improve the ability of cotton fabrics to hold their shape and color,” he says. “Most of our cotton comes from Egypt, and every single shipment is tested for these and other qualities.” In the early days, the company sourced its wool from the sheep that graze the salt flats around Mont Saint-Michel. It’s a romantic image, but Lescure says that French wool isn’t the best quality. “It can be a bit stiff and heavy; most of our wool now comes from New Zealand and Australia.” Saint James is especially

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Saint James is inextricably linked to the Brittany Coast. Counterclockwise, from left: Former owner Julien Bonte’s daughters sporting Saint James shirts; the nearby Mont Saint-Michel, whose sheep once supplied wool for the company; a fresh take on the marinière; playful graphic designs from the new Homme Saint James line.

The striped shirt may seem incredibly “now” to young

proud of its knitting prowess; the bodies of its famous water-resistant pullovers are knitted in a single piece; the sleeves are made separately and attached later. In addition to its classic cotton marinières and wool sweaters, Saint James also produces a full range of pants, shirts, jackets and accessories. The challenge for designer Jean-Marc Lansac is to retain the brand’s traditional nautical identity while making each year’s collections fresh. This past spring, he rejuvenated the brand with two new lines, Homme Saint James

and Mademoiselle Saint James, both designed to appeal to a younger, sportier and hipper clientele. He also creates limited editions—such as his amusing marinière decorated with a large sequined anchor—and develops new products. Currently, he is working on a line of waterproof bags for women. When asked to name his own favorite Saint James design, Lassac is coy. “I can’t show it to you, but lately I’ve been wearing this great pullover that is coming out next winter. It’s called —SR Calanques.”

fashion mavens, yet as Allannic’s show demonstrated, it was originally designed more than a century and a half ago. The knit-cotton pullover was first mentioned on November 3, 1855, in an all-points bulletin issued by the French navy that specified what sailors had to wear (previously, they simply wore their own clothes). Three years later, a more detailed description followed: The shirt, in woven cotton, had to have 21 white 20-millimeter-wide stripes, and 20 or 21 blue stripes, each 10 millimeters wide. Sleeves were to have 15 white stripes and 14 or 15 blue ones. In those days, the striped T-shirt was worn under a vareuse, or over-shirt, which sailors today don only for formal occasions. Crucial to the spread of the marinière as civilian attire was the fact that it was the only part of their uniform that sailors could actually keep after leaving the navy. Some started wearing their shirts around the house or when they went out, identifying themselves instantly to onlookers as ex-navy men. The garments then made their way into flea market stalls, where ordinary shoppers started buying and wearing them. While stripes were spreading in France, the sailor suit was geting its big fashion break across the Channel, thanks to an endorsement from none other than Queen Victoria. Ruler of the mightiest colonial empire of all, the Queen acquired a yacht at a time when vessels were just starting to be used for leisure and not just trade and warfare. Victoria decided to take her children aboard the yacht and had them outfitted in exact replicas of navy uniforms. Fran c e • SU M M ER 2 0 1 0

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Left to right: Over the years, top couturiers have revisited the nautical theme. Their seaworthy designs include these looks from Gaultier (Fall/Winter 2009-2010), Chanel (Spring/Summer 1985), Gaultier (Spring/Summer 2003), Sonia Rykiel (Spring/Summer 2002), Kenzo (Spring/Summer 2006) and Chanel (Paris London collection, 2008).

buttons running down the middle. in ultra-conservative and ultra-Catholic French families, sailor suits were de rigueur for children all the way up to the late 1960s and even beyond. as more and more people gained access to leisure and beachside recreation, new types of clothing became necessary, and once again, the navy provided inspiration. “The very wealthy Parisiennes who arrived on the Normandy coast realized that their city dresses were not at all appropriate,” says allannic. Corsets and crinolines simply could not be worn in the sand. So these women turned to their children’s outfits for ideas, borrowing the color scheme—navy and white—and the stripes. By the turn of the 20th century, navy-inspired costumes were also cropping up at the wildly popular masked balls, with revelers decked out in all manner of vareuses, high-waisted pantalons à pont and other pieces intended to evoke the romance and adventure of the sea. around that same time, bold women authors such as Colette and isabelle Eberhardt, determined to flaunt their emancipation and not afraid to dress up as men, also adopted the look.

“eVery 10 years or so, There’s a big sailor waVe. we’ll probably see sTripes again someTime beTween 2017 and 2019.” The official portrait of the Queen alongside her sailor-suited descendants went a long way toward launching the trend. an 1846 painting of HrH albert Edward, Prince of Wales (by Franz Xaver Winterhalter), shows the blue-eyed boy striking a cheeky pose in a sailor suit, hands firmly stuffed in the pockets of his baggy white pants, a blue cravat loosely knotted over his V-necked vareuse. Britain’s influence over other European courts was enormous in those days. Soon, the style caught on with the British and French aristocracies and later trickled—as fashion always does—from the haute bourgeoisie and the bourgeoisie to the petite bourgeoisie and on down. in well-to-do families, children were dressed up as sailors for special occasions, such as communions or days at the beach. Press clippings from the period show the offspring of affluent French households clothed in elegant vareuses with gold

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Based in Quimper, Armor Lux is fiercely proud of its Breton roots. Now more than 70 years old, the company still caters to local boating enthusiasts as well as those who just like to look the part. Classic stripes are an enduring leitmotif—to date, the company has produced them in some 50 different colors.

Armor-Lux Breton pride and tradition Armor-Lux was created not by a dyedin-the-wool Breton but by a Swiss entrepreneur of German origin. In 1938, Walter Hubacher moved from Switzerland to Quimper, in western Brittany, to set up a company called La Bonneterie d’Armor. A bonneterie traditionally makes underwear, and that was the first line of products to bear the Armor-Lux label


(the name means “light from the sea”). The timing was not ideal. War and German occupation followed, and by 1942, the factory was shut down. Hubacher sat out the war years, then in 1947 bought a stretch of land where he set up shop with 50 employees. Soon, the company had diversified into traditional nautical wear, turning out vareuses (fisherman’s

smocks), marinières, sweaters and other items. It prided itself on mastering the entire production process, which gave it the ability to closely control quality at every stage. By the early 1980s, La Bonneterie d’Armor’s staff had grown to 600. But France was going through an economic downturn, and the textile industry was suffering severely. To keep afloat, the company

reduced staff and appointed a new president (partially replacing the aging Hubacher). When it still failed to recover, it was put up for sale. In 1993, two Breton businessmen, Jean-Guy Le Floch and Michel Gueguen, bought the company, resolving to keep the beloved Breton brand and its workers in Quimper. Le Floch had graduated from the Ecole Centrale in Paris and Stanford University in California; Gueguen, a chemical engineer by training, had worked for more than 10 years for the Groupe Bolloré. The two men made a series of strategic acquisitions; some were aimed at bringing the company new savoir faire (in knitting and the production of weatherproof garments, for example) while another provided stores that were reopened under the Armor-Lux name. The pair also launched new lines, including Terre et Mer (women’s wear), Armor-Kids and ArmorBaby. By 2004, La Poste had hired Armor-Lux to produce uniforms for its 140,000 workers. The SNCF, the Aéroports de Paris and the Police Nationale soon followed suit.

Le Floch and Gueguen now oversee 600 employees at three factories and churn out €73 million in sales. There are 30 ArmorLux boutiques throughout France, and exports account for about 7 percent of production. With two new collections each year, the brand strives to remain both authentic and modern. “It’s easy to say but hard to do,” admits company spokesman Grégoire Guyon. “Each season, our stylists re-interpret the classics using new cuts, new materials, new colors. Over the years, we have made marinières in more than 50 different hues.” Guyon points out, however, that keeping up with the times is more than a question of fashion. While continuing to respect the founder’s original values of quality and tradition, Armor-Lux has also become keenly aware of ethical practices, paying new attention to how its products affect both people and the environment. “We source our cotton from West Africa and are very committed to fair trade,” he says. “And since 2009, we have been using organic cotton in our products.” But when it comes to business ethics, he is just as proud of the fact that Armor-Lux has kept jobs in Quimper. “We are a rare success story in an industry that has continued to decline. Who would ever have thought that this little company in Brittany—a region not exactly known for textiles— would survive?” —SR

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There seems to be no end to what creative minds can do with stripes: Tsumori Chisato has dreamed up these whimsical designs for Petit Bateau’s Winter 2010 collection.

of courSe, no 20th-century

figure contributed more to the spread of sailor chic than Coco Chanel. Mademoiselle, as she was commonly known, had spent the years before World War i in Deauville, where she had opened a boutique. During stays along the French riviera in the late 1920s, she realized that the clothes she had designed for women in Deauville were not at all suited to the blazing Mediterranean climate. Women had to be able to lounge around in something lighter and more comfortable while at the same time looking elegant. When Coco saw women on the riviera beaches in pyjamas de plage—three-piece outfits consisting of a big baggy pair of trousers, a small short-sleeved top and a gilet or knotted jacket—she designed multiple versions using fluid nautical fabrics such as jersey. in 1929, she was photographed by Vogue magazine wearing one. it was sailor chic’s official entrance into women’s everyday wardrobes. “She was the pioneer of nautical fashion,” affirms allannic. Much later, another 20th-century designer came along whose image is forever associated with sailor stripes: Jean-Paul Gaultier. in the early 1980s, he adopted what would become his signature look: cropped bleach-blond hair, a striped shirt and Doc Martens boots. He wore his marinière absolutely everywhere—even to formal soirées, tucked into a tuxedo. He had male models wear them on the catwalk with skirts, kilts and jeans. later, he adorned them with ostrich feathers, lace, Swarovski crystals and sequins. The way Gaultier tells it (in an interview published in the Musée de la Marine’s exhibition catalogue), his grandmother dressed him up in sailor togs when he was a little boy, and they brought back sweet memories of those childhood years. in 1982, he made them his trademark after watching German filmmaker rainer Werner

Fassbinder’s adaptation of Jean Genet’s homoerotic novel Querelle. “it’s the gay-macho-sailor aspect that i liked in those images and the nostalgia for the world of the 1950s,” he says in the interview. “To me, this pullover evokes the 1950s.” Even the bottle for Gaultier’s men’s fragrance, le Mâle, is in the form of a sailor’s muscular torso in a striped shirt (the 2007 video clip for the scent shows a group of sailors in a locker room passing around a bottle of the perfume while they change into business suits). and although Gaultier no longer sports his ’80s look, he is still a master at reinterpreting sailor stripes to create amusing, provocative and gorgeous designs. a stunning dress from his Spring/Summer 2002 collection, for example, features a striped bodice that deconstructs into ribbons that cascade down the back. This summer, he took the look to a whole new level, using blue-and-white stripes to deck out an entire room in the EllE Décoration suite at Paris’s Cité de l’architecture. of course, Chanel and Gaultier are far from being the only designers to play with this enduring leitmotif, which has also captured the imagination of Sonia rykiel, Kenzo, Martin Margiela…. Still, the marinière remains a classic that no one designer or even type of design has ever managed to appropriate completely. it is timeless, ageless and belongs to everyone. But don’t expect the current stripe frenzy to last—even the companies that make the shirts know that fashion just doesn’t work that way. “We are pretty sure that, by the end of 2010 or the beginning of 2011, this trend will be over,” says armor-lux’s Petrucci, adding that his company is developing a range of other products to retain clients who were lured to the brand by its marinières. “Saturation will inevitably come,” agrees Saint James’s chief Duval. allannic points out that in fashion as elsewhere, history tends to repeat itself. “Every 10 years or so, there’s a big, big sailor wave,” she says, dating the first one back to the late 1950s. “So we’ll probably see stripes again sometime between 2017 and 2019.” Fran c e • SU M M e r 2 0 1 0

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Makers of French perfumes and skin-care products protect their ingredients and formulas as if they were state secrets. One asset they will discuss openly is Cosmetic Valley, the business cluster that fosters research and innovation in this famously competitive industry. Amy Serafin recently toured this sprawling beauty empire, getting a few “flashforwards” of the revolutionary products in our future. By Amy Serafin

I l l u s t r at i o n s b y S a m W i l s o n

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Cosmetics have come a long way since the ancient Egyptians put lead in their eyeliner and Renaissance Italians used mercury sulfite as blush. Today, heavy metals are out; botox and hyaluronic acid are in. Tomorrow, African river water might provide the fountain of youth. The search for the perfect beauty formula is a story of continual innovation. And it is innovation that has made France the beauty leader. Perfumers in Grasse put their city on the map by blending ingredients in the 17th century, developing new extraction techniques in the 18th century, then building factories and industrializing the fragrance trade over the next hundred-odd years. Crystal makers such as René Lalique, Saint-Louis and Saint-Gobain created ever more spectacular bottles for perfumes. Meanwhile, in Paris, a French chemist named Eugène Schueller developed the first synthetic hair color formula in 1907, subsequently founding the company that would become L’Oréal, the world’s top cosmetics business. Despite stiff global competition and cheaper manufacturing costs elsewhere, France continues to maintain its number-one position in perfumes and cosmetics thanks to relentless research and a constant flow of new products. It all adds up to €17 billion in annual turnover (nearly 25 percent of market share worldwide), average annual growth of close to 7 percent and exports that are second in value only to those of the aeronautics industry. Around the globe, coveted brands such as L’Oréal, Dior, Chanel, Guerlain and Yves Saint Laurent have become household names. What few people realize is that these famous labels have a lesser-known name in common: Cosmetic Valley, the place where 80 percent of the world’s luxury beauty products are born.

The Valley’s origins can be traced back to the 1970s, when France started encouraging factories to leave city centers to make room for residential neighborhoods. Many perfume and cosmetics companies responded by moving their operations south and west of Paris. Fabergé had been in Chartres since the 1960s, and Coty-Lancaster and Paco Rabanne gravitated to the same region. Dior went to Orléans, Hermès to Evreux. Some companies chose the convenient option, moving factories to the vicinity of the founding family’s weekend homes—Nina Ricci near Fontainebleau, Guerlain near Rambouillet. Small companies and suppliers followed. Foreigners such as Japan’s Shiseido, Korea’s Pacific Creation and Germany’s Reckitt Benckiser also set up operations in the area, attracted by the prestigious names and growing concentration of industry professionals. In 1994, Jean-Luc Ansel, director of the Eure-et-Loir Economic Development Committee, and Jean Arondel, head of a soap manufacturing plant, created a local association of these businesses. As Ansel explains, “At the time, companies here were subcontracting packaging to the South of France or Italy. They didn’t know they could have the work done right next door. This was a chance to take stock of all the resources we had here and put people into contact with one another.” Jean-Paul Guerlain agreed to be the association’s first president, and his star power made it easy to get a couple dozen more companies on board. A few years later, the association adopted

F lashforward

Cosmetotextiles Can leggings really make you thin? The research scientists behind cosmetotextiles—clothing with cosmetic properties—believe they can. The secret is microcapsules filled with active substances that are attached to fabric and burst open when they rub against the skin, releasing molecules


within. The effects vary from moisturizing to slimming to antiperspirant. At the recent In-cosmetics trade show in Paris, Lytess exhibited a back support belt to calm muscle pain, an aromatherapy pillow, moisturizing gloves and socks, plus new capri leggings that promise slimming results in 10 days (up to 2 cm off the hips and 1.4 cm off the thighs). The company is about to release a

sports line that heats muscles and reduces cramping and is working on another to relieve excema. Only five years old, Lytess expects turnover to be €15 to €20 million this year (the brand is already available in the U.S.). In Cosmetic Valley, Lytess is currently collaborating with the University of Tours, the French company Spincontrol and other partners on a research project to improve

cosmetotextiles’ effectiveness by developing more solid microcapsules that can stand up to repeated washings yet progressively release active ingredients. Once they master this, says Spincontrol CEO Patrick Beau, “It will be up to the manufacturers to decide how far they want to take this technology, from cosmetics to medicine, dermatology or even workplace safety.”

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financing for an organization that would allow members to pool resources in even more areas—from participating in international trade shows to combating counterfeiting to grappling with environmental questions. Even more important, cluster members became eligible to receive millions of euros to fund joint R&D projects. This new status has attracted even more businesses, all eager to benefit from the network’s growing synergies and efficiencies. Coty has started producing Calvin Klein perfume in the Valley; Reckitt Benckiser opted for Chartres over a German site for three additional dermo-cosmetics lines; and Procter & Gamble, which has long had operations in Blois, is considering connecting its R&D activities to the Valley cluster. F lashforward Cosmetic Valley now calls itself the world’s biggest resource center for perfumery and cosmetics, with nearly 550 companies representing 47,000 jobs and €11 billion in turnover, plus six universities, 200 research labs and 136 trainFor anyone who is allergic to perfume, a ride in an ing centers. About 80 percent elevator with a just-spritzed of the companies are small- and woman can be torture. medium-sized, but there are about Sometimes, even the a dozen major luxury names and wearer suffers. According to Jean-Marc Seigneuret heavyweight laboratories such as of Alban Muller, perfumes the brand new LVMH Recherche. may contain any one of 26 The cluster’s perimeter has steadily allergenic molecules. When expanded, and today it covers an we spray a scent on our bodies, some of it wafts arc that stretches from Le Havre outward as fragrance, but on through Versailles, Chartres, molecules also penetrate Orléans and Tours. our skin and can irritate or At the end of the day, Cosmetic cause allergies. His company has just Valley—like France’s other pôles started working with the de compétitivité—is about increasUniversité de Rouen and ing efficiency and profits in order fragrance manufacturer to keep jobs at home and create Payan Bertrand to find a molecule that will block new ones. Puig’s Boutaud proudly perfume molecules from shows off his six state-of-the-art entering the skin. This factory lines, where rapidly movcollaborative effort is an ing robotic arms squirt L’Air du example of partnerships that Cosmetic Valley Temps and other fragrances into sometimes sets up with bottles, insert pumps, code them, businesses and labs in put them into cardboard boxes, other clusters, in this case seal them in cellophane and send with PASS, located in the South of France. them off to distribution. Each line is run by three operators—soon to be only two—whereas 15 years ago, the same line required five times as many workers. (Interestingly, they are all female. As Boutaud explains, it was principally women who did the assembly work by hand, and when technology took over, many fought to upgrade their skills and stay employed.) But while factory jobs are disappearing, they are being replaced by more specialized vocations. For Paco Rabanne’s huge success, the men’s cologne 1 Million, Cosmetic Valley businesses crafted the smoky glass bottles and the pumping mechanism, built the robots that slip the pumps into the bottles and slide the bottles into the

NonAllergenic Perfume

the name Cosmetic Valley, a nod to Silicon Valley. Ansel admits that the anglophone moniker rankles some, but he doesn’t care. “The name is essential—it’s an image, a concept.” The new identity definitely helped. After the Spanish company Puig bought Nina Ricci in 1998, it faced the choice of moving perfume production down to Barcelona or adding Ricci fragrances to the Paco Rabanne factory in Chartres. Says plant manager Olivier Boutaud, “Thanks to Cosmetic Valley, we were able to convince headquarters that we could produce Nina Ricci perfumes here in Chartres. We told them we could use local suppliers, work with nearby subcontractors and collaborate with our marketing department in Neuilly. They approved the plan, and since relocating production here in 2005, we’ve increased our volume by 15 to 20 percent every year.” Like Puig, others have discovered that the entire supply chain— from planting seeds to distribution—is present here. There are laboratories extracting molecules, factories producing plastic bottle tops, and engineers inventing 3D measurement devices for the body. The glass district of the Vallée de la Bresle, between Upper Normandy and Picardy, furnishes approximately 80 percent of the world’s perfume bottles. The Beauce region, traditionally the breadbasket of France, now features acres of aromatic and medicinal plants alongside wheat and rapeseed. Ansel’s concept soared to a whole new level in 2005, when the national government launched a French version of business clusters, or pôles de compétitivité—groups of interrelated companies, research facilities and educational centers in given locations. The Cosmetic Valley area received the label that same year, entitling it to public

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F lashforward

therapeutic or cosmetic properties. “In the cosmetics industry, the greatest innovations come from new active substances. We found plants with true potential, Next time you stay out in the sun too long, don’t expect much from that cream you slather on based on traditional ethnic habyour singed shoulders. Philippe Bernard, general manager of Greenpharma, explains that when we get a sunburn, our skin automatically secretes peptides called enkephalines to soothe the pain. But its. For example, water from an the molecules break down quickly, which is why their analgesic effect doesn’t last very long. His African river where crocodiles company is studying several natural molecules that block the enkephaline-destroying enzymes and live is supposed to be good for is working with Paris’s Pasteur Institute to select and modify the best molecule. A third partner, the skin.” Ansel says that new Sinclair Pharma, will use the ingredient in a new product that actually relieves the pain from surface burns and lesions rather than simply hydrating the skin. discoveries in the natural world can promote biodiversity too. “We have no intention of pillaging forests but of working with boxes, and designed the cardboard box itself. “When we create a local partners to promote sustainable development.” product, the packaging has to be able to pass through the automated Every chance he gets, Ansel reminds government officials that factory line, which is much more restrictive than if it’s done by hand,” cosmetics is an essential sector, as important to France as airplanes or explains Boutaud. “Designing this kind of packaging requires highly weapons. His annual budget for Cosmetic Valley, upwards of €1.2 technical skills, and originally, we didn’t have anyone competent in million a year, pays for administration, trade shows, conventions and this area.” So Puig asked Cosmetic Valley to set up a new training other projects. Of that, 15 percent is funded by the State, 68 percent program, and they obliged. The university in Evreux now offers a by local governments and 17 percent by private financing. He would like more. “I believe that the ‘Made in France’ label has tremendous packaging technician degree. value,” he says. “We must cultivate it for the long term.” Cosmetic Valley’s headquarters are housed in a 15thAs always, innovation remains the heart of this industry, century building steps from the asymmetrical towers of Chartres Cathedral. Its general director is still Jean-Luc Ansel, a dashing gen- and Cosmetic Valley has long been a beehive of research activity. tleman whose secret of perpetual youth undoubtedly derives from The endless search for the ultimate skin cream and lipstick involves a his multitude of ideas and boundless enthusiasm rather than any mind-boggling array of studies—some seek better and cleaner methskin cream. He has launched numerous programs for the cluster ods for extracting active ingredients; others look for new ways to inand is developing new ones all the time, most of which provide sup- corporate them into products, improving absorption and feel. Still port to start-ups and small- or medium-sized companies. When there are trade shows in France and overseas, Cosmetic Valley reserves a large stand and offers space at a reduced rate to businesses that couldn’t afford to attend on their own. It has created an association that gives full-time employment to a pool of workers typically hired on a temporary basis by fragrance or cosmetics companies during rush periods (for example, on a factory line for a perfume launch), so that they can simply migrate from one company to another as needs arise. Last year, Ansel hired a think tank to predict upcoming trends in the industry. Their most striking finding, he says, is that “organic cosmetics have no future. That whole industry is based on a false premise. Everything comes from nature, including petroleum. It’s not a question of natural or not natural, but of whether or not a product is good for nature, man and the planet.” At the same time, Cosmetic Valley drafted an “eco-responsibility charter” to encourage environmentally friendly practices among companies in the association. Completed last fall, it has already garnered more than 50 signatures. Ansel has also set up partnerships with universities and clusters in other parts of the world, from Columbia to Syria to Japan. Recently, he went along on a Cosmetic Valley mission to Togo, traveling with a university intern who is studying traditional cosmetic uses for plants. He says pharmacopeia is well established, but a similar field does not yet exist for cosmetics. And though the planet contains a wealth of different molecules from natural resources such as plants and insects, scientists have studied fewer than 10 percent to ascertain their

A Better Burn Cream


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Gone are the days when laboratories applied a cream to a woman’s crow’s-feet and asked her to report if there was any noticeable change after six weeks. Now they deploy a growing arsenal of sophisticated scientific instruments.

others focus on developing new skinsensitivity testing techniques—ones that don’t use animals—to ensure safety and avoid allergic reactions. In response to marketers’ demands for new product claims that will give them an edge over the competition, companies are also developing more precise ways to measure effectiveness. Gone are the days when laboratories applied a cream to a woman’s crow’sfeet and asked her to report if there was any noticeable change after six weeks. Now they deploy a growing arsenal of sophisticated scientific instruments. “Confocal imaging” and “ultrasound biomicroscopy” can precisely gauge the thickness of the dermis and epidermis. SomeF lashforward thing called “fringe projection” can measure the body without touching it, reporting the exact number of cubic centimeters lost thanks to a slimming product. And new photography techniques are yieldIn 2001, when Shiseido ing increasingly accurate pictures International France (SIF) and Narciso Rodriguez of just how much more volume decided to collaborate on you are getting from that mascara. a perfume, the New York Traditionally, biology, chemdesigner said he wanted istry and physics have reigned in a bottle painted on the inside. Only one problem— these laboratories; now, scientists there was no technology are looking into how other discithat could ensure that plines can be harnessed in the serproblems wouldn’t arise vice of Beauty. Theoretically, the from the interaction between perfume molecules tiny size of nano particles, for exand the interior décor. ample, would make them ideal for So SIF looked to Cosensuring optimum skin coverage metic Valley and formed while providing a silky smooth a partnership with glass specialist SGD (formerly texture. Saint-Gobain) and ICOA R&D activites here have been laboratory. Together, even more intense since Cosmetic they set out to develop a Valley became a pôle de compétitifragrance-resistant coating that would stick to the vité in 2005. The new status allowed inside of the bottle, remain cluster companies to apply for 35 to safe for the consumer and 40 percent public financing for cerat the same time be ecotain projects; as of December 2009, nomically viable. Essence by Narciso Rodriguez was 54 proposals had been approved, finally launched in 2009, representing a total investment of and the research team €90 million. Each involves a colwon awards for the bottle, laborative effort between at least which is lined on the inside in reflective silver, creating two businesses and a public laboraa mirror-like effect. (The tory. As always, the goal is to generseductively futuristic design ate more business and create jobs. is by Ross Lovegrove.) The first project to qualify for SIF and its partners are continuing their research funding set out to replace parabens, and hope to expand their a no-no ever since British researchrange of visual effects to ers reported finding traces of the include color, opacity and synthetically produced preservative transparency.

Fabulous Flacons

in breast cancer tissue. Despite the fact that the link has never been proven, the industry has been scrambling to come up with effective substitutes. One of the partners is Alban Muller, which specializes in developing raw materials of vegetal origin for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. At its factory in Chartres, an employee walks up to technical director Jean-Marc Seigneuret with a bag of tangled brown roots in his hand. The plant they come from is top-secret—found in the rain forests of French Guiana, where the flora must protect itself from heat, humidity and an abundance of bacteria. The University of Orléans and Greenpharma have already extracted and identified 200 previously unknown molecules from 40 plants that grow in the region, and Alban Muller has narrowed the selection down to two or three interesting candidates—including the brown roots in the bag. After another partner, Glycodiag, conducts a battery of additional tests, LVMH hopes to develop formulations that will use the resulting extract to replace parabens as preservatives in one or more of its products, starting in 2012. Understanding how skin ages is of course the holy grail of cosmetics companies, and the cluster’s biggest research project, run by Pacific Creation in Chartres, is pursuing this elusive knowledge in partnership with three public laboratories and Bio-Europe, a biotech company specializing in the discovery of new active ingredients. Together, these scientists are finally beginning to find answers to the mysteries of how our skin functions, why it sags, dries out or wrinkles. Once they have a better handle on these basic questions, they will be able to develop more targeted products. Research will wrap up at the end of 2010, and if all goes as planned, Pacific Creation will have new skin-care potions on the market within a year or two. So if you suspect that your fancy new pot of wrinkle cream isn’t quite the miracle concoction you were hoping for, be patient—the scientists at Cosmetic Valley are working on it. Innovation will keep France’s cosmetics industry in great shape, and hopefully it will do the same for our faces. Fran c e • su m m e r 2 0 1 0

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DorothĂŠe Bis, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Azzedine AlaĂŻa and Yves Saint Laurent are among the fashion luminaries represented in the retrospective.


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An unprecedented two-part exhibition at Paris’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs is showcasing the best of four decades of fashion. Journalist Tina Isaac and fashion expert Serge Carrera take us for a visit, deciphering the sometimes obscure meanings of runways past. B y Tin a I saac

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Presented as a sort of 3-D version of Saillard’s book,

hen it comes to fashion,

it seems that our appetite is insatiable. In New York, two highprofile exhibitions on American style—one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the other at the Brooklyn Museum—are captivating press and public alike. Across the Atlantic, the mega Yves Saint Laurent retrospective at the Petit Palais has been drawing crowds since it opened in March. Now the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, which last year paid tribute to the legendary Madeleine Vionnet, is taking a look at Paris’s role as international fashion hub during the past 40 years. “Histoire idéale de la mode contemporaine,” which runs through May 2011, is nothing if not ambitious. A distillation of style, this two-part exhibition is based on a lavishly illustrated, 448-page compendium by the museum’s dynamic fashion curator, Olivier Saillard. Since joining the Musée des Arts Décos in 2002, Saillard, 41, has become an almost superhuman presence in the worlds of fashion and contemporary art. The author of numerous books, he has notably mounted exhibits on Christian Lacroix, Yohji Yamamoto and Sonia Rykiel that have been credited with reviving the genre, attracting wider and younger audiences. For “Histoire idéale,” he has culled looks from no fewer than 120 collections presented during four decades, with 150 or so outfits and 50 videos of runway shows comprising the opening installment (1970-1990), and a roughly equal number making up the second (1990-2010). As this article was being written, Saillard was appointed president of the Musée Galliera, the fashion museum of the City of Paris, whose archives span the mid-18th century to the present. In that sense, “Histoire idéale” is at once his Arts Décos apogee and swan song.

the exhibition is organized in relatively chronological order and by designer. “Vol. I : 70-80” opens with Yves Saint Laurent’s seminal “Forties” collection of 1971, wends its way through the ascendance of prêt-à-porter and closes with the arrival of the small but mighty Alaïa, whose impeccably cut, body-conscious clothes would become a defining element of fashion in the ’90s. The curator takes pains, however, to underscore the key word in the show’s title: “Idealized History.” He notes that his mission was to illustrate “ideas of fashion and creation, whether or not they were embraced by the general public.” The result, as he describes it, is a “fashion show of fashion shows,” one that sums up the original genius of each decade and ignores the rest. Indeed anyone who remembers the ’70s probably prefers to forget its sartorial blunders, flammable and otherwise. And you won’t find them in this exhibit. Instead, it eloquently demonstrates that this much-maligned decade was about much more than tight flared pants, disco sequins and wonky, mustard-hued prints. Saillard argues that its real design story is in fact both subtle and radical, punctuated by groundbreaking experimentation. He cites the primary, geometric and draped forms by rising talents such as Issey Miyake; “la démodé,” or unfashion (movement-friendly knits, inside-out stitching and hemless, lining-free clothing) cultivated by Sonia Rykiel; and more revolutionary initiatives by Yves Saint Laurent than you can count on one hand. His “best of” selection from the ’70s thus highlights the inventiveness, style and a certain auteur quality of this period—traits that would eventually give way to big business and catch phrases such as “brand philosophy.” Touring the show, you get the feeling that you are looking at an old school yearbook, with images of future greats and the popular crowd alongside onetime pioneers and radicals who are now largely forgotten. While admiring designs from Yves Saint Laurent’s revolutionary “Hommage aux Années 40” collection, I became somewhat perplexed. Some of them—the dresses with little heart prints, the evening gown with the plunging neckline and red sash—look just as great now as they did then, which is an astounding feat. But the ensemble with the

1970 Chantal Thomass RTW

1971 Issey Miyake RTW Spring/Summer

Time Machine

Through runway footage and photographs, the curator conveys the highlights of two decades of ready-to-wear and haute couture.


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m adam e GR Ès A contemporary of Chanel and Dior, Madame Grès was renowned for her masterful use of the bias cut. Her flowing silk jersey dresses had a timeless and contemporary appeal; shown here are designs from 1976, 1981 and 1986.

1971 Yves Saint Laurent HC Summer

1972 Kenzo RTW Spring/Summer

1973 Jean Muir RTW

1974-75 Chloé RTW Fall/Winter

1975-76 Cacharel RTW Fall/Winter

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ThieRRy mUGLeR With his Fall/Winter 1984-85 “L’Hiver des Anges” collection, Mugler became the first couturier to allow the general public to attend his runway show. They got quite a spectacle: winged lamé dresses that embodied the designer’s penchant for fantasy and excess.

1976 Grès HC Spring/Summer


1976 Yves Saint Laurent HC Fall

1976 Grès HC Spring/Summer

1977 Issey Miyake RTW Spring/Summer

1979-80 Kenzo RTW Spring/Summer

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white pleated skirt and white-trimmed navy jacket looks like some- their daughters, however, discovered a retro chic in clothes from that thing mamie would wear on a sunday outing in the 16th arrondisse- period, and saint laurent fired that interest. these young women also ment. What’s so revolutionary about that? embraced the freedom of the designer’s sheer blouses (scandalously to answer just such questions, i have brought along serge Carrera, worn braless on the runway) and pantsuits, which the old guard perwho has long worked at a fashion powerhouse and who in his spare ceived as the ultimate rebellion. time lectures on fashion and luxury at sciences Po. We take in the freedom also implies accessibility, and it was by being the first black-and-white Yves saint laurent footage, watching women with haute couture designer to embrace democracy, by making his over-plucked eyebrows modeling those little print dresses and jack- clothes—such as that little suit—accessible to a wider clientele under ets while sporting platform shoes and turbans. at one point, a model the ready-to-wear rive Gauche label, that saint laurent ascended to appears in a sleek pantsuit, apparently wearing the jacket over bare demi-god status. skin. “What i want to do is shock, to force people to think,” the desaint laurent’s position in the fashion firmament is unrivaled, and signer told french vogue after his show. and indeed he did. even in this show, he reappears more than any other designer. but we also a casual observer can see that see trails being blazed by other his colors, inspired by contemfuture greats such as issey porary american artists, and Miyake, with his explorations his silhouettes—the winged of prints on flesh-toned bodySaillard’s selection highlights the shoulders, the smoking tuxedo suits, an approach that would inventiveness, style and a suit, the draping at the hips, the lead to innovations such as his certain auteur quality of the ’70s. short dyed-fox coats, the vivid aPoC (a Piece of Cloth) laplatform shoes—inform fashbel and the development of his ion to this day. own colors, prints and fabrics. but what about that prim in another first, Miyake esskirt and jacket? Carrera points out that saint laurent’s originality tablished a signature cyclical, rather than seasonal, approach to fashwent beyond the designs themselves, that what is important about this ion that allowed him an open-ended time frame to pursue a creative suit is the new freedom it represents. “What many people today don’t thought to its conclusion. realize is what a complete break this collection is with so many aspects Here too is karl lagerfeld, who a decade before his arrival at Chanel of the world of haute couture.” Up until that point, he explains, fash- tapped into the freedom wave at Chloé. His romantic, fluid dresses acion was codified and linear. designers did not reference the past, col- centuate movement and elegant nonchalance with bijou pleats and lections were presented in the hushed ambiance of couture salons, and lantern sleeves. some designs reference the structure of Poiret’s dresses clothes were made to measure. “from the end of the war through the from the ’20s; others, such as the wrap dress, offer ease and comfort. ’60s, not much changed in the world of high fashion. then with one this, observes Carrera, is the perfect example of fashion emerging collection, Yves saint laurent upended everything and made fashion from the structured, futuristic ’60s styles championed by andré fresh by borrowing elements from the past and mixing turbans with Courrèges and Pierre Cardin and taking off for new horizons, literally prints. all of a sudden, fashion moved toward the realm of spectacle.” and figuratively. at the time, women who remembered the ’40s were shocked by his the ’70s also witnessed kenzo tagada’s kimono-inspired eastreferences to an era when scarcity meant that fashion was makeshift, meets-West pastiches of color and pattern, saint laurent’s “opéra sometimes thrown together from old curtains or cork for wedge heels. ballet russe” collection (fall/Winter 1976-77) and utopian visions of

1982 Chanel RTW Spring/Summer

1983 Chanel HC Spring/Summer

1983-84 Comme des garçons RTW Fall/Winter

1984-85 Thierry Mugler RTW Fall/Winter

1984-85 Thierry Mugler RTW Fall/Winter

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well-being (think Cacharel’s Liberty prints). Some of the names are still familiar, such as Rykiel and Chantal Thomass. Others, such as Dorothée Bis, French fashion’s first ready-to-wear brand, have faded from the scene. “What these designers all have in common is that they were doing whatever they wanted to do,” Carrera observes. “They were inspired by dressing women for the here and now, and they wanted to bring them something new.” Back then, he recalls, there was no such thing as marketing diktats. Considered from that point of view, it’s easy to become nostalgic—and not just over the clothes. Not all of the trailblazers belonged to the younger generation of designers. Madame Grès, who was a contemporary of Gabrielle Chanel, Cristóbal Balenciaga and Christian Dior continued to turn out asymmetrical dresses, hooded capes and draped gowns with geometric cutouts in jersey that placed her in a class by herself. She was, Carrera observes, the rarest of all fashion breeds: a designer who continued to be very much of her time, decade after decade, yet who also maintained a unique voice. By the time the visitor reaches the late ’70s, fashion’s quickened pace becomes palpable. With so many currents running at once— ethnic influences, romanticism, sportswear, conceptual fashion and the emergence of minimalism—things have gotten so busy that couture’s dedication to technique, savoir-faire and timelessness, so dominant a mere decade before, starts to feel quaint.



much of what comes to mind is fashion-related. Dominatrix-y big shoulders and cinched waists, loud colors, pouf skirts, chunky jewelry, big hair, heavy makeup—not to mention that infamous Madonna moment. Who wasn’t guilty of this in one form or another? But the Me Decade also had its share of important fashion moments. Saillard points out that even before the ’70s were over, Jean Paul Gaultier, Claude Montana and Thierry Mugler were already looking to the street for inspiration. And in 1983, Karl Lagerfeld’s arrival at Chanel was the starting point for what would become the most

1984-85 Thierry Mugler RTW Fall/Winter


1985 Jean Paul Gaultier RTW Fall/Winter

successful resurrection in fashion history, which the designer began by transforming Mademoiselle’s celebrated sautoirs into trompe l’oeil elements. While Lagerfeld was reinventing Chanel, Christian Lacroix was reviving Patou. In 1987, he launched his own couture house with an audacious show that reverberated through the fashion world. Inspired by his native Arles and a costumer’s love of color, Lacroix presented an exuberant collection in a sunny Provençal atmosphere complete with gypsy music and confetti. The author of the pouf skirt had set out to do nothing less than revitalize the staid couture industry. The ’80s also saw the Japanese invasion, with Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons joining Miyake in Paris. Their impact was seismic. “It’s fashion from another world,” writes Saillard, “one that turns rigorous miserableness into a new luxury.” Rei Kawakubo’s crinkled, torn and nearly always black creations forced her Western clientele to reconsider fashion entirely. Wrote one French critic of wearing Comme des Garçons, “It’s a choice. It implies a different mentality, knowledge that in this game, French eroticism is undermined … waist, hips, buttocks disappear.” Surprisingly, some early Yamamoto pieces on display are not in his characteristic black—a short, full trench in bright green cinched with a sewn-in belt and a voluminous fuchsia coat jump out at the viewer as an example of a certain old-world elegance that was about to be swept away in favor of unfinished—some said “atomic”—styles. One journalist described the look as “obvious pauperism.” Another spoke of “raw (truly raw) talent” put into the service of garments crafted to trouble and confuse: “Elegance has gone to hell. Even in Japan, or especially in Japan.” Meanwhile, other designers were marrying contemporary art with fashion. Unlike some of his colleagues, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac never seemed to take himself too seriously, turning out good-humored Warhol-inspired Campbell’s Soup dresses and garments inscribed with the distinctive rounded handwriting of the artist Ben (“Je suis toute nue en dessous”). The exhibition also reminds visitors that Castelbajac was the first to question and subvert the traditional role of clothing, turning out amusing but thought-provoking pieces such as jackets covered in gloves and teddy-bear coats.

1985 Jean-Charles de Castelbajac RTW Fall/Winter

1986 Jean Paul Gaultier RTW Fall/ Winter


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Jean-chaRLes de casTeLBaJac A follower of contemporary art trends, Castelbajac often ended his défilés with garments that showcased pop-culture icons, such as this playful Albert Einstein featured in his Fall/Winter 1983-84 collection.

1986-87 Jean Paul Gaultier RTW Spring/Summer

1986-87 Marc Audibet RTW Fall/Winter

1987 Christian Lacroix HC Fall/Winter

1987 Anne-Marie Beretta RTW Spring/Summer

1988 Yohji Yamamoto RTW Spring/Summer

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Jean PaU L GaU LTi eR The designer’s seminal Spring/Summer 1988 ready-to-wear collection drew its inspiration from pre-WWII Paris—not the soft-focus, nostalgic City of Light of the popular imagination, but rather the real-life, gritty, working-class capital.

1988 Claude Montana RTW Spring/Summer


1988 Jean Paul Gaultier RTW Spring/Summer

1988 Christian Lacroix HC Spring/Summer

1988 Jean-Charles de Castelbajac RTW Fall/Winter

1988 Claude Montana RTW Fall/Winter

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but if the decade belonged to anyone, it was saint laurent’s one can almost feel the hangover all over again as the ’80s draw disciple, Jean Paul Gaultier, who was busy eliminating the boundary to a close. one designer who catches the eye toward the end of the between masculine and feminine attire. of the five Gaultier events he show is Marc audibet, whose anonymity seems to be one of fashion’s selected from that decade—four fashion shows and one choreographed arbitrary injustices. it turns out that the designer was an original colplay called Le défilé—saillard singles out the designer’s spring/ laborator on the development of lycra, and the simple stretch dresses summer 1988 ready-to-wear show as a Paris postcard devoid of on display look as relevant as ever. (note to self: a name to look out for nostalgia and caricature. entitled “la concièrge est dans l’escalier,” the when vintage shopping.) collection features lingerie-inspired jackets, sailor tops, back-revealing another is azzedine alaïa, whose virtuoso cutting techniques and jackets, fluid pants, red polka-dot scarves, corsets and t-shirt dresses body-con attire made him one of the most sought-after designers that were stripped of the designer’s usual taste for provocation yet of the ’90s and beyond. on a wall screen in this display, the 1984 video mode in France by Wilretained his signature insolence. liam klein plays in a loop; in “Here you’ve got street fashion a bizarrely subtitled vignette, in the era of the total look,” obGrace Jones seems to be telling serves Carrera. If the ’80s belonged to a very young stephanie seyspeaking of total looks, anyone, it was Saint Laurent’s mour, in essence, that she’s not a section devoted to Claude in kansas anymore. Montana whispers where others disciple, Jean Paul Gaultier. she isn’t the only one. litshout, with a group of all black tle could anyone guess then ensembles set against video how much would change so footage shown on several tv screens. after a riot of color, these clothes don’t seem like much, yet quickly. in just a few short years, the fashion and retail landscape they feel reassuring. “You can’t tell by looking at them from a distance, would be transformed anew not only by world events such as the but technically, these pieces are extraordinary,” Carrera says. “the con- first Gulf War but also the emergence of new talents, including John struction of volume was remarkable for the time.” the leather jackets Galliano, alexander McQueen and the belgian generation—the best may be commonplace now, but a little more than two decades ago, known of whom are Martin Margiela, dries van noten and ann dethey were a novelty. Many years after starting his career at the leather meulemeester. Goodbye, total look. Hello, mix and match. “the ’90s house Mac douglas, Montana’s achievement was to have transformed will usher in a minimalist aesthetic and the age of mass marketing,” leather into sensual, sophisticated clothing without a hint of vulgarity. hints Carrera. “Consumers don’t know it yet, but getting dressed is at the opposite end of the fashion spectrum is the decade’s other about to get a lot more creative.” for that story, you’ll have to wait until november 25, when “idealsupernova, thierry Mugler. a lover of over-the-top spectacles, Mugler was the first to hold a fashion show that was open to the public, at the ized History of Contemporary fashion, volume ii” unveils key collecZenith theater in Paris in 1984. an audience of 6,000 people, two- tions from the ’90s through the present day. thirds of whom were ticket-buying members of the public, turned up for a show featuring 250 creations. the designer’s star-spangled, angel- “histoire idéale de la mode contemporaine vol. i : 70-80” runs through october wing dresses from later in the decade seem like nothing so much as one 10, 2010, and “histoire idéale de la mode contemporaine vol. ii : 90-10” opens last blowout party before the old order comes crashing down. “excess is november 25, 2010, and continues through may 8, 2011, at the musée des arts décoratifs, 107-111 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris. always the sign that something is coming to an end,” agrees Carrera.

1988-89 Claude Montana RTW Fall/Winter


1988-89 Popy Moreni RTW Fall/Winter

1989 Roméo Gigli RTW Fall/Winter

1989 Azzedine Alaïa RTW Fall/Winter

1989 Azzedine Alaïa RTW Spring/ Summer

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Calendrier French Cultural Events in North America

July-September 2010

• A child clutches a loaf of some of the first bread baked after the war in this 1919 photograph from “American Women Rebuilding France.”


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© Ph oto R M N / H e r v É L e wa n d o w s k i

The National World War I Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, presents A merican W omen R ebuilding F rance , 1917–1924, which tells the story of some 350 volunteers who left their homes in the United States for months at a time to help relieve devastated communities in the northeastern French region of Picardy. T he S pectacular A rt of J ean -L éon G érôme , on view at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, explores in depth the oeuvre and legacy of one of the most successful academic artists of the 19th century, from his Neo-Grec beginnings to his influence on contemporary filmmaker Ridley Scott. The 15th annual B oston F rench F ilm F estival offers a chance to see not only contemporary stars such as Vanessa Paradis, Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert in recent releases but also a 26-year-old Romy Schneider in scenes from an unfinished picture by director Henri-Georges Clouzot of Les Diaboliques fame.

© Ph oto R M N / G é r a r d B lot

season highlights

exhibits Kansas City, MO, and New York HELPING HANDS

American Women Rebuilding France, 1917–1924 presents photographs and film footage documenting a humanitarian effort led by Anne Morgan, daughter of the financier J. Pierpont Morgan, in war-torn Picardy. Some 350 American women— all volunteers—oversaw reconstruction projects, established a network of visiting nurses and otherwise worked to revive the region. The Château de Blérancourt, where the women were housed in wooden barracks, now serves as the FrancoAmerican Museum. Through July 11 at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial,; and Sept. 3 through Nov. 21 at the Morgan Library & Museum,

journals and mass market publications. Through photographs, films, books and ephemera, Twilight Visions: Surrealism, Photography, and Paris explores these artists’ takes on the intersection not only of day and night but also of fantasy and reality, modernism and nostalgia, grotesqueness and beauty. Through Oct. 10 at the Jepson Center;


Matisse as Printmaker brings together more than 60 works spanning five decades and representing every technique the artist employed, from lithography to linocut. The show explores the importance of serial imagery in Matisse’s oeuvre by highlighting such recurring motifs as the reclining nude. Through Aug. 22 at the Blanton Museum of Art;

innovation influenced the next generation of artists, the show incorporates pieces by Matisse, Bonnard and others. Through Sept. 6 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art;


Twenty-five years in the making, the tomb of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, and his wife, Margaret of Bavaria, is one of the prize pieces of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon. Surrounding the base of this lavish work of funerary art are 40 16-inch-high mourners sculpted in alabaster, each one a unique and poignant expression of grief. These statuettes have advanced from supporting to starring role as the subject of The Mourners: Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy, currently on a two-year tour of the United States. Through Sept. 6 at the Saint Louis Art Museum;

Washington,DC Washington, DC YVES KLEIN

Famous for his signature ultramarine blue monochromes, Yves Klein produced a large and diverse body of work before succumbing to a heart attack at age 34. The first major U.S. retrospective of his oeuvre in nearly three decades, Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers, makes the case that he was one of the most important figures in 20th-century art history, instrumental in the development of conceptual art, performance art, Pop Art and many other artistic forms and movements. The 200-odd pieces on display include examples from all his major series, from the blue monochromes to the lesser known “air architecture,” featuring designs for structures made of the four elements. Through Sept. 12 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden;

© Ph oto R M N / H e r v É L e wa n d o w s k i

© Ph oto R M N / G é r a r d B lot


North Miami

An avant-garde movement founded in 1960 by the critic Pierre Restany and a group of artists including Yves Klein and Arman, Nouveau Réalisme advocated the “poetic recycling of urban, industrial and advertising reality.” Through works of art and archival films and photographs, Leaps into the Void: Documents of Nouveau Realist Performance reconstructs some of the movement’s ephemeral projects, notably Klein’s famous jump from a Paris rooftop, from which the show takes its name. Through Aug. 8 at the Menil Collection;






The graphic arts flourished in fin-desiècle Paris as prosperity spawned advertising and artists explored new means of exercising their livelihood and reaching a broader public. No figure epitomized the era more than Toulouse-Lautrec, who elevated the poster to an art form with his genius for caricature, fluid line and bold use of color. A selection of his vivid images of the denizens of Montmartre’s night spots—himself often included—is on view in Café and Cabaret: ToulouseLautrec’s Paris, which also features works by such contemporaries as Bonnard, Picasso and Vuillard. Through Aug. 8 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston;

The first critical survey of its kind, European Design Since 1985: Shaping the New Century showcases some 200 objects by such influential creative minds as Philippe Starck, Jasper Morrison and Ron Arad. Ranging from a plastic dish rack to a carbon-fiber chaise longue, the pieces are grouped by aesthetic movement— Biomorphism, Minimalism and Neo-Pop, to name a few—thus offering insight into the evolution and widespread embrace of contemporary design. Through Aug. 29 at the High Museum of Art;


Brassaï, Man Ray and other photographers working in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s used unexpected perspectives and techniques such as montage and fragmentation to reflect the profound social, cultural and technological changes they were witnessing. The resulting images appeared both in avant-garde

Fittingly for a self-described “readymade artist,” the Paris-based collective Claire Fontaine took “her” name from a popular brand of school notebooks. “She” produces highly conceptual pieces that investigate concepts of authorship and identity and engage with social and political realities. Claire Fontaine: Economies presents a selection of the collective’s sculptures, neon signs, videos and text works. Through Aug. 22 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami;

Henri Edmond Cross’s “La Chevelure” (c. 1892) is one of the Impressionist masterworks on view at the de Young Museum.

Philadelphia LATE RENOIR

Although identified with Impressionism, Renoir traveled far afield of that movement in the final decades of his life, drawing inspiration from Titian, Rubens and other Old Masters. Late Renoir brings together 80 paintings, sculptures and drawings from this lesser-known period of his career, when he continued his prolific output despite the crippling effects of rheumatoid arthritis. Illustrating how Renoir’s marriage of tradition and F r a n c e • S U M M ER 2 0 1 0

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A powerful academician and influential professor at Paris’s Ecole des BeauxArts, the 19th-century artist Jean-Léon Gérôme also enjoyed great popular success, with printed reproductions of his works selling around the world. He found his niche painting historical tableaux that combined dramatic composition with meticulous detail, as well as vivid Orientalist scenes that capitalized on European stereotypes about the exotic East. Gérôme focused on sculpture during the latter part of his career, experimenting with tinted marble and mixed media. Having fallen out of favor following the advent of Impressionism, he is currently the subject of renewed interest among art historians. Hence the first major monographic exhibition of his work in nearly 40 years: The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme, which extends to his interest in photography and his influence on cinema. Through Sept. 12 at the Getty Center;


The hugely successful launch of Christian Dior’s New Look, with its hourglass silhouettes and extravagant materials, reinvigorated Europe’s war-battered couture industry, ushering in a decade of exceptional creativity. Through garments


by such renowned couturiers as Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Balmain and Charles Creed and photographs by Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947–1957 explores the exquisite craftsmanship and innovative designs that distinguished this period, as well as the trickle-down effect that occurred as the great houses evolved into global brands. Through Sept. 12 at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts;


Throughout his lengthy career, Pablo Picasso was fascinated with Edgar Degas’s life and work; in his later years, he even depicted Degas as a client in brothel scenes inspired by that artist’s own prints. Picasso Looks at Degas examines this connection for the first time, presenting in pairs and groups more than 100 paintings, sculptures and works on paper by the two masters. Some of these combinations offer clear-cut examples of the younger artist responding directly to the elder; others illustrate conceptual and thematic links, such as a shared preoccupation with ballet dancers and women mid-toilette. Through Sept. 12 at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute;


While it undergoes renovations for its 25th anniversary, Paris’s Musée d’Orsay is loaning much of its worldfamous collection of French 19th- and early 20th-century art to American institutions. Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay, currently on view at the de Young Museum, displays some 100 paintings by Courbet, Manet, Monet and others. Impressionist Paris: City of Light, a complementary exhibition on view at the Legion of Honor, provides context through photographs, paintings and works on paper capturing the Ville Lumière as it emerged as the cultural capital of Europe. Through Sept. 6 and Sept. 26, respectively;


The first show to delve deeply into the subject, Cézanne and American Modernism opens with a selection of the paintings and works on paper through which American artists at home and abroad first became acquainted with the French master, along with archival materials documenting the landmark exhibitions involved. What follows is a testament to Cézanne’s profound influence—

stylistic, philosophical and thematic—on American artists from 1907 to 1930, with pieces by Marsden Hartley, Man Ray, Arshile Gorky and some 30 others. July 3 through Sept. 26 at the Phoenix Art Museum;


Known for his ability to distill a fleeting and often complex reality into a single arresting image, photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson revealed both the creative and documentary power of the medium that made him famous. The first major U.S. retrospective of his work in more than three decades, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century brings together about 300 prints dating from 1929 to 1989. Some famous, others never before seen by the public, the images range from street scenes to portraits to photo-essays on China’s “Great Leap Forward.” July 24 through Oct. 3 at the Art Institute of Chicago;


Presenting 120 paintings, sculptures and works on paper, Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917 marshals new historical, technical and scientific research to illuminate a little-understood period of the artist’s career. Unlike the colorful, decorative works for which Matisse is best

t h e h i r s h h o r n mu s eum , wa s h i n gto n , d c

Los Angeles

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THE PHIL l I P S c o l l e c t i o n , wa s h i n gto n , d c ; c o l l ec t i o n o f t h e i n d i a n a p o l i s mu s eum o f a r t, R ADI d es i g n e r s

• Yves Klein’s intensely blue sponge sculptures and paintings are on display at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC.

known, these pieces are generally sober in palette and spare in composition. By focusing on the artistic processes behind them, the show reveals their pivotal role in his creative evolution. July 18 through Oct. 11 at the Museum of Modern Art;


The court painter, designer and administrative mastermind Charles Le Brun dominated the visual arts in France during the latter half of the 17th century. Among the thousands of works produced under his supervision was a small series of large-scale prints of some of his own grandest paintings and tapestry designs. Measuring up to three feet high by four and a half feet wide, these images were painstakingly cobbled together from sheets printed on multiple copper plates. Printing the Grand Manner: Charles Le Brun and Monumental Prints in the Age of Louis XIV examines both the form and the function— self-aggrandizing, propagandistic but also educational—of these little-known works, whose subject matter includes the exploits of Alexander the Great and the Emperor Constantine. Through Oct. 17 at the Getty Center;

THE PHIL l I P S c o l l e c t i o n , wa s h i n gto n , d c ; c o l l ec t i o n o f t h e i n d i a n a p o l i s mu s eum o f a r t, R ADI d es i g n e r s

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From Impressionism to Modernism: The Chester Dale Collection showcases 84 French and American masterworks from a 1962 bequest that positioned the National Gallery of Art as a treasury of late-19th- and early 20th-century French art. The exhibition offers insight into the art of collecting art by examining how so many outstanding pieces came into the possession of Wall Street mogul Dale and his artist and critic wife. Highlights include Renoir’s “A Girl with a Watering Can,” Picasso’s “A Family of Saltimbanques” and two of Monet’s views of Rouen Cathedral. Through July 31, 2011, at the National Gallery of Art;

RADI Designers’ “Whippet” bench (1998) is part of “European Design since 1985.”

performing arts New York and Philadelphia BASTILLE DAY EAST

A family friendly fête sprawling three city blocks, Bastille Day on 60th Street (July 11 on E. 60th St., from Fifth Ave. to Lexington Ave.; includes cancan dancing and live music, a display of Citroëns, a wine and cheese tasting and French-themed market stalls. The Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site’s annual Bastille Day Festival (July 10 on Fairmount Ave.; takes a wackier approach with its humorous reenactment of the storming of the Bastille: Marie Antoinette cries, “Let them eat Tastykake!” and snack cakes rain down from the prison’s towers.

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Los Angeles and Santa Barbara BASTILLE DAY WEST

The Bastille Day LA Festival (July 11 at Elysian Park, Monticello Old Lodge, features singers and comedians, Gallic fare and wares, a Provençal pétanque tournament and a waiters’ race. In addition to its signature poodle parade, the 23rd Annual Santa Barbara French Festival (July 17 and 18 at Oak Park; frenchfestival. com) serves up pâté, crêpes and other edibles and continuous live entertainment as varied as Senegalese drumming, grand opera and tributes to Edith Piaf and Maurice Chevalier.


Now in its 29th year, Milwaukee’s Bastille Days draw some 250,000 revelers annually with nonstop musical acts ranging from balladeers to jazz bands; an international marketplace selling French food, wine and gifts; and hourly light shows beamed out from a 43-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower. July 8 through 11 in Cathedral Square Park;


This year’s Lincoln Center Festival

Matisse’s “The Studio, quai Saint Michel” (1917) is featured in MoMA’s “Matisse: Radical Invention.” presents the complete works of the French-American composer Edgard Varèse, who pioneered the use of electronic instruments in classical music. Stretching over two nights, Varèse: (R) evolution features performances by the New York Philharmonic, the International Contemporary Ensemble, Finnish soprano Anu Komsi and many others. July 19 in Alice Tully Hall and July 20 in Avery Fisher Hall;


The 15th annual Boston French Film Festival screens recent offerings by industry newcomers and veterans alike. The lineup includes L’enfer d’HenriGeorges Clouzot, Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea’s documentary about an uncompleted film by the director sometimes dubbed the “French Hitchcock”; Claire Denis’s White Material, in which Isabelle Huppert plays a coffee planter who refuses to abandon her property in an unidentified African country facing civil war; and Pascal Chaumeil’s hit debut L’Arnacoeur, a romantic comedy starring Vanessa Paradis and Romain Duris. July 8 through 25 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston;

2010 includes the six-concert series Bach and Polyphonies, curated and led by pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, this year’s Artist-in-Residence. In addition to various Bach concertos, the eclectic lineup includes traditional Georgian choral works and contemporary music by such composers as Elliott Carter, Iannis Xenakis and Pierre Boulez. With performances by the Ensemble Basiani, Ars Nova Copenhagen, the International Contemporary Ensemble and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Aug. 13 through 16 at Lincoln Center;


Now in its fourth year, Crossing the Line is a cross-disciplinary festival showcasing the talents of pioneering visual and performing artists based in France and New York City. The 2010 edition includes the participation of the filmmaker and classically trained musician Betrand Bonello, conceptual artist and dancer Jérôme Bel, electronic music composer Eliane Radigue and provocative French-Austrian performance group Superamas. Sept. 10 through 28 at various venues; —Tracy Kendrick


Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival

For a regularly updated listing of cultural events, go to F r a n c e • S U M M ER 2 0 1 0

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French Wine Society


he French Wine Society is dedicated to promoting French wine, food and culture through education.

We provide: French wine and French cheese classes for consumers Wine education & certification for trade at advanced and master-levels Online French wine study Online cheese study

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Study abroad trips for master-level wine educators An annual conference Educational webinars Teaching materials for educators

French Wine Scholar Online Study Program Benefits: Students study one French wine region a month…online! The study units are interactive and available 24/7! There is a student forum and instructor access via email for Q&A. Monthly webinars deliver in-depth focus and provide live Q&A. Webinars can be retrieved and replayed on demand afterwards. Monthly review tests monitor mastery of the material.

For more information: Phone: 202-466-0775 Email:

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Paris Holiday Flats

Photo credits

26-27: ©stan honda getty images ; pp. 28-29: leda & st. jacques /rodeo production, steve francoeur, dimitrios kambouris /getty images for vogue, saul loeb /afp /getty images ; pp. 30-31: ©dan & corina lecca, steve francoeur. Sailor Chic p. 32: ©julien hekimian ; pp. 34-35: mnm fonds carte postale, paul gavarni /mnm 2007.19.19, londres-royal collection ; pp. 36-37: courtesy of saintjames, ©bob krist/corbis; pp. 38-39: ©patrick stable /jean paul gaultier, chanel, ©sonia rykiel /frederique dumoulin, ©maison jpg, ©patrick stable /kenzo; pp. 40-41: courtesy of armor-lux, ©bernard annebicque /corbis sygma, rebecka oftedal. Fashion Rewind pp. 48-49: ©guy marineau ; pp. 50-51: ©dr, ©jean-luc huré, ©courtesy fondation pierre bergé-yves saint laurent, ©jean tholance, ©jacques guillard /scope ; pp. 52-53: ©jacques guillard /scope, ©guy marineau, ©hiroshi iwasaki, ©courtesy fondation pierre bergé-yves saint laurent; pp. 54-55: ©guy marineau, © jacques guillard / scope , © les arts décoratifs /jean tholance ; pp. 56-57: ©jacques guillard /scope, ©guy marineau. Sophie Théallet


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Temps Modernes

King of Hearts by MICHEL FAURE

in Bordeaux if not he who has the largest purse?” He sent aristocrats Republic and feel no particular nostalgia toward the ancien back to their country estates where they could be of use, rather than régime—well, at least most of us don’t. But we do have a soft spot keeping them at the Court “to rob the coffers.” for Henri IV, and this year, events throughout France are comHenri’s youth was deeply marked by the Wars of Religion, which memorating the 400th anniversary of his assassination. Le Bon Roy, caused his parents to separate, and he built his military career duras he was known, embodied values that remain dear to us, and he ing that period. Brought up by his mother as a Calvinist, he was made France—which, at the beginning of his reign, was divided forced to convert to Catholicism after the Saint Bartholomew’s by religious quarrels and impoverDay massacre. But he quickly reished by wars and the recklessness of established ties with the Huguenots its elites—a more tolerant, peaceful, and supported the cause of the Malmodern place. At a time when our contents, a movement made up of country, along with so many other Protestants and moderate Catholics. nations, is grappling with religious Finally, with the edict of Nantes—one extremism and struggling with finanof his crowning achievements—he put cial upheaval, you can’t help but wonan end to the conflict, offering rights der: What would Henri do? and guarantees to both sides. What is so inspiring about this This modern reformer was also a 16th-century king are his very lover of the arts and a friend of Monhuman qualities. Amid the suffering taigne. It was under his reign that and hatred of the Wars of Religion, the Renaissance really took hold in he was a model of tolerance. Faced France. A bon vivant, he was natuwith fundamentalism, he lauded rally joyful and loved women, a trait life’s pleasures, not without a touch the French forgive easily. He had of irony. In the face of fanaticism, two wives: Marguerite de Valois— he offered realism and practical comlater known as Reine Margot—and mon sense. When he triumphed Marie de Medicis, who bore him six in battle, he was magnanimous— children in 10 years of marriage. The something quite new at the time— love of his life, however, was Gabrieschewing massacres and refraining elle d’Estrée, famed for an audacious, from looting the cities he had conbare-breasted portrait that revealed quered. Faced with conflict, he sought her to be a very pretty young woman. understanding; his government even Then there were his many mistresses. brought together former adversaries • The genial Henri IV, seen in this famous 17th-century portrait, brought So it’s not surprising that Henri was from both camps—Catholic and greater tolerance and prosperity to his war-bedeviled country. nicknamed the “Vert Galant” (“lusty Protestant—in a display of “political gentleman”). Legend had it that he got openness” (as we would say today) that was well ahead of its time. his vigor on the day he was born in Pau, on December 13, 1553, when On the economic front, he had a flair for getting people to make use his maternal grandfather, Henri d’Albret, King of Navarre, rubbed his of their talents and restored order to the country, putting it back on the lips with a clove of garlic and a drop of Jurançon wine. path of prosperity through far-reaching reforms. He built canals and Before he was assassinated by François Ravaillac, a Catholic fanatic, bridges and encouraged the silk, cloth, tapestry and glass industries. on May 14, 1610, Henri was preparing to wage another war against He also extended a bit more protection to the peasants, who were Spain, an unpopular project as the peasants—despite his famous overwhelmed by taxes and ravaged by military campaigns, reducing promise—still remained desperately poor. And no matter how much the taille by a fourth and prohibiting the seizure of their livestock and of a Bon Roy he was, the sovereign was nonetheless detested by large agricultural implements. In those times of scarcity, he promised each swathes of the population, notably Catholic extremists and the most French family “a chicken in every pot” on Sundays. hard-line Protestants, and was the target of at least a dozen assassinaThe monarch also reined in the often corrupt, dishonest elites of tion attempts. Henri IV’s reign is a vivid reminder that good policy the rising bourgeoisie, pointedly asking a counselor of the Parliament isn’t enough to win popularity—and that history is a better judge than f of Bordeaux a question that sounds eerily familiar: “Who wins a trial the passions of the day. 64

Photographie©Musée de Grenoble

We French are deeply attached to our

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Of France’s magnificent architectural monuments, John D. Rockefeller wrote: “These are not only national, but international treasures, for which France is trustee.” French Heritage Society is dedicated to the preservation of French architectural heritage on both sides of the Atlantic. As “ambassadors” of FrancoAmerican friendship, our mission is to ensure that the architectural treasures of our shared heritage will continue to inspire and delight future generations.  Comprised of 13 Chapters in the United States and one in Paris, French Heritage Society has actively supported the restoration of more than 450 historic monuments, buildings and gardens in France and the U.S. since its founding in 1982. In addition to its focus on preservation, FHS also organizes vibrant student education programs, publishes books on themes of French culture, and offers cultural travel experiences to share the “hidden gems” of France.

Upcoming events ◆

Summer Open Houses program welcoming members into the private residences of some of FHS’ most dedicated amis

2010 NYC Gala Dinner Dance on November 16 honoring Gascony and its architectural and gastronomic treasures

FHS 30th Anniversary Celebrations in fall 2012 featuring a Gala Dinner at the legendary Château de Fontainebleau and a trip to Provence around beautiful Avignon

For more on FHS, membership and Chapter activities, please call (212) 759-6846 or visit Please look for our newly enhanced Web site being launched this fall!

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