Tonight we bid farewell to our monthlong look at all things Paris — and what a month it's been! We set out to uncover more about why our two cities have such a fascination with each other, and along the way we learned just how much French you need to get by in Paris, and the beauty secrets of some of the city's most stylish Parisiennes. We found out where to get the best facial, oysters, and affordable on-trend accessories. We discovered NORMA is the next chic neighborhood, and the best hotel in which to have an affair. We're still on the fence about whether the French are, in fact, better at sex, but we will give them their due when it comes to lymphatic drainage massage and lingerie. Merci beaucoup to all who read, commented, enjoyed our work, or linked to us from the far reaches of the internet. That's all for now — we're off en vacances (well, actually, just back to our regular jobs), so to borrow the words of another media grande dame who made a graceful exit this month, we won't say good-bye, but instead à bientôt.
Okay, on s'excuse: As some readers, both French and American, have noted, we've occasionally erred in this monthlong blog in covering the fancier — or at the very least, the bobo — sides of the French capital. (And in doing so, we may have inadvertently reflected the growing pains of a city and a country that, as the European elections there last week indicate, is still struggling to fully embrace and absorb the incredible cultural diversity it has amassed in recent decades, becoming home to countless emigrants from North Africa, the Middle East, West Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, Eastern Europe, and elsewhere.)
Truth is, many would argue, the best Paris, the real Paris, the vital and forward-looking Paris, is the Paris that lies beyond the tourist-y, luxury-branded realms of the Rue Saint-Honoré and the Marais.
Paris may have rightly earned its rep in the sophisticated dining, nightlife, and art departments, but according to up-and-coming French comedian Kevin Razy, there's plenty of funny stuff going down in the City of Light, too. Razy started in the comedy scene in 2008 and made a name for himself as part of the YouTube comedy collective Studio Bagel (think France’s Above Average), which is best known for their Mission 404 video, and he also appears solo on Le Before du Grand Journal with his own sketch called “Le Scan de Kevin Razy.” When he's not catching new talent on the stand-up show Jamel Comedy Club by Jamel Debbouze (France’s answer to Chris Rock), he'll check out live acts at clubs like Le Theatre de Dix Heures, Le Comedy Club, or Le Paname, where he also frequently performs. Click ahead for his picks of the five Parisian stand-ups to watch right now.
In France, the appointment of a new perfumer to a luxury brand is hotly debated news. People usually squabble over the style and qualifications of the new perfumer. Such was the case when Hermès announced in December that Christine Nagel — the creator behind many Jo Malone fragrances and Narciso Rodriguez for Her — would be its new nose, joining Jean-Claude Ellena, the company's first-appointed in-house perfumer. The Cut spoke with the new perfume duo when they were in town for the Hermès extravaganza All About Women about working together, their take on perfume bloggers, and why Hermès will never do a nighttime scent."There is no scent that is luxurious. It’s what we do with it that makes it luxurious." »
In pursuit of the perfect soft bra to wear this summer, our heads can't help but turn to Eberjey and this delicate, stretchy mesh one embroidered with white eyelet lace. But it's the sexy racerback cut that renders it un soutif sportif — versatile and durable — no strap adjustments needed.
Eberjey Colette Bra in White, $58 at True & Co.
Today, sadly, we bid adieu to our Paris in 30 Days pop-up blog — but not before sending local photographer Nabile Quenum to capture one last look at the early summer sartorial inclinations of French city dwellers. This month, Parisian sidewalks were awash in sleek, minimalist designs: long vests and soft cardigans in black, white, and grays; oversize jackets; and elegantly draped maxi-skirts. For those who weren’t wearing Balenciaga boots or Céline heels, the footwear of choice was almost unanimously sneakers (including a pair of Nike x Riccardo Tisci kicks), paired with black tights or leggings for a fashionably pragmatic look. Click through the slideshow for a look back at effortlessly chic Parisian springtime dressing, from jean jackets to slouchy leather dresses.
G.E. officials went to the Elysée Palace yesterday to meet with President Hollande about acquiring French company Alstom, promising to create 1,000 new jobs. [DealBook]
Given the National Front's recent election gains, some are asking if Marine Le Pen could become the next president of France. [Reuters]However, young protesters across the country are not happy about the election news. »
Earlier this month, we looked at just how much French you really need to get by in Paris as an expat (answer: not all that much, particularly if you’re ScarJo) and provided a controversial guide to how best to fake it.
But what if you really do want to learn the language of your new adopted city, whether you’re a New Yorker in for the long haul in Paris, or a Parisian opening a fromagerie in Brooklyn?
David Obadia and Nelson Hassan's streetwear line, Brooklyn We Go Hard, wears its borough loyalty on its sleeve. Named after a Jay Z song, BWGH was initially founded by the two Parisian buddies as a T-shirt line, with each piece featuring a snapshot by a Brooklyn-based photographer. Since then, it's expanded into a full collection and the duo has collaborated with Puma, Opening Ceremony, and Colette. Perhaps their best-known piece is an oversize sweatshirt that spells out "Brooklyn Parle Français" in fuzzy letterman-sweater style. (Kid Cudi has been spotted wearing it.) "We wanted to make it O.G., back in the day style," says Obadia, so they decided, "let’s use chenille. The whole idea for the sentence came by just using the links between America and France."
Tired of writing the same zealous trend stories for her day job at a French women’s magazine, Valentine Faure — a French journalist based in Paris — decided earlier this year to launch her own publication on the side. She gathered, amongst many noteworthy topics, a vintage Françoise Sagan interview, a Fran Lebowitz fan page, a breakdown of the looks of dictator’s wives, and a revisiting of Mary McCarthy’s 1963 novel, The Group.
She named it Chic Fille — French for "cool girl. (It stands in contrast to a “Fille Chic” — “stylish girl” — an important distinction that is ideologically rooted in the French publication’s approach.) The first issue, which came out mid-May, is entertaining and intelligent without being haughty; it wholly ignores the urgency of fads. Faure spoke to the Cut about why she decided to launch Chic Fille, what she feels is missing from women’s magazines, and who she thinks is the original “it girl.”"There’s this and the fact that, more and more, the reading [of women’s magazines] itself is stressful." »
Almost nothing makes a Parisien or Parisienne happier than whiling away a couple of sunny summer hours on a strategically located café terrace with great people-watching. That’s why this season’s sexiest place to perch will doubtless be the gorgeous glass-canopied veranda of the new 200-room Peninsula Paris hotel when it opens on August 1.
But wait — isn’t Paris empty in August? Well, oui et non. For a couple of years now, the new snobbery has been to love the city big time when everyone else is at the beach or in the country. After all, it’s so much better to go to the Côte d’Azur, Greece, Italy, or almost anywhere else after the crowds have come home, and as everyone knows, the weather in the Med is usually pretty gorgeous in September just at the same time that low-season rates kick in.Where Gershwin wrote "An American in Paris" ... »
Former President Nicolas Sarkozy is now also being implicated in the Copé funding scandal. [The Local]
An advertisement that appears to depict two women about to kiss (but is actually just the same woman, Jeune et Jolie star Marine Vacth) has been banned in one French town. [Le Parisien]Read More »
Earlier today, Thomas Tait won the inaugural LVMH Prize, chosen from 11 finalists by a jury of superstars including Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Phoebe Philo, Raf Simons, Riccardo Tisci , Humberto Leon of Kenzo, and Nicolas Ghesquière.
The prize of 300,000 euros will give the London-based designer’s business a boost, but it’s the mentorship offered by LVMH that is widely considered to be the greatest win. “The money goes fast, but the mentorship is really important,” said Julie Gilhart, who was on a panel of experts working across the program. “Thomas comes out of that London scene — he’s a true designer — but he’s been on his own and not had a lot of support. This kind of prize will really give him access he needs to mature as a designer.”Getting judged by Karl Lagerfeld: unsurprisingly intimidating! »
Brother-sister act Singtank hit the music world back in 2012 with the release of their debut album, In Wonder, 11 tracks of straightforward French pop The Guardian likened to lemon sherbet: "sweet and tart in all the right places." The pair's already earned a bit of fashion cred since half of the duo is Joséphine de La Baume, actress, sometime Agent Provocateur model, and wife of Mark Ronson. But brother Alexandre is no silent partner; he sings, plays guitar, and shares writing credits on the band's forthcoming album Ceremonies, due out in the fall. We caught up with them via email just as they were putting the finishing touches on their next single "Can You Hear Me," co-produced by Ronson and out next week, to talk inspirations, sibling rivalry, and why Paris is the perfect place to be lonely.Read More »
Not only did she supposedly wrap a rumored Vogue shoot, Kendall Jenner just Instagrammed a photo from Vogue Paris's June/July issue of herself with two other models in a spread shot by Patrick Demarchelier and styled by Katie Grand. Between her editorial credits, runway walks for Chanel, Givenchy, and Marc Jacobs, and her statement sweatshirt game, keeping up with Kendall is starting to become a full-time job.
For our final entry in the French Girls Do It Better series, we've bent the rules just a touch to check in with honorary Parisienne Betony Vernon. The American-born designer, "sexual anthropologist," and author has been living part-time in Paris for the past decade. Click ahead for her thoughts on flats or heels, the best restaurant in Paris, and the one thing a true Frenchwoman would never refuse."Then my lover and I take a hot bath in my soaking tub built for two..." »
Yesterday, the Cut learned about the wonders of French touch, and a magical-sounding beauty procedure called lymphatic drainage. Despite the name, it's not a service provided by a plombier (plumber), but is actually a special type of lymph-node massage that drains toxins away from the body. Facialist Renée Rouleau, a fan of the technique, explains that a group of Danish doctors working in Cannes during the 1930s found that massaging their patients' swollen lymph nodes alleviated their immune-disorder symptoms, as well as gave them glowing skin.Read More »
I've had many a conversation about American versus French pop culture with my Parisian friend Yaële Simkovitch, a script doctor who writes for Tess Magazine (sort of like a French Slate meets Jezebel), has hosted Paris fan summits for Twilight and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the preferred translator of Joss Whedon when he comes to Paris. Simkovitch knows the American TV landscape inside and out and has strong ideas about how it stacks up compared to French TV. Here, we chat about hot French TV shows (and what they're lacking, in her opinion), what French folks think about Girls and True Detective and why she thinks France won't have its own Lena Dunham or Mindy Kaling for a long time coming.A French campaign manager obsessed with House of Cards ... »
Simon Porte Jacquemus is a 24-year-old self-taught designer who started his own label at age 19. Born in Salon-de-Provence in southeastern France, he has worked his way forward wholly independently, and now has his own studio just off the Place des Vosges. His collections feature crop tops, full skirts, oversize T-shirts, jumbo clown coats, blobby dresses, asymmetrical pieces, and slouchy proportions. He revels in “off” taste and juvenilia (he tells me he sat like a well-behaved child waiting in front of his telephone for our interview to begin).
He’s recently published a book in tandem with his spring/summer 2014 collection, La Grande Motte, a reference to a seaside resort in the Languedoc-Roussillon region built in the 1960s and '70s, characterized by its homogenized architecture. He is also one of 12 finalists for the prestigious LVMH Prize, which will be announced today. He spoke to the Cut about Rei Kawakubo, his burgeoning interest in menswear, and why he believes Paris is still the star fashion city."I always say: I don't do clothes, I do stories." »
Prince will play back-to-back concerts in Paris on Sunday night. [Les Inrocks]
President Hollande will meet with Vladimir Putin on June 5 in Paris for a conference on the Ukraine crisis. This will be Putin’s first meeting with a Western leader since the annexation of Crimea in March. [The Guardian]