My interview with Bruno Aveillan

April 24, 2008

My interview with Bruno Aveillan, commercial director,  photographer and multimedia artist made at opening of his first photography exhibition “Dioptopes #1” on April 2008 at the  Léo Scheer Gallery in Paris.

This year Bruno Aveillan directed the first ever brand world campaign for Louis Vuitton  “A Journey” which won several awards such as the Gold Clio Award,  Epica Award,  Mobius Award,  New York Festival,  Grand Prix Stratégie,  Gold Top com  and the Gold Award at the London International Awards.

My photos from the exhibition opening

Bruno Aveillan’s bio in French

Vesna Gerintes

April 2008

Video Interview with Armand Hadida

September 14, 2007

Video: My interview with Armand Hadida in the bar of his newest L’Eclaireur at 8-10 rue Boissy d’Anglas, 75008 Paris.

Why it is so HolyChic: This is a place where I definitely didn’t feel that hollow, lifeless energy I feel in most upscale fashion and design stores. Places, books, art, people (and above all people from the fashion business) who take themself too seriously and see fashion as a religion, bore me silly.  Here, you will never be bored (if you don’t forget to take your black Amex card, of course).

This 5th Parisian L’Eclaireur is not only a multi-label luxury store but also a vast bar and restaurant which makes its immediate neighbor, the prestigious Buddha Bar look like an outdated, provincial dive in comparison.

This is sort of Fornasetti’s (1913-1988) temple, wisely conceived to let Fornasetti’s playful and witty designed objects and drawings  come to life.

The retro touch is terribly modern, the lighting is refined and carefully elaborated, every detail telling a different story – and yet whole space is consistent and has a timeless air.

If you buy an object here, you feel as though you’ve bought a piece of immortality.

No wonder that New York Magazine claims: “Colette gets all the hype, but L’Eclaireur owners Martine and Armand Hadida have been bringing new names into Paris’s fashion universe for 25 years, and their five boutiques are still the cutting edge.”

Surface: 600 m2 (5 rooms)

Opening date: January, 2007.

What they sell: Sharp couturiers, casual ultra chic womenswear and menswear, everything from dresses and shoes to accessories… from Dries van Noten, Oscar de la Renta, Versace, Thomas Wylde, Anne Valérie Hash, Dior Homme, Biba, Gustavo Lins.

L’Eclaireur has exclusives on women’s lines like Basso & Brooke, Guaglianone, Ken Scott, Haute by Vincenzo de Cotiis, Gianni Barbato shoes and Sissi Rossi bags.

Upstairs, the men’s area has Marni, Haute, Dior Homme, and Bruno Bordese.

Black pearls by Robert Wan, golden and silver jewelry by Ugo Cacciatori and Rosa Maria. And of course Fornasetti homeware and furniture.

Interior Design: With the help of Piero Fornassetti’s son, Barnaba Fornassetti, Martine and Armand Hadida have created this bar-restaurant inspired by the famous Dulciora pastry shop in Milan (designed by Piero Fornasetti in the 50s). Fornasetti’s firm created the exclussive decoration of the bar-restaurant space. Pay attention on the drawings in the restaurant, you’ll be surprised.

Clientele: Black titanium card holders, fashion addicts of all ages, dressy casual urbanites, cashed up dandies and tourists, Crillon and Bouddha Bar regular customers.

Ambiance: “Fly me to the moon atmosphere in the Rome of the 24th century”,  tongue-in-cheek to deadly serious minimalism and fashion fetishism, retro-chic, lofty, timeless, Italian, sharp-chic, snazzy, inventive, witty, surprising, amusing, with a touch of mild retro porn. Good that playfulness and humor are not interpreted here in a childish, infantile manner as in others Parisian hype stores.

Service: Impeccable. Top professionalism and a great hospitality from Marie (the PR) and the owner, Mr. Hadida.

Interior: Sophisticated, amusing, vast, high ceilings, breathtaking, warm colors, Fornasetti is all around. Enticing shopping spree or even better – having a glass of red wine and dining with someone who is terribly willing to fly you to the moon after the digestif.

Upside:  Lively, playful, humorous and opened spirit of Martine and Armand Hadida keeps l’Eclaireur now, 27 years after, more than ever on the top of the ultra-tough Parisian fashion playground. Maybe it’s also because they’re always on the hunt for personalities rather than simple fashion trends.

Downside: The problem is that I didn’t find anything here which was not breathtaking. I’m simply thrilled. Go over there and see why.

Tags: Sharp and chic, urban, retro, Italian style, hip, boutique, arty, store, womenswear, homeware, shop, Fornasetti.

Category: Surface

L’Eclaireur – womenswear/mensweare, homeweare, furniture, bar, restaurant
Address: 8-10 rue Boissy d’Anglas, 75008 Paris
Metro: Concorde
Telephone: +33 1 53 43 09 99
Bar & Restaurant Opening Hours: 11 am – 7 am on Monday
11 am – 2 pm from Tuesday to Saturday

by Vesna Gerintes

September 2007

Agnès B. 16th Parisian store

August 10, 2007
Opens July 12, 2007 in the Canal Saint Martin District
Video: Interview with Agnes B. on the opening of her new Parisian store

What: Opening of Agnès B. womenswear/kidswear store

Why it is so HolyChic: Agnès B. , a guru of Parisian easy to wear and relaxed, clothing has opened her 16th Parisian store in the former 90-year-old sponge factory Prosper Badault (which even had Yves Klein as a client).

And no, it’s not the eye of omnipresent Vincent Bastie who watch over the interior design, but Aurore, daughter of Agnès B.  who was in charge to transform this ancient sponge factory into hot Parisian fashion spot.

Her aim was also to respect and preserve the spirit of the place. One of the results of this intent is not “no-logo”, but rather “others-prehistoric-logo” advertising strategy : instead of Agnès B. , there’s a old Prosper Badault signboard on the front of the shop.

The space is huge and located in the very hip, bobo Saint Martin Canal district. The atmosphere is warm and  the clothes are easy to wear, relaxed and casual with a consistent quality. This store is close to Agnes B. menswear store  at 1, rue Dieu, 75010 and fits perfectly in the lively bobo district.

Surface: 250 m2 (4 rooms)

Opening date: July 12, 2007

What they sell: Agnès B labeled clothing: everything from baby sneaks to streetwear. Dresses, suits, customized graffiti t-shirt, accessories….

Ambiance:  Parisian, Frenchy, familiar, bland, urban slick, warm, francofile.

Clientele: Japanese tourists, dressy causal übernites, bobos and fashion addicts of all ages desperately searching for comfortable garments which are not wearable just for only one season.

Agnes B. obviously aims to design the clothing for all urban people who want, even in their seventies, to maintain their rock’n’roll spirit without risking looking like Elton John. They prefer to look like ageless Agnes B. herself: fresh, trendy, youthful, smart, calm, open, curious, sharp and lively.

Service: Ultra-cool and invisible.

Interior: Huge, homelike. Living room in the country with urban French-chic  clothing. Bland with a windows on the countrylike courtyard, with posters, paintings, houseware accessories.

Upside:  Good blend of ancient and hip. You feel like at French chic, country, but at the same time, urban artsy home.

Downside: While Agnès B is very kind and friendly person, her arrogant PR is certainly not a person who will put you at ease and make you want come back to one of her stores. Mademoiselle Agnès, you deserve people who are more like you around.

Tags: Agnès B., Paris, French chic, francofile, urban, hip, friendly, boutique, bobo, arty, Canal Saint Martin, blend, store, womenswear, kidswear, shop, sponge factory, Yves Klein,

Category: Surface

Agnès B. womenswear/kidswear store
Address: 13 rue de Marseille 75010 Paris
Metro: Republique

by Vesna Gerintes

July 2007

Sarah & Colette on opening of exhibit Joy Ride in Colette store in Paris

August 4, 2007

by Vesna Gerintes

My interview with Colette’s daugther, Sarah (art gallery director & acquisition executive) at Colette fashion store & gallery (Paris, July, 26, 2007
What: Exhibit Joy Ride
When: July 2, – September 1, 2007
Where: Colette, 213 rue Saint Honoré 75001 Paris Gmap
Metro: Tuileries
Phone: + 33 1 55 35 33 90

Colette: Vanguard Shopping in Historic Fashion District : Colette is a favorite among global glitterati. Madonna is a regular customer of this cutting-edge fashion boutique in the ultrachic Saint-Honoré fashion district.”

“Since its opening in 1997, the Parisian concept store Colette has imposed itself as an archetype of ulimate hype, without ever communicating in the media. At its origin, two mysterious owners, who never express themselves in the press: Colette and her daughter Sarah…”…

If you still haven’t your own bike, take a ride on Velib, catch the Urban Cab bicycle, watch the Tour de France or go to see Joy Ride at Colette [July 2 – September 1, 2007]

Why it is so HolyChic: After the bike messenger Urban Cycle, bike-taxi Urban Cab, the huge success of the Vélib (free bike), project of socialist Mayor Delanoe and advertising company JCDecaux, launched a month ago and all the doping scandals around the Tour de France, here is cutting-edge fashion boutique & gallery Colette getting us talking about bikes again with its Joy Ride exhibit.

Colette invited Brendt Barbur, founder of the Bicycle Film Festival and curator of the exhibition Joy Ride, to spread the biking passion across Paris with the assistance of  recreational cyclists, pavement lovers, dedicated champions, professionals and die-hard afficionados of Tall Bike Jousting, Track Bikes, BMX, Alleycats, Critical Mass and Polo Bikes alike.

Founded in New York City seven years ago, the event made its presence felt in the French capital for the first-time ever during the Tour de France week-end.

Exhibiting artists include: Kareem Black, Amy Bolger, Erin Nicole Brown, Conrad Carlson, Jason Chaste, Julia Chang, Daze, Cheryl Dunn, Erik Foss, Phil Frost, Michel Gondry, Goods, Yohei Hanazawa,
Ginny Hwang, Daniel Leeb, Taliah Lempert, Steve MacDonald,
Madsaki, Ko Masuda, Andrew McClintock, Ryuta Nakajima,
Wolfgang Paperchase, Nik Ramage, Takuya Sakamoto, Tod Seelie,
Lauren Silberman, Peter Sutherland, Swoon, Fast Eddie Williams.
And especially for Paris, the photographies of Makwa (Urban Cycle).
Ambiance: Pretty crowdy in the fashionista temple. After ten years on the top of the world hip shops, Colette still magnetizes Japanese tourists, young urban wannabies and fashion believers. The Saint Bicycle is on the pedestal – the retro object from our childhood became now, in the pre-glacial age, a new urban fetish.

Upside: Everything is natty and super expensive on the playground of the kids from the good families: products are streetwearable and hip and staff is friendly, smoothie and charming.

Downside: And what if art became so warholised that  it’s now nothing more than marketing product wearable only for a season? Why not, nothing lasts forever. And who says that art is not already outdated? But  even then, where’s the thrill? Sometimes even ordinary objects and throwaway  things exhibited as art  objects, can move us, tell us something, make us think  a bit, make us shiver, or do something for a moment…n’est pas, dear Mr Duchamp?

Tags:  Paris, bicycle, Colette, Barbur, Joy Ride,

Category: Surface

by Vesna Gerintes

July 2007


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