I love France. I love living in Paris (minus the exorbitant taxes, the never-ending litanie of charges sociales and the bumbling incompetents that make up the current government). I love engaging in heated political discussions with my well-informed, articulate French friends around a nice meal and a good bottle of wine.
To say that French president François Hollande had a bad week would be an understatement. Having your former companion spill the beans in an embarrassing tell-all book is bad enough but when its release comes sandwiched in between a serious challenge to your authority from within your own party and yet another dodgy tax-related resignation from a senior member of your government, it's enough to start to doubt your political survival. His approval rating currently sits at thirteen per cent, a historic low.
I was catching up on my reading this past weekend when I came across a write-up of London-based designer Duro Olowu’s current exhibition entitled More Material. It is a tribute of sorts to the rebellious side of women and in describing his show, Olowu used the term “elegant rebellion”.
While nothing will ever redeem Anna Wintour after that cover, the site of Lupita Nyong'o's radiant smile on the July issue of U.S. Vogue is certainly a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale industry.
While the terms “digital innovation” have become inextricably intertwined with Silicon Valley in our collective conscience, the truth is that there is exciting innovation taking place right here in Paris too. Whether it is the success of homegrown e-commerce platforms like Vente-Privée.com or Xavier Niel’s projected tech hub, 1000StartUps, it’s clear that not all of France’s digital innovators have moved State-side or across the Channel.
House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home, Martha Rosler, 2004.
I had the pleasure of attending the launch of What’s So Funny?, the final in a series of eight short films produced jointly by the Tate and Le Méridien Hotels (Starwood Group) for its Unlock Art program.
The Luxe Chronicles is a collection of interviews, profiles and musings on various aspects of the luxury industry and occasionally, a rant on our celebrity obsessed culture and the dumbing down of our collective sense of style and esthetic.