To soothe our covid-battered soul, the City of Light has prepared an abundance of events this summer. From the hundreds of exhibitions, boutique openings and cultural programmes in Paris I selected a few for my long weekend. Check them out if you fancy a recharge in the French capital.
‘Paris is always a good idea’ – so goes the line in the remake of the famous ‘Sabrina’ film with Julia Ormond (the original featured Audrey Hepburn, of course). A cliche, but this concentration of culture and beauty, with the population’s self-evident demand for these make the above opinion especially true after two years of tiring restrictions behind us. The biannual contemporary art event Révélations 2022 provided the apropos for my trip, but thankfully I did my due diligence before the journey and supplemented it with additional adventures. Paris pampers everyone regardless of their interests with a myriad of events on each corner of the expansive city. To experience the blossoming of the French capital this summer is exactly what I needed – and I suggest the same for you too.
When visiting the sanctuaries of French icons, I have always loved looking at how the locals educate the new generations. They show the appreciation and pride of the nation’s exceptional creations to children already at a very early age. Museums, exhibition halls and national ‘temples’ such as the incredibly renovated La Samaritaine department store or the newly opened beautiful museum and boutique of Dior were full of the younger generation this time as well. Although places did not feel as packed as before Covid, tourism is picking up and therefore I suggest you book tickets and RSVP online to all the places you plan on stopping by.
Do you plan to breathe in the Paris air in the coming weeks? Let me put a few exciting destinations on your radar.
What to see?
Engraved Gems – Cameos, intaglios, and rings from the Guy Landrière Collection
L’École des Arts Joailliers (Supported by Van Cleef and Arpels)
12.05.2022 – 01.10.2022
Van Cleef & Arpels founded the L’École School of Jewelry Arts 10 years ago. It offers courses, talks, exhibitions and publications for jewellery freaks. This summer the institution presents a great assortment of engraved gemstones from all over the world and time periods, collected by antique dealer Guy Ladrière.
Yves Saint Laurent Aux Musées
Yves Saint Laurent at the Louvre – 29.01.2022 – 19.09.2022
Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris – 29.01.2022 – 18.09.2022
It was 60 years ago on 29 January, 1962 when 26 year-old Yves Saint Laurent did his first fashion show under his own label. This year, Paris has celebrated one of the most defining fashion designers via exhibitions in six locations organised by the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation: at the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the Pompidou Centre, the Museum of Modern Art, the Picasso Museum and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. They all opened on 29 January and most of them closed on 15 May, but two exhibitions are still on until mid-September. The one in the Louvre focuses on YSL’s love for gold and lavish decorations, while the one in the Yves Saint Laurent Museum (which is a few blocks away from 30 bis rue Spontini, the place of the first show) showcases his design drawings and personal archives.
Interested? Check out this article.
Yves Saint Laurent, jacket, Hommage à Vincent Van Gogh, summer/spring 1988 - as seen in the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris
La Galerie Dior
Earlier this year I read about the opening of the La Galerie Dior at the fashion house’s birthplace, 30 Avenue Montaigne. When I recently met a few Parisiennes, they collectively and emotionally emphasised that when in Paris visiting this reinvented venue is a must.
Dear All, having seen the place with my own eyes I can confidently say that this is an example of reality exceeding imagination. I also had the chance to discover the museum and the boutique, with different exciting areas – like the jewellery & watches space or the salon for evening dresses. Find my article here.
Pioneers, Artists in the Paris of the Roaring Twenties
Musée du Luxembourg
02.03.2022 – 10.07.2022
The exhibition ‘Pioneers. Artists in the Paris of the Roaring Twenties’ displayed at the Musée du Luxembourg until 10 July provides a platform for 19 – 20th century female artists and activists who played important roles in art, from Fauvism to abstraction via Cubism, Dada and Surrealism, but also in the worlds of architecture, dance, design, literature and fashion, and scientific discovery.
Reflecting the pioneering spirit of its founder Coco Chanel, CHANEL supports the showcase of artists who redefined the place of women in the modern world. The exhibition displays the works of 45 painters, sculptors, photographers, film-makers, singers, dancers and designers.
Handcrafts workshop sessions
every Wednesday and Saturday between 08.06.2022 – 06.07.2022
Le19M is a fantastic new building of Chanel designed by Rudy Ricciotti and inaugurated in January 2022. It is designed to be bright and offer perfect working conditions for handcrafts. Residents include artisans and experts from companies like the embroidery firm Lesage and the École Lesage, the art of featherwork by Lemarié, shoemaker Maison Massaro, delicate fabrics couture atelier Paloma and lingerie/swimwear maison ERES.
For this summer season, la Galerie du 19M offers three-hour workshop sessions (discovering jewellery moulding, cyanotype exploration, embroidery of initials and screen-printed portraits and leather marquetry) every Wednesday and Saturday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. between 08.06.2022 – 06.07.2022.
Simon Hantaï. The Centenary Exhibition
Fondation Louis Vuitton
18.05.2022 – 29.08.2022
‘To celebrate the centenary of Simon Hantaï’s birth (1922-2008), the Fondation is organising an unprecedented retrospective exhibition, in collaboration with the Hantaï family, curated by Anne Baldassari. It includes more than 130 of Simon Hantaï’s works, many of which have never before been shown, and the majority of which are large format works from 1957 to 2000.’ – Fondation Louis Vuitton Paris.
Bourse de Commerce
Various exhibitions throughout the year
Earlier this year I visited the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana in Venice, other locations of the Pinault Collection. After seeing the pictures about the latest space, the Bourse de Commerce – restored and transformed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando – it was definitely unmissable on my list.
‘The opening of the Bourse de Commerce, a new site in the heart of Paris to display my collection, marks a new phase in the execution of my cultural project, which is to share my passion for contemporary art with the widest possible audience.’ – François Pinault
See the current program here.
Hôtel de la Marine
The Al Thani Collection
Various exhibitions throughout the year
Another great recommendation from a Parisienne – the very well restored 18th century Hôtel de la Marine (the former building of France’s navy ministry) at Place de la Concorde. It now exhibits the Al Thani collection, one the most prestigious private collections in the world owned by a prominent Qatari collector. You can also visit the gold-adorned stately reception rooms and the loggia, which offers one of the finest views in Paris.
You can choose your visit here.
Where to shop & Where to stay
Paris is full of specialty shopping and lodging places, however I would like to direct your attention to the recently refurbished historic building complex of the La Samaritaine. The jaw dropping ‘La Samar’ reopened last June after 16 years of meticulous renovation. The Art Deco and Art Nouveau style buildings that host the store and the Cheval Blanc hotel were extended with a new modern glass façade architecture designed by the Japanese agency Sanaa. The quality of the interior and the exterior and the details are just fantastic. Following the store, the five-star hotel was opened in September last year.
Find out more in a dedicated article here.