Unless you actually live in Paris – the city of love, of light, of fashion, of food, of art... and on goes the list – it’s difficult to decipher who the local trend-setters are. However, it’s in the French capital that many trends are born before they go global. This season we speak to Parisians in the luxury industry who share their expert insight into this year’s key players.
From the catwalk to the sidewalk
For our former Paris editor Lindsay McCallum, the red-lipped model Jeanne Damas is the one to watch. Featured in every magazine under the sun, she worked with Bimba y Lola and Comptoir des Cotonniers before becoming an ambassador for Roger Vivier. And this year, the parisienne it-girl launches her own prêt-à-porter clothing brand ‘Rouje’. Not her first fashion design venture, Jeanne has already worked on capsule collections for La Redoute and Leon & Harper, which were an overnight hit, so don’t be surprised to see her latest creations being sported by the in-crowd on the Paris streets this season.
While last year the chef’s name on everyone’s list was Guy Savoy for his wonderfully evocative 3-Michelin-star restaurant at new museum La Monnaie de Paris, this year everyone’s talking about Alain Ducasse, the chef with the most Michelin star establishments around the world. Adding to his already heaving portfolio of hit-restaurants, Mr Ducasse once again sets his sights on Paris and is opening a restaurant at the iconic Chateau de Versailles as well as a chic new brasserie that will be called La Canopée in the completely overhauled Les Halles neighbourhood right in the heart of Paris.
For LUXOS writer and ultimate culinary expert Margaret Kemp, it’s hard to choose from the multitude of interesting and quirky chefs, sommeliers and general gastronomes on the rise this season. If she had to make a choice, those shaking up the culinary world for her are Daniel Morgan, a British talent at SALT, Gilles Clayeux, for his fromagerie and cave à vin, head sommelier at Le Clarence (featured in this month’s LUXOS) Antoine Petrus, Terroirs d’Avenir duo Samuel Nahon and Alexandre Drouard, Stephan Pitre at Louis, Alexandre Gauthier at La Grenouillère in the Nord Pas de Calais region (two hours’ drive from Paris) “who is heading for three stars” (says Margaret) and Andre Terrail of La Tour d’Argent.
For Harvey Ambomo, Paris’s mystery man of the night who you are most likely to catch spinning sensual electronic sounds at top Paris palace hotels like at the Plaza Athénée or sipping on champagne with Paul Smith at a Paris Fashion Week after-show party, new label ESSIUS should be top of your shopping list this spring/summer. Created by former maison Francesco Smalto art director Youn Chong Bak, she has teamed up with Adel Najah, executive chairman of fashion brand EACHxOTHER. The new project’s apparel “is impressive, and the materials, fabrics and designs are very interesting,” Harvey tells us.
Shop till you drop
While on the subject of fashion, for Paris’s very own sartorialist Harvey Ambomo, Colette, one of Paris’s first concept stores, which opened its doors in the 1990s, is still where he finds his fashion inspiration. “It’s the place where you will always catch new trends,” he says. A treasure trove of capsule collections by the designers of tomorrow as well as established names like Stella McCartney, Colette also stocks a wealth of novel beauty products, books and artworks showcased in its pocket-sized mezzanine gallery above the store.