Paris via Film, Dior and YSL

Merci beaucoup to regular contributor Betty Guernsey for her reviews of two new films on Paris couture:

Two lavish films on Paris couture, recently released, offer behind-the-scene glimpses of how things work, and the creative process – not all of it pretty.

The first, Dior and I, is a lush documentary based on the House of Dior’s most recent artistic director, Belgian-born Raf Simons, in which Simons and his atelier play themselves, and in which the designer has only eight weeks to create his very first couture collection. (The legendary Christian Dior himself appears in archival footage.)

The second, Saint-Laurent, is a biographical film in which French actor Gaspard Ulliel portrays Yves Saint-Laurent with scrupulous, often painful, authenticity. One is left wondering what Dior, who died in 1957, would have made of the freewheeling 70’s lifestyle, or of the digital technology used today in virtually every aspect of haute couture.

Have you seen these films? What did you think?

Merci – A Concept Store with a Cause

merciI’ll admit I’m impatient with concept stores. Though it’s gorgeous, Colette seems silly – pretention hangs on the air – and other less popular stores seem poor imitations of Colette. (Admittedly, I’m not young or rich, so I’m not their target client.)

But finally a concept store I can get behind. Merci opened in March, a huge (16,000 sq ft) enterprise with clothing, used books in many languages (and comfy chairs, to read them!), a fragrance lab, notions store, and flower shop.

Top designers Isabel Marant, Paul & Joe, Stella McCartney, Swildens, Christian Tortu, YSL and others sell specially created lines, with profits going to charities.
If you go…
111 Blvd. Beaumarchais, 75003, Métro: St Sébastien-Froissart
Open M-Sat 10-7