C California Style

High Culture in the City of Light

by C California Style

Paris beckons with a grand fashion exhibit plus très chic hotel and restaurant openings


From a spotlight on haute couture visionaries to the return of a grande dame in luxury lodging, September kicks off a season of high culture in the City of Light.

Leading the charge is the much-anticipated retrospective, “Christian Dior, Couturier du Rêve,” the largest fashion exhibition ever staged in Paris, at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (lesartsdecoratifs.fr), running through January 7. The exhibit marks the fashion house’s 70th anniversary, with more than 300 gowns designed by Christian Dior and the six couturiers who succeeded him (including current creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri); many of the pieces are from the Dior Heritage collection and have never before been displayed in Paris.

An embroidered jacket and skirt by JOHN GALLIANO for CHRISTIAN DIOR, Spring/Summer 2004 Haute Couture collection. Photography by nicholas alan cope.

Ephemeral as it may be, the city is also getting a permanent fashion hub when the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris (museeyslparis.com) opens its doors on October 3. Set in the historical couture house where the designer worked for nearly 30 years, the space will take visitors on a journey through his creative process, with displays of couture pieces, archival sketches, prototypes and more. The opening coincides with that of its sister museum in Marrakech, Morocco, where Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé, lived part-time.


The contemporary art institution Palais de Tokyo (palaisdetokyo.com) has received an update of its own in the form of Les Grands Verres, its new on-site brasserie launched by Quixotic Projects, the group behind the cocktail destinations Candelaria, Glass, Le Mary Celeste and Hero. Chef Preston Miller (formerly of NYC’s The Breslin and Seattle’s Bar Sajor) turns out seasonal dishes at lunch and dinner with a distinctly Mediterranean bent—fattoush, roasted lamb chops with cauliflower, halvah semifreddo. For a quick bite, stop into the casual cafe and aperitif bar, ReadyMade, located at the entrance to the restaurant.

The iconic Le Drugstore brasserie, redesigned by Tom Dixon. Photography by Yann deret.

Le Drugstore (publicisdrugstore.com), the iconic brasserie on the Champs-Élysées at the foot of the Publicis advertising agency, also has had an overhaul, with a contemporary nod to 1960s glam by designer Tom Dixon and a fresh, all-day dining menu by Michelin-starred chef Éric Fréchon.

Inside the newly revamped Hôtel National. Photography by Jérôme Galland.

As for where to sleep and refresh, the options have never been more diverse—from the refurbished Hôtel de Crillon, a Rosewood Hotel (rosewoodhotels.com/hotel-de-crillon), now with two Karl Lagerfeld-designed suites, to the Right Bank boutique property Hôtel National des Arts et Métiers (hotelnational.paris), which has a moody vibe dreamed up by Silencio designer Raphael Navot, with an emphasis on raw materials and ultimate privacy. An iconic city landmark, the opulent The Peninsula Paris (paris.peninsula.com) made its debut in 2014, boasting not only some of the most spacious rooms in town but also one of the city’s largest spas—now featuring new treatments using Franco-Chinese products by Cha Ling. Perched on the sixth floor, the aviation-themed rooftop restaurant and bar L’Oiseau Blanc pairs French cuisine with heart-stopping, 360-degree city views.



This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of C Magazine.