Mr Propre Antibacterien packaging
© Procter & Gamble
Clean c'est cool
by Georgina Oliver
Springtime is spring cleaning time. And thats just what this fledgling
century is about to do... Take a feather-duster to fin de siècle
spiderwebs. Throw out the clutter. And start afresh.
The symbol of International Womens Day? Mr Clean. Seen in metro
stations throughout Paris, Procter & Gamble-sponsored billboards announcing la journée de la femme (Mar 8) featured a blown-up
image of Monsieur Propre. Posing as a body-built house husband?
Clearly, high tech domesticity is on the up. TV advertisements promote super-swift magnet-like mops called Swiffer. And Henkel France recently hosted a luncheon at prestige Champs-Elysées pavilion Ledoyen to introduce Svit, a revolutionary home dry cleaning kit, to be used in spin-dryers.
So much for the house-proud... House music has swept over Paris club scene like a tornado. Wherever you go, whatever you listen to from ethno groove to jazzy combos the squeaky-clean electro/techno sound pioneered by French Touch DJs is in the air. Closed last January, the Whats up Bar still produces CDs. Its latest release? A compilation titled Residents. Ambience!... (East West/Warner, all tracks in English.)
Beauty By Et Vous
The cleanest style space in town? Beauty By Et Vous, 25, rue Royale, 8e, tel: 01.47.42.31.00. The très clean Et Vous clothing brand, plus three storeys of less is more chic, in the spirit of Purple magazine. Level 1: menswear. Level -1: womenswear. Level zero: fragrances, cosmetics, aromatherapy, skinhairandnail care.
An enlightened businessman with an eye for cutting-edge fashion and design, Armand Hadida, opened LEclaireur (26, av des Champs-Elysées, 8e, tel: 01.45.62.12.32) two decades ago. The forerunner of over-clean concept stores like Colette, this tasteful multibrand boutique now boasts three Paris locales and a Japanese outlet. (Limited edition 20th anniversary t-shirts by Ann Demeulemeester, Martin Margiela, Maharishi, Comme des Garçons and Dries Van Noten.)
On the food front, a couple of ultra-minimal eateries have just been launched. Philippe Starcks Bon (25, rue de la Pompe, 16e), along with a Japanese haute cuisine den named Yen. Its specialty? Soba. Its designer? Hyper-sober architect Hisanobu Tsujimura. Equally purist: the tableware, by Ruiko Arabe. (22, rue St-Benoît, 6e, tel: 01.45.44.11.18.)
A prime location for Scottish filmmakers like Dany (Trainspotting, The Beach...) Boyle, Glasgow has cleaned up its image. First seen at the citys futuristic Lighthouse building, The Glasgow Collection of Millennium Products was showcased for a few days at the British Embassy on rue du faubourg St-Honoré. A fresh take on design: from Snowster snowboards to Concept Q, a prototype vacuum cleaner.
To get le look clean right, theres no power like the power of
the right running shoes. Parisian fans of Brit footwear can now
order their Acupuncture trainers via Internet, for the price they
would pay in London, (www.acupuncturefootwear.com).
Through June, on-the-pulse Londonners will hop on the Eurostar to visit the Marcel Duchamp show at the freshly overhauled Pompidou Center. Co-curated by British artist Richard Hamilton, Eau & gaz à tous les étages (Gas & water on all floors) spotlights key works bequeathed by the artists widow Teeny.
The opposite of clean? Neo-decadence. An unabashedly XSive trend personified by two exhibitions. Elke Krystufeks Hollywoodland, at the CNEAI/Maison Levanneur graphics center on the Ile des Impressionistes in Chatou, till April 9, (tel: 01.39.52.45.35). And self-proclaimed Hermaphrodite twins in art, Eva and Adele, to May 18 at Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, 38, av Matignon, 8e, tel: 01.42.89.89.00.
Café de Flore
The seasons most select cocktail? The launch of La Gazette de Saint-Germain-des-Prés second issue, upstairs at the Café de Flore. Vintage Moët à-go-go, laced with bons mots about the Latin Quarters much threatened village atmosphere. The magazines publisher, Catherine Valère, made a speech. As did YSL éminence grise Pierre Bergé... under the spell of Left Bank luminaries like Bertolucci muse Dominique Sanda. (St-Germain Médias: 01.43.54.75.39.)
As Paris elegantes prepare to pick a hat for the Prix de lArc de Triomphe, gallery/accessory shop Cerize is in the starting block with Haut les chapeaux, a flamboyant exhibition devoted to haute couture milliner Isabelle Fumagalli. (380, rue du St-Honoré, 1er, tel: 01.42.60.84.84.)
An April fool joke? Sadly, not. You have seen that penguin somewhere before... Wrongly attributed to Philippe Starck in last months CityScan, this wacky chest of drawers by Jus de Réglisse was exhibited at Court-Circuit, a young design fair held at La Villette mid-March. The next edition of this offbeat event? May 19 (3-8pm), May 20 & 21 (11am to 8pm), Espace des Blancs-Manteaux, 48, rue Vieille du Temple, 4e, 10F, kids free.
Fiona Apple CD portrait
© Clean Slate
Swiffer press kit
Concept Q cacuum cleaner
© The Glasgow Collection /Smith
© Bert Sterm
Eva and Adele
© Galerie Jérome de Noirmont
Meuble Pingouin by Philippe Starck
Conran/ Jus de Reglisse