Clio Blue Beads
Clio Blue
Sea, sex ’n’ son
New sounds hit the beach...

by Georgina Oliver

Summer in the city begins with a series of flashbacks. Digital camera visions of a brief encounter at a sidewalk terrace. Technicolor recollections of a poolside conversation in a public swimming bath... Yet secretly, everybody dreams of “sea, sex ’n’ sun.” Or, dancing the night away, on faraway shores.

Summer Hits

Here comes the sun... To each summer, its string of “over-exposed” hits. At the turn of the millennium, there was no getting away from “Here comes the son,” a sultry techno-ballad by Scottish band Texas. Now, riding on the crest of a new wave of post-French Touch sounds, year 2000’s beach ambience is more like “sea, sex and sons.”
The soundtrack of “The Beach” — Glasgow filmmaker Danny Boyle’s tale of desert island bliss turned-sour, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and French actress Virginie Ledoyen — will be in many backpacks. Along with “Behind The Sun,” a second album from Balearic house music outfit Chicane (Xtravaganza).

Ibiza Frenzy

If “sea, sex and sons” is the mode you’re in, Ibiza is where you’re headed. As usual, alternative tour operator Voyages 4A has the answer. Two busparty options: July 12-23 or Aug 5-16. Passengers sleep aboard an air-conditioned coach. And, the driver takes them where they want: nightclubbin’ and from one beach rave to the next. From Paris, the round-trip costs: 1,290F. Reservations: 03 83 37 99 66

The sexiest French swimwear? Huit’s bikini and bathing suit collection featuring a microfiber number named “Ibiza.”

Club Med

Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, Club Med schedules “Techno Crazy Afternoons” at nine of its villages... Meanwhile, back in Paris, the big jubilee event is the launch of Club Med World, a 5,000 square meter travel and fitness space, near the Bercy sports/rock arena. World food. World music. And live “win-a-vacation” contests. (Hotline: 0 810 810 410)

Swatch Appeal

Another mega concept is Swatch’s new place Vendôme locale, showcasing the brand’s up-to-the-minute designs. Skin... a watch “as light as your shadow.” And Beat, a revolutionary digital model that marks cybertime.

Sexy Billboards

“Sea, sex ’n’ sun” is the message behind numerous ad campaigns. First to make waves? Menswear label Celio, with its politically-incorrect billboards spotlighting stereotypical continental lovers surrounded by bikini-clad bimbos.

Sound Advice

Unabashed pleasure-seeking is making a huge comeback. But this trend comes with all kinds of health warnings. Every fashion magazine under the sun has done a “sea, sex and sunblock” story. And the Connection telephone chatline distributes free promo condoms at events like the Gay Pride parade...

Bikini Tattoos

Likewise, at Espace Austerlitz’s annual International Tattoo & Body Art Convention a “sterilization & decontamination” space took pride of place alongside stands focusing on dermal pigmentation, henna, piercing and exotic hairdos.

Body Beautiful

Hot, hotter, hottest. Two hyper-exhibitionistic art exhibitions zero in on art and the body. Through July 22, the Thaddaeus Ropac gallery spotlights “Sex and the British.” Gilbert & George, Sarah Lucas, Angus Fairhurst... (7, rue Debelleyme, 3e, tel: 01 42 72 99 00). And, till July 29, Galerie Jennifer Flay presents a thematic photo show titled “Body Beautiful.” Sarah Lucas and Angus Fairhurst, again. Plus, among others, Richard Billingham (UK), John Coplans (US) and Malick Sidibé (Mali). 20, rue Louise Weiss, 13e, tel: 01 44 06 73 60

Power Beads

A recent edition of UK entertainment weekly Heat focused on the vogue for “power beads.” Which celebs will be wearing what semi-precious stones this summer and why. Rose quartz brings romance. Madonna favors white “for awareness and patience”... The most effective French variation? Adjustable perles de verre necklaces and bracelets on display at Clio Blue’s Paris boutiques (16 rue du Cherche-Midi, 6e and 8 pl des Victoires, 2e).

World Drinks

This summer’s coolest soda is Tango. A top-selling Brit soft drink promoted by Monoprix & Prisunic at the end of June. While the trendiest aperitif is chilled world wine... A 15th arrondissement caviste called Au Nez Rouge stocks everything from Hogue’s innovative Washington State cépages to New Zealand discoveries like Mount Riley’s Malborough white Sauvignon, (11 rue Alexandre Cabanel, M° Cambronne, tel: 01 47 34 87 40).

Paris Fiestas

Anyway, who needs the beach? When you can party in the city... Sadly Life magazine will no longer be gracing the kiosks. But, the midsummer farewell fiesta hosted by its Paris correspondents, Tala Skari and Hélène Véret, had the panache of a “jazz funeral.” And the multi-sponsored reception held at the Mosquée de Paris to promote Jardiland’s latest rose called Mille et Une Nuits was like an “Arabian nights” movie set. Hammam. Henna... The works!

Flower Power

One-stop hat, bag & bauble boutique Cerize proposes yet another irresistible party accessory: purses that look just like a posey of roses. For weddings and christenings... Or, just to “strike the pose” at DJ soirées. (790F, 380 rue St-Honoré, 1er, tel: 01 42 60 84 84)


Bubbles is a freshly-launched champagne a-go-go concept: 200 brands of bubbly promoted in a modernist bar/resto/cellar shop designed by Cent Degrés. Backed by Lausanne-trained restaurateur Pierre Anderegg, it boasts an enterprising lady-sommelier and a young chef whose summer menu includes imaginative combos like “melon — gaspacho, boule de glace au basilic.” The vast vehicle-free terrace is ideal for summer-in-the-city. And a customized Smart car is on hand for deliveries. (10:30-2am, 6 rue Edouard VII, 9e, tel: 01 47 42 77 95, chat room:

Entertaining Outing

Where to take relatives or house guests on an open-air outing with a cultural edge? The Bois de Boulogne’s Château de Bagatelle has just the thing. An expo featuring 2,000 figurines and gnomes, from antiquity to the present-day. As well as contemporary artists installations like Doris Haidvogl’s “I never promised you a rose garden”... Have lunch at the Jardins de Bagatelle restaurant, then strole through the grounds. (To July 31, tel: 01 45 01 20 10)

Vernissage card

Bubble bar terrasse

Celio ad
courtesy of Celio

Club Med World Balloon
courtesy of Club Med World

Chateau de Bagatelle gnome

Farewell invitation

Cerize bagr

Brit soda tango
courtesy of desert rose

Tatoo expo model
Daniel Pissondes / Salon du tatouage & décoration corporelle