Are you plugged-in ?
by Georgina Oliver

It all started with the French frenzy for mobile phones. Now, streetwise Parisians are set to plug into la révolution Internet... surfing from cyber cafés to house music soirées, with state-of-the-art electronic toys in the pockets of their designer jackets.

Wireless Access

A brand new international protocol known as le wap gives mobile telephone users access to the Web. So, this summer, on the beach... Rows of branchés Itineris “Visionautes” will be seen clicking away frantically. On the screen of their Nokia 7110? A varied menu of on-line info and consumer services. The weather report. Real-time traffic conditions and stock-exchange tips. TV programming. Movie and CD releases. Nightclubbing suggestions.

Intelligent Chic

The final, prospective section of an ultra-informative fashion exhibit titled Mutations//mode 1960-2000 spotlights casual attire integrating electronic devices such as mini CD disk players, as well as “intelligent” gear with Microchip Age applications. Watch out... One of these days, you'll be wearing “smart” fabrics that change color, monitoring your body temperature and betraying your emotions in the process. (Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris/Galliera, 10, av Pierre 1er de Serbie, 16e, M° Iéna, tel:

Jet Mag

Travel on Concorde? Or fly business class? Condé Nast’s Vogue team are the “Usual Suspects” behind a revamped version of Air France Madame. The first edition of this bilingual glossy mag aimed at 30- or 40- something jetsetters includes a feature focusing on James Bond-like styles. “A double-dealing trench-bathrobe, a minicamcorder, bags and pockets that fit like a second skin...”. High-tech sunglasses by Alain Mikli and a miniaturized Sony video walkman are presented as technological extensions of female execs sporting New Age garments.

Smart Bags

You’ve seen them on the metro. A mutant species of digitally-equipped urban nomads. Some literally hooked on their favorite unplugged album... With outlandish headphones circled behind their heads and wires tucked into their Jansport backpacks. Others carrying cameras and cell phones in specially-conceived ergonomic apparel like Viahero’s Pilot Bag or La Halle’s dead small, black Body Bag. The latest? Pastel-hued Bensimon par lafuma Eté 2000 hip and shoulder accessories.

Cute Radio

Totally in sync with the nomade et écolo ethos, Philips has launched a cute little radio whose battery can be recharged “at the turn of a crank.” (249F)


What are you wearing to the British Council-backed UK DJ/techno/garage nights scheduled May 16-28 at the Batofar club cum converted lightboat (quai François Mauriac, M° Bibliothèque or Quai de la Gare, tel: How about a Ruvenfeder jeans top with a “mobile and credit card” pocket slashed across the front?

Night Trips

By definition, clubbing is a mobile lifestyle. Mercifully, Paris has its Noctambus... nightbuses that drive you home from the Châtelet, in the wee hours. The Eurostar offers a Saturday thru Sunday London Night Trip (290F). And, Mélisande of the Artbus collective organizes regular “Busparties” to bus plugged-in Parigots from one party to the next (Batofar, Rex, Gibus...), picking up DJs on the way. Contact:

Sound Trax

If you’re plugged into the music scene, you know you should move on. But, you can’t... You’re still listening to the electro-nostalgic soundtrack of Sofia Coppola’s film “The Virgin Suicides,” composed and performed by Air. (Reportedly, the quintessentially breezy French Touch band is toying with the idea of moving to the States.)

Plugged-in Art

On Saturday afternoon, the art circuit heads for the Scène Est galleries in the 13th arrondissement. Till June 10, Galerie Almine Rech’s Espace 1 shows a “pixelating” series of “Vibracolors” by Miltos Manetas, a painter-videomaker inspired by the crisscross between traditional modes of expression and contemporary technology. (24, rue Louise Weiss, tel:
Also “in the air”... An exhibition devoted to mainstream New York/LA-based artist James Turrell’s artworks and light installations. (To July 18, Espace Electra, Fondation Electricité de France, 6, rue Récamier, 7e, M° Sèvres-Babylone.)

On Air

A key July/August event, Arles’ Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie are like an annual snapshot of what’s going on in the world of photography. This year, experimental photo freaks will rush to “On Air!” — an evening screening highlighting young visual artists influenced by DJ/Internet culture. Why “On Air”? As a tribute to the pioneering radio studios of the ’50s. The first to be plugged in...

Millennium Hotel

Chefs in white toques served fuming mini platters of roast pork at a sizzling DJ/champagne/sushi party thrown to relaunch the renovated Hotel Millennium Opera-Paris. Formerly frequented by 20th century luminaries like Jean Cocteau, Sacha Guitry, Henri Matisse and Charles Lindbergh, this Gatsbyesque establishment caters for Internet era nabobs and their artist friends. And, its theaterland restaurant, La Brasserie Haussman, is open daily till midnight. (12 bd, Haussmann, 9e, tel:

Art’s Factory

A celeb in his native Offenburg, designer/actor/photographer Schwani (German for swan) takes pictures of himself in bizzare postures and accouterments. Totally, totally outrageous. But, such fun! (May 19 to June 2, Art’s Factory, 48, rue d’Orsel, 18e, tel:


Some clothes stores are like a way of life. Kiliwatch is one of these. Selling a savvy mix of cutting-edge labels (Levi's Engineered, Diesel, JNCO...) and upgraded flea market gear, this rue Tiquetonne style space adopts a “caring attitude” toward its clients privilège. In addition to special discounts, they get invitations to “after-shopping” gigs at clubs like Les Bains.

Viahero's Pilot Bag
© Martial Viahero

Levi's with Cables by Milos Manetas
courtesy of Galeery Almine Rech

Air CD
source Virgin

Eurostar's Night trip ad

"On Air" image
D Gonzales Foester/ RIP, Arles 2000

James Turrell light installation

Swhwani by Schwani
courtesy of the Art Factory