Two 4 Non Blondes in Paris, 1994
courtesy of Adrien Pasternak
What's going on
by Georgina Oliver

Last century, a grungy band named 4 Non Blondes made its mark shrieking the words “what's going on?.” Now, word’s out gentlemen prefer non-blondes. Like Nadia Farès, starring opposite Jean Reno in Mathieu Kassovitz’s latest movie, “Les Rivières pourpres,” a dark thriller set against an alpine glacier... Even L’Oréal highlights this change of mode, launching a Féria hair color line called “City Brown.”
Apropos. What’s up? Suddenly, this city that seemed so set in its ways, is up for anything from brunettes to Palmpilots and start-ups.

There’s no turning back. Events like“Où nous emportent les techniques?” or “Where’s technology taking us?,” a Le Monde-sponsored public debate scheduled
October 27-29, at Le Mans’ Palais des Congrès et de la Culture (a 55-minute TGV ride from Paris, reservations: 02 43 47 46 87), still question the digital age... Yet, year 2000 Internautes are into “mobile communication.” Already equipped with smart cell phones, Frenchie techies will be getting PDAs (personal digital assitants) this Christmas. The market for hand-held Palmpilot-style gadgets is huge. Beyond Fnac and Surcouf, stores such as Palmshop (21 rue Brey, 17e, M° Ternes or Etoile, tel: 01 44 09 70 00) target eager risk-takers. Attendees of go-getting business expos like Le Forum de l'Investissement et du Placement, at Porte Maillot’s Palais des Congrès convention center Oct 6-8. (Infoline: 01 42 96 64 50.)

Magic Gate
The smartest way to listen to music on the metro? On a digital audio device along the lines of Thomson multimédia’s Lyra, or Sony’s ultra-light NW-MS7 Walkman Memory Stick. This dead cute Mp3/WAV/ATTRAC3 electronic bijou integrates Magic Gate technology, designed to keep serial downloaders in step with SDMI (Secure Digital Music Initiative) on-line copyright recommendations.

Ballpoint Perfume
Who’s that girl? Why’s she tweaking her ear with what looks like a translucent pink pen? Odds are she’s a nouvelle économie exec. She manages her life like a series of miracles. And her perfume is “Miracle.” The brand-new Lancôme fragrance ambassadored by American actress Uma Thurman. Among its flacon options: a super-practical ballpointstylo.

Woody Movie
What’s gotten into Woody Allen? Gallic film buffs used to find his quirky, introspective New York City neuroses entertaining. How does he thank them? With a crazy action comedy titled“Morceaux Choisis” (“Picking up the Pieces”). Murder most morbid. Don’t ask why, but there’s something about Woody’s harlot wife (Sharon Stone), that urges him (“Tex,” a butcher, by profession) to chop her to bits. Follows a bungled flight to New Mexico, in a pickup truck... David Schwimmer (Ross in cult TV show “Friends”) plays a priest, while Kiefer Sutherland camps a stereotypical Texan cop. A “miraculous cast” that probably helped“Morceaux"“ enter Pariscope’s hit parade du public.

Assistants Takeover
Anywhere on earth, the boss calls the shots. Right? Pas du tout... In Paris, right now, assistants are tops. The 13th arrondissement’s Emmanuel Perrotin gallery has assigned a “window/space” to a couple of its assistants. At 5 rue Louise Weiss, Adeline Cacheux and Peggy Lebœuf’s 5.37 square meter“nanogalerie” is intended as a window on the work of promising international artists. The first installation? An escargorium by Agnès Ross featuring snails vehicling “gastropodized” contraptions.
In a similar vein, designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac has turned an experimental mini store dubbed Assistant[s] over to his assistants.
(45 rue Madame, 6e, tel: 01 45 49 26 54.)

Pixelating Art
Late night gallery openings are all the rage. On October 11, “Les Nocturnes de la Rive Droite” will transform the Elysée area into a sprawling Veuve Clicquo-sponsored street party, spotlighting among other creative sparks... David Mach. A Brit artist whose “Species” pieces are made from matches. (To Nov 9, Galerie Jerome de Noirmont, 38 av Matignon, tel: 01 42 89 89 00.)
Equally amazing, pixel artist Yves Yacoël will “window dress” the Théâtre de l'Odéon’s arcades with a real ribbon/virtual mosaic, during the Arts du livre book fair
(Oct 14 & 15) and Métiers de la mode fashion exhibit (Oct 28 & 29).

Conciergerie Goings-On
Monuments are in vogue. The weirder, the better. Take the Conciergerie, (1 quai de l’Horloge, 1er). This infamous 14th century prison is the venue of wacky, foxy medieval storytelling soirées. (“Juliette dit des contes érotiques et drôlatiques du Moyen Age,” 9pm, Sept 29 & 30, Oct 1-3, hotline: 01 53 73 78 52.)
On November 30, the Conciergerie hosts a Saint Andrews Night millennium gala. (Contact: Terre d’Ecosse, 01 47 57 31 32.)

Halloween Follies
Halloween’s a stateside festivity. Okay? No way. It’s been taken over by the French. From 10am to midnight, on October 31, an Uncle Ben’s kiosk will propose orange ghost costumes and makeup sessions, for urban revelers who haven’t got their act together... The sesame? A palmful of rice, plus the password“On a peur mais on riz,” “We’re scared, but we’re laughing.” And, a toll-free number tells you its secret address: 0 800 31 10 20 (Oct 1-31).
Trick or goûter? The BN biscuit brand is promoting special Halloween packs. A mix of “vampire” and “ghost” chocolate cookies, including spooky tattoo transfers. For kids only?

Offbeat Salons
Name a millennium craze. Chances are an expo focuses on it... For organic food and the healthy life, click on Marjolaine (Nov 10-19, Parc Floral de Paris, M° Château de Vincennes). For the lowdown on mushroom picking, access the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle’s Salon du Champignon (Oct 7-15, Jardin des Plantes, M° Jussieu). While chocolate’s "virtual capital" is the Salon du Chocolat (Oct 28 to Nov 1, Espace Eiffel Branly, M° Alma-Marceau). And 20th century design already has a flea market (Les Puces du Design, Oct 21-23, Passage du Grand Cerf, M° Etienne Marcel).

Pop Bubbly
Catch them if you can! Fashion’s in-crowd scoots from one launch to the next. Spilling out into the street... exchanging post-rentrée spiel. At L’Eclaireur’s new men’s boutique (12 rue Malher, 4e, tel: 01 44 54 22 11), mini bottles of Pommery’s “Pop” champagne were served with straws.

Woodie Allen "Tex"
courtesy of Metropolitan Filmexport

Palmshop catalog

David Match, Stripes Matchhead"
courtesy of Galerie Jerome de Noirmont

© Frederik Froument /POse B

BN Halloween cookie
courtesy of BN

Design Flea market flyer

Chocolate fish
courtesy of Salon du Chocolat

"Pop" champagne promo