courtesy of Polidor / Dreamworks
Positively Blooming !
by Georgina Oliver

Budding stars all around

Echoing the positively thrilling Pop Art show — at the Pompidou Center till mid June — funky flowers and '60s colors are everywhere. In the media. In fashion and decor... Clearly, this city is in the mood to "think positive." With fresh talent blossoming in all directions!

Cacharel Comeback
During les sixties, flowery shirts were Cacharel's trademark. Now, the brand is flourishing again. Behind this fantastic catwalk comeback, a brilliant designer couple: Inacio Ribeiro and Suzanne Clements. He's Brazilian. She's a Brit. And, what they do with Liberty prints is nothing short of "eye-popping."

Fresh Talent
The music industry is promoting a new crop of gutsy, post-country songsters whose remixed "freshness" is fast becoming trendy. All of 21, Canadian-born Nelly Furtado plays guitar, ukulele and trombone, and sings in English, Portuguese and Hindi. Her Dreamworks album — "Whoa Nelly!" — is set to be a summertime hit.
On the Dixiefrog label, there's"au bout d'ma ligne" (loosely, "on the end of my fishing rod"), a freewheelin' CD by Rod — short for Rodrigue Barthet — a Frenchy bluesman, who cut his first demo in San Francisco.... While WEA is plugging Montpellier kid Cyril Paulus. The title of his refreshingly romantic release? "C'est pour la vie," ("It's for life").

Givenchy Beauty
Initially, actors' progeny annoy everybody. Particularly, when they start to appear on TV shows, introduced as budding celebrities. Then, gradually, if they're any good... They develop an identity of their own. Barely 20, Lou Doillon — the daughter of cinéma d'auteur director Jacques Doillon and English expat icon Jane ("Je t'aime, moi non plus") Birkin — has already signed a global beauty contract. From next November, a Givenchy publicity campaign spotlights her quirky personality.

Young Moderns
Just launched, the American edition of terriblement parisien style monthly Jalouse kicks off with a cover story focusing on "Young Moderns." Also included in its premiere issue: a "Living Doll" profile of Sophie Guillemin: "At 23... celebrated as a rising star in the revitalized French film industry." Described as exuding "unsettling sex appeal," notably in Dominick Moll's hit movie "With a friend like Harry" — Sophie currently steals the show in a picture called "Du Côté des filles."

XXL Photographer
Till June 30, Caravane — a gallery/concept store for urban nomads, near M° St-Paul (6 rue Pavée, 4e, tel: 01 44 61 04 20) — presents "le Jardin ou le Syndrome Claude Monet," by Bruno Suet. Known in magazine and advertising circles, this globe-trotting photographer also produces XXL color close-ups of flowers, which he grows himself...

...funky flowers everywhere
Flower Power
Even go-getting technology buffs have gone groovy. The fad for stylized, post-modern floral motifs has cross-pollinated to office equipment. Zany clothing and furniture designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada publishes a stationery catalog, offering everything from mouse pads to notebooks, pens and pencils, all featuring her signature funky flowers or heart shapes, (9 rue Guénégaud, 6e, tel: 01 43 25 86 88). The ultimate techie fashion statement? Apple's i-Mac "Flower Power" computers.

Neo-Boho Deco
A burgeoning category of young, affluent Parigots has developed a taste for neo-boho deco. They're into hippie chic and ethnic combos, with a hint of high tech. And a zest of bright plastic...
Two places target this "niche" market. Serge Bensimon's "Home autour du monde" emporium, a stone's throw from Beaubourg's "Les années pop" extravaganza (8 rue des Francs Bourgeois, 3e, tel: 01 42 77 06 08). And, the Printemps department store's brand-new 700 square meter Espace Ethnique.

Blossoming Gastronomy
On Saturday, branchés Parisians raid the Bon Marché's Grande Epicerie for mondo food. Gastronomy has become wildly trendy... At lunchtime, Grandterroirs — a gourmet grocery cum country kitchen — serves home-cooked dishes, based on the regional delicacies aligned on its shelves. From quaint preserves to truffle oil packaged in a très hype metallic spray... (30 rue de Miromesnil, 8e, tel: 01 47 42 18 18)

Chupa Chups
Forget formal floral arrangements! At vernissages and boutique inaugurals all over the capital, the dernier cri is to display "bouquets" of Chupa Chups — tutti-frutti kiddies lollipops — alongside cocktails and petits fours.

Funky Party
Organized by Etat de Fête (tel: 01 45 61 49 49), this season's most fragrant DJ soirée was the 1,2,3 concept store's"fleurit rive droite" launch party. Flowers, flowers everywhere... Particularly a rare bloom named Espérance.. Flowers in the hair of the waitress/performance artists who circulated among the crowd proffering canapés (and, edible spring flowers!) on multi-teared shocking pink "dresses," apparently made of cardboard. Flowers combined with a multiplicity of ultra-refined floral "notes": rose- or lavender-flavored kir royal, aromatherapy and Shiatsu massages...

Gallery Anniversary
"Soyez Réalistes, Demandez l'Impossible" is the working title of a series of ongoing events celebrating the tenth anniversary of Jennifer Flay's 13th arrondissement art space (20 rue Louise Weiss, tel: 01 44 06 73 60). The crescendo? A July 13 firework display by Claude Closky... Among the exhibitors: another gallery artist, Lisa Milroy, whose stretcherless depictions of multicolored flowers are "Ab-Fab."


Arts Farm
Planning a spring outing? One of the most exciting arts locales to visit just outside Paris is Marne-La-Vallée's La Ferme du Buisson. Its multidisciplinary program — including a "weekend on the farm" dubbed "Made-in-Bel-Gique?!" (May 2 -6) — highlights music, dance, drama and cinema, along with circus acts and street performers. From June 8 to 10, it hosts the Biennale Internationale des Arts de la Marionette, which begins at the Parc de La Villette (May 30 to June 3).
This season's visual arts treat? A Sunday brunch that coincided with an expo of situation pieces by Jean-Luc Vilmouth, who roams the world in search of "dream homes." Vilmouth gathers the inhabitants' impressions, then poses in front of their houses, in their clothes... From May 3 to June 3, another experimental artist, Patrick Corillon, proposes an installation called "Les Visiteuses." Visitors participate by propelling rolling objects around the exhibition space. (Info, Tue to Sat, 2-7pm: 01 64 62 77 77)

Belphegor Soundtrack
Known as "b.o.s" (bandes originales), movie soundtrack CDs sometimes make more impact than the feature films they're supposed to boost... Composed and orchestrated by Bruno ("Microcosmos") Coulais, the digital score of "Belphegor" — a "Phantom of the Opera"-style Louvre blockbuster featuring Sophie Marceau and Julie Christie — gives ancient Egyptian instruments millennium momentum.

Designer couple revitalizes Cacharel
coutesy of Cacharel / Tim Griffiths

Lou Doillon's Givenchy look
courtesy of Parfums Givenchy / Stephane Remael

Agatha de la Prada mouse pads

XXL flower close-up by Bruno Suet
Courtesy of Caravane

Jalouse's new American edition

Chupa Chups logo

Bensimon's brick-colored kitchenware
courtesy of Mariette Lando @ Assoc.

Sophie Guillemein in "Du coté des filles"
H Salome / Jena Pierre Surles

"Flowers" by Lisa Milroy
courtesy of Jennifer Flay Gallery / 2000

Vilmouth's Ferme de Buisson invitation card
J-L Vilmouth / D. Milfond, "My Dream House"