Air France poster and “On Air” invitation
Walking on air?
by Georgina Oliver

From airline buzz to chic shopping…

Who says November isn’t for lovers? Since its “Euro-marriage” with Netherlands airline KLM became official last month, Air France has been “walking on air”…

On Air
At the Musée de la Publicité (107 rue de Rivoli, 1er, M° Louvre-Palais Royal, tel: 01 44 55 57 50), a handsome display of posters and memorabilia celebrates Air France’s 70th anniversary. Dubbed “On Air 1933-2003,” this aeronautical overview pays tribute to the top-flight couturiers who’ve designed the uniforms of this legendary company’s hostesses and stewards over the decades, as well as to the artists and architects commissioned to decorate its planes and agencies. (To Jan 25, Tue to Fri 11am to 6pm, Sat & Sun 10am to 6pm, closed Mon)

Keep Walking
Promoted on TV as “La chaussure qui respire” (meaning, “Footwear that breathes”), GEOX is an Italian brand that’s “taking off” here in a big way. Equipped with “microporous” rubber soles “that absorb and expel sweat without letting water in,” these shoes come in every adult or kids style imaginable: from elegant leather classics to this season’s ultra-trendy boxing boot-like sneakers. (New Paris boutique: 109 rue St-Lazare, 9e, tel: 01 48 78 98 76)
Hailing from America, Merrell’s “spring-stepped” sports shoes, with a patented “Air Cushion” at the base of the heel, are equally “à la mode.” (Sprint Striker Goal option 110E, available from sports chains such as Stadium)

Gourmet Pix
Featherweight shoes like these are just the ticket for foot ache-free sightseeing. To be seen absolument, in the recently restored kitchens of The Nissim de Camondo Museum, a stately mansion that connoisseurs compare to New York City’s Frick Collection… “Portraits de saveurs” is a “scrumptious” show of “food pix.” Jean-Louis Bloch-Lainé has raided the pantry of Pierre Gagnaire –– the Michelin-rated Parisian chef who opened a suave London “brasserie” named Sketch last December –– to photograph gourmet produce in a fresh light. (To Nov 30, 63 rue de Monceau, 8e, tel: 01 53 89 06 50)

Health-conscious foodies with a sense of art de vivre, full speed ahead… this is the place for you! Just off the rue du Havre, within steps of the Printemps and Galeries Lafayette department stores on boulevard Haussmann, “à toutes Vapeurs!” is a loft-like self-service eating house, which proffers market-fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and meat –– all steam-cooked before your eyes. After taking their pick from a selection of recipes, each poetically presented in a grocery stall-style basket lined with greaseproof paper, and pointing to one of several different perfumed olive or hazelnut oils, that’s then gingerly brushed on… customers watch as the dish of their choice is heated in a special chrome appliance. On the drinks list: natural juices, pleasant wines, Mariage Frères teas, hot chocolate made from Weiss cocoa beans… (Mon to Sat 11am to 7pm, closed Sun, 7 rue l’Isly, 8e, M° Havre-Caumartin/Saint-Lazare, tel: 01 44 90 95 75)

Chic Shopping
At 30-something, Rebecca Magniant –– a bouncy “American expat wife” and self-confessed “shopaholic” –– has turned her knack for unearthing “fabulous boutiques and insider tips” into a flourishing e-business, “in tandem” with fellow francophile David Bizer. For the past six months, “Chic Shopping Paris” has been treating visitors to the “City of Light” to thematic tours, covering a variety of topics ranging from couture and antiques bargain hunting to epicurean expeditions. “Customized” sprees can be arranged, and a 10% “early bird discount” off the special “Holiday Shopping” option is featured on Rebecca’s regularly updated website:

Ariel Style
Maybe, “some sunny day,” some corporate whiz will conjure up a soap powder that smells of “Chanel No 5” or “L’Air du Temps.” For years, detergents were content to “wash whiter.” Then, came the vogue for “magic” products designed to put the “black” back into fashionistas’ mainly black wardrobes. Launched in association with four “household name” labels –– Morgan, 123, 3 Suisses and Dim –– “Ariel Style Liquide” sets out to keep your trendy tangy-hued attire as zingy as it was when you bought it. On supermarket shelves mid-November: an “effervescent tablet” variation.

Toyota Spot
Automotive showrooms with restaurants and arts spaces are “in the air.” At “Le Rendez-Vous Toyota” (79 av des Champs-Elysées, 8e, M° George V), you can catch a glimpse of this Japanese manufacturer’s latest urban “concept car,” the Prius, and pop into its tiptop tapas bar, which schedules groovy “after-work” gigs and DJ sessions, including weekly “NeO’Jazz” nights (Thursday/ 9-11pm). On view until November 19... “Mobilités,” an exhibition of XXL photographs and plasma screen images of “walking figure” cityscapes by Denis Darzarcq of the VU agency.

City Reading
Speaking of electro thrills… “French Touch” duo AIR –– aka Jean-Benoît Dunckel and Nicolas Godin –– are currently revving up for a sleek New Year release. Their previous CD? “City Reading,” an experimental “sound meets theater” album based on Italian author Alessandro Baricco’s cult novel titled “City.” (Source/Virgin)

Air France poster and “On Air” invitation

“Portraits de
saveurs” photograph

Rebecca and David shopping

Morgan’s Ariel Style Liquide promo

Walking figures by Denis Darzacq

Air“concept photo”by Ora Ito