A sizzling generation of “très
flashy” style-setters has popped the previous millennium’s
zaniest decades in the microwave, updating them with panache.
Their hottest sources of inspiration? The Hollywood remake
of cult TV series “Starsky and Hutch” (on Paris
screens from April 21), along with the new version of hippy
era rock musical “Hair” (at the Palais des Sports
to Apr 18): beyond the neo-Afro look of this showbiz milestone’s
bead-clad heroes, the Vietnam-linked “peace and love”
message of time-transcending hits like “Let the sunshine
in” is “just the ticket” for contemporary
audiences troubled by the consequences of the war in Iraq!
Heard of “M”?
Funky chic is back, but with a fresh twist. A leading light
in this domain, ultra-wacky singer/songwriter “M”
projects a glitzy stage persona that’s a “think
pink” remix of rock’n’roll attitude, French
chanson, Batman and Mickey Mouse. (in concert May 3-11, at
L’Olympia, bd des Capucines, 9e, infoline: 08 92 68
Funk By Night
The Wagg club, adjoining Brit entrepreneur Sir Terence Conran’s
Alcazar restaurant (62 rue Mazarine, 6e) has just feted its
second anniversary with DJ/chat show personality Ariel Wizman
at the turntables. It hosts hugely successful “Carwash”
nights, based on a UK nightclubbin’ concept named after
Michael Schultz’s mythical 1977 movie, set in a groovy
garage/dancefloor… Dress code: “Strict ’70s
funk soul, ’80s disco-chic, ’90s glam, and today’s
funky-cool” – free entry before midnight, then
15E or 20E including first drink.
Another “post-2000 funk” hotspot is the Bastille-based
La Scène bar/music venue, which has recently hyped
up its restaurant, giving it “a more loungy ambience.”
It stages monthly “In Funk We Trust” midnight
to 6am soirées, billed as “Funky soundz all nite
long!” (2bis rue des Taillandiers, 11e, tel: 01 48 06
This season’s spunkiest get-ups spring from the schoolyard.
Underage fashion victims known as “Lolitas” sport
teeny weenie skirts (as seen on the cover of Elle magazine’s
“Elle girl” free supplement, launched with pre-teens
in mind), mixed and matched with oodles of baubles gleaned
from trendy trinket and accessory chains like Claire’s.
Zee way to show off these zippy “revisited miniskirts”?
Slipped on top of a pair of customized bell-bottoms, naturellement!
Hip hop culture is another key influence... The long-established
Lou lingerie brand targets this “Generation Y”
market with a “Funky” line featuring thongs and
panties whose “elasticated underpant” waistlines
are meant to be seen and “heard”… peaking
out of jeans. Flared or baggy? That is “Da” question!
Trained chez Vidal Sassoon and Toni & Guy, star hairstylist
Jean-Michel Faretra wears a pirate’s bandanna when wielding
his magician’s scissors at his “KpOchs”
spa/cyber-salon, co-emceed with his wife, Carole, in charge
of makeup… Thursday is DJ night and spectacular makeovers
are an in-house specialty. For 2004 brides, he’s conjured
up three alternative coiffures, in association with Cédric
Amani, a floral “whiz” based in the 18th arrondissement.
(22 rue des Capucines, 2e, tel: 01 42 86 11 23)
Branchés Parisians wearing flowers in their hair this
summer will also head for Hervé Chatelain’s “Atelier.”
This “designer florist” displays his “colored
water” creations incorporating branches, roots, minerals
and orchids, with a predilection for purple, black and…
fluorescent effects, on photographer’s lightboxes. (140
rue Montmartre, 2e, tel: 01 45 08 85 57)
A must for deco freaks with a taste for 1950s, ’60s,
’70s, ’80s… design, the Dream On Gallery
is a two-level emporium filled with “vintage”
modern finds ranging from quirky memorabilia and bright orange
Le Creuset casserole dishes to Eames chairs and Loewy originals.
(70 bd Beaumarchais, 11e, tel: 01 40 38 50 25)
Who says “quality kitsch” is a contradiction in
terms? Bénédicte Malherbe’s “Homes”
boutique, near the Pompidou center, stocks stunning furniture
— mainly chunky funky sofas — by German manufacturer
Bretz. (Tue-Sat noon to 8pm, Mon 2:30-7:30pm, 8 rue Nicolas
In the mood for a retro-futuristic fiesta? Like Absolut Vodka,
the Italian aperitif, Campari, has always sponsored cultural
“happenings,” calling upon icons such as Andy
Warhol to boost its image… In this spirit, the Toast
Gallery recently threw a “Red Art” party spotlighting
paintings produced by ten young artists, as a “toast”
to this totally natural “vermilion vermouth,”
with Riviera appeal. The brand’s latest slogan? “Switch
on the red.” (3 rue de l’Estrapade, 5e, tel: 01
44 07 04 22