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Life’s a cabaret for Christian Louboutin

9 Mar

Louboutin + Crazy Horse = shoe heaven

Iconic shoe designer Christian Louboutin has teamed up with Parisian hotspot the Crazy Horse for their new show “Feu.”

The club:

crazy horse club paris

Crazy Horse logo

The cabaret is famed for its leggy dancers performing raunchy routines in barely-there costumes. Yet the legendary nightspot (which charges 125 euros per head with a ‘generous’ half bottle of champers thrown in) is no strip club. Celebrated for its glamour, futuristic light shows as well as collaborations with well-known choreographers ensure it stays firmly in the performance art category.

The club has been going since 1951. Having been lucky enough to step inside its gilded walls and film the dancers for its previous show “Desirs”, I can reveal ‘le Crazy’ is well worth a visit.

crazy horse dancers

Glamour and seduction: Crazy Horse dancers

crazy horse dancers lights

Striking the balance between stripping and art

The show:

Louboutin has created four unique tableaux for “Feu”, which take inspiration from everything from art installations to hip-hop. The main focus is – of course – the legs and the feet. The shoe king was involved in everything from the routines to the set design, not forgetting the shoes.

Each ‘act’ has its own shoe concept – from strappy silver ‘half shoes’ to black curved spiked pairs, they’re sure to steal the limelight from the dancers and give a whole new meaning to the term ‘stripper shoes!’ “Feu” opened on March 4.

The shoes:

red soled louboutin shoe

The much-coveted black Louboutins

Louboutin’s trademark red soles are beloved by celebrities and fashionistas the world over. But the hefty price tag means most girls can only dream of owning a pair. To satisfy the public’s collective lust, London’s Design Museum is hosting the first UK Christian Louboutin retrospective starting May 1st.

Not only can you drool over 20 years’ worth of shoes and inspiration, but you’ll be able to follow the construction process from start to finish. Shoe-tastic.

Musée Rodin

3 Mar

Time for some art.

If you’re after a spot of culture this Spring, look no further than the Musée Rodin. Tucked away in Paris’s 7th arrondissement, a few streets from the Musée D’Orsay, it’s the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon.

The Musée Rodin's gardens

The museum contains the largest collection of Rodin’s sculptures, which have been on display to the public since 1919. Allegorical and mythologically inspired works are dotted around the Hotel Biron’s gardens and within the 18th century mansion itself. Chances are you won’t know much about the classically inspired sculptor (1840-1917) so the museum provides a crash course on the artist.

But it’s the museum’s garden which makes the place unmissable. Stroll along the 3 hectares of shady pathways admiring the sculptures, have a spot of lunch in the outdoor cafe or you could even play a game of ‘pétanque’ in the sun.

The Thinker, lost in thought

The Gates of Hell and The Burghers of Calais are amongst his most recognised works. Not to mention the iconic The Thinker. Rodin placed his sculptures around the elaborate gardens because he believed: “Nature and Antiquity are the two great sources of life for an artist. In any event, Antiquity implies nature. It is its truth and its smile.”

Plus, the museum’s temporary exhibition of 300 drawings, ‘Capturing the model’, shows Rodin’s talent in a different light. Discover his obsession with the human form and movement in the drawings which took up the latter part of his career.

Visiting the museum for the first time since having seen the delightful ‘Midnight in Paris’, I couldn’t help but think of this scene… Hopefully you won’t be visiting with a friend as pedantic as Paul, and the tour guide won’t be Carla Bruni-Sarkozy either. You do get a nice glimpse of the garden in this clip though!

Musée Rodin, Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5.45pm. ‘Capturing the model’ runs til 1 April.

Paris in winter

3 Jan

A day out in Paris: an art exhibition, exploring the Christmas market, great food and strange fashion.

What to do

The exhibition du moment is Claude Monet at the Grand Palais. Over 200 of Monet’s best paintings have been reunited in this special showcase, including some of his best loved works such as “Les Coquelicots.”

Monet: "Les Coquelicots"

Claude Monet, "Les Coquelicots, Environs d'Argenteuil"

People waited in line outside for hours, yet once inside the rooms were so full you had to queue to see each painting. Impatient art lovers forget their manners and there was much pushing, sneaky queuing and swearing in true French fashion. And that was just me. Read The Telegraph’s review to see what you’re missing. The exhibition ends 24 January.

The Christmas market at the end of the Champs Elysees is well worth a browse. Selling everything from furry hats to watches, rich tourists left laden with gifts. The best part is no doubt the food; from sweet treats to cheeses and sausages, the air is thick with tempting smells. There is even a special ice sculpture exhibit and fairground slides for little ones. It certainly puts Cardiff’s measly craft and food stalls to shame. Unfortunately, it is very popular with tourists, and the crowds can be off-putting.

Eating out

You can’t get much more French than Le Relais de l’Entrecote.

le relais de l'entrecote

Le relais de l'Entrecote's only dish: steak frites

The famous bistrot had tourists waiting in line outside until the doors opened at 7pm. Alarmingly, there is no menu. Ushered to your seats like children in a school canteen, you are served a small and flimsy salad for starters. But then comes the main course; juicy steak and homemade frites allumettes with a rich basil sauce. As soon as your last mouthful is finished, the brisk and no-nonsense waitresses dump a second portion on your plates, despite any protests you may have. Even with a dessert and a coffee, you’re out within the hour and the second seating begins. The efficient service and excellent food have earned the restaurant its top reputation much like the famous Chartier. I defy you to find a more French menu anywhere. For very reasonable prices, these eateries pride themselves on giving tourists and locals alike a classic taste of France.

Trends

Doudounes uniqlo

Doudounes from Uniqlo; invading Paris

Doudounes appear to be the height of cool. I have been informed by a current lyceen that owning one, especially an expensive one, gives you cool status in school. About eight years ago, we banished them to the backs of our wardrobes after years of wearing unflattering knee-length ones which made us look like Michelin men.

Michelin man

The Michelin Man look is back, apparently

Now they are back and invading Paris. In all colours and price ranges – because, yes, there are designer doudounes de luxe which cost hundreds if not thousands of euros – they are sported by people of all ages and backgrounds. You cannot walk down the street without being assaulted by an army of doudounes… it’s enough to contemplate buying one, except I know I’d look like a prize wally upon returning to the UK.