July 2015 Events in Paris
24 June 2015
With its exclusive boutiques, leading fashion houses and oh-so-chic residents, Paris has long been regarded as one of the world’s most stylish cities. Its summer programme of events certainly lives up to the hype, with a unique look at an Yves Saint Laurent collection inspired by Paloma Picasso’s flea-market outfits, and a music festival line-up that’ll feature more bearded singer-songwriters than hipster hangout Canal St-Martin. Once you’ve booked your flights and a four-star boutique stay, here’s what you could be looking forward to this July…
Getting Inspired by Yves
It’s 1971 and 180 members of the press, buyers and customers have gathered in the elegant surroundings of the Yves Saint Laurent’s Parisian headquarters to see his spring couture collection. But as the first model enters the room, a look of utter horror sweeps over faces. A short satin dress with plunging neckline sashays by, a tailored pinstripe suit cuts a sleek silhouette, while an evening coat adorned with sequinned lips completes the line-up. Styled with bold make-up and block heels, it becomes immediately apparent that Saint Laurent has sought inspiration from 1940s wartime fashions.
Fast-forward 44 years and it’s much easier to appreciate the beauty and influence this 80 piece collection had. Dubbed ‘the scandal’, the originally named ‘liberation’ or ‘forties’ designs are a must-see for any fashion-fan and luckily, Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent is offering a unique opportunity to view 40 outfits up-close until the 19th of July. The exhibition also offers the chance to follow Saint Laurent’s creative process through sketches and fabric swatches, watch fascinating film footage of the show and admire an array of accessories and archival photos.
Though Saint Laurent’s aim was to challenge the confines of haute couture and inspire a younger generation who had “…never known this fashion [to] want to wear them”, it had only been 26 years since WW2. Many members of the audience had been shocked to see recreations from an era of hardship they had experienced first-hand. Despite headlines going into meltdown, Saint Laurent’s presentation set in motion an admiration for retro street styles that has inspired the industry ever since.
Shopping in Les Soldes
If outfit inspiration strikes during the Saint Laurent exhibition, there’s no better time for a wardrobe overhaul than during les soldes in Paris. France has just two sale periods a year, one beginning in January and one in June, which means there’ll be no hidden surprises when it comes to bargain buying during a trip to Paris. This year’s six-week extravaganza will start on the 24th of June with discounts starting at 30%, before plummeting down to 70% off over the coming weeks.
Head to Champs-Élysées for the best high street selection, with the likes of Abercrombie & Fitch and Hugo Boss offering an array of end-of-season pieces at exceptional prices. Those searching for a catwalk creation without the designer price tag will be better off shopping in department stores Galeries Lafayette and Printemps than the city’s exclusive boutiques. Rumour has it that some never go into sale, others are invitation only or choose to exclusively sell in offsite locations.
Les soldes are both a celebration and sport in Paris, offering the chance to battle it out for the most stylish souvenir you can lay your hands on. Though a scramble on par with the UK’s Boxing Day is to be expected, but there’s nothing quite like the euphoric feeling that comes with finding the perfect sale purchase. Shopping earlier in the morning or later in the evening will ensure a more relaxing sale experience, which can be made even easier by booking accommodation close to the action.
Joining a Parisian Party
After a restocking your wardrobe at les soldes, why not show off your new looks at one of the most trendy festivals of the summer? Days Off Festival returns to Paris on the 1st of July and is an unmissable 8 day event for any music fan. Now in its 6th year, the festival is famed for offering an outstanding line-up with past acts ranging from Cat Power to Beck and Damon Albarn… and this year’s programme is set to impress too.
Twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz will be one of the first acts on stage at Philharmonie 2’s concert hall. Under the name ‘Ibeyi’, the daughters of the late percussionist Anga Díaz will combine influences from Cuban and French music, with lyrics sung in English and Nigerian language Yoruba. They’ll be followed by Jeanne Added and then Ala.ni, who began her career as a backing singer for Andrea Bocelli and Mary J Blige. The London singer-songwriter has released two out of her four EPs so far this year and offers a 40’s inspired sound that explores autobiographical themes.
Following their 2014 album ‘Lost In The Dream’, which was named the number one album of 2014 by Amazon and iTunes’ alternative album of the year, The War on Drugs will be performing on the 6th. Other acts include multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird and singer Matthew E. White, while entertainment will include performances from We Can Be Heroes; a group of 30 that’ll be singing songs by the likes of Björk, Arcade Fire and Eminem. Find the full line-up here and book tickets to see your new favourite acts now!
Stay at Amarante Champs Elysees this Summer
Whether you’re hoping to restyle your wardrobe à la Parisien or discover the latest acts to add to your Spotify playlist, July is the most stylish month to visit the French capital. For a luxury stay to complement your chic getaway, Amarante Champs Elysées offers elegant interiors, complimentary Wi-Fi and a mouth-watering breakfast selection within a 3 minute walk from the city’s elite golden triangle. Find the latest offers here and start deciding which shops, acts and outfits you want to see first.
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