Tag Archives: design

My Gay Paris: Designers In Town For Salon Maison & Objet Design Event

Some of the biggest names in the interior design world will be making their way to Paris this weekend for one of the trade’s biggest annual conventions. The Salon Maison & Objet, billed as a home-fashion showcase, draws furniture, fabric and homeware designers to the French capital twice a year in January and September.

This spring’s show starts on Friday, and is looking to be as busy as ever. Held just outside the city at the Villepinte Convention Centre, it’s actually a combination of several different trade shows rolled into one. The biggest—Maison & Objet itself—is divided across five different exhibition halls covering textiles, tableware, craft, decoration and accessories. Buyers, journalists and other professionals will be able to spend the whole week wandering across the vast site picking up key trends for next year.

Alongside the central show, other events cover contemporary furnishings, high-end design, manufacturing and collectors’ items. Just like the men’s and women’s fashion weeks that spring up in the French capital twice a year, the arrival of the trade show brings a whole new buzz to Paris, with designers and creatives flocking to the city. And if fashion week is a great way for mere mortals like us to get a peek at the upcoming trends of what to wear next season, then Maison & Objet does the same for what’s going to be hot to have inside your home in spring-summer 2012.

Creatives and Designers

Naturally, a lot of attention is devoted to the new items, fabrics, colours, patterns and trends that are on show at the fair itself, but most of the design professionals come into Paris to socialise at night. Spend any time wandering around in the evening and you’re bound to bump into somebody that’s been visiting the fair, whether that’s because they’re a one-man workshop come to meet new clients or because they’re one of the hordes of journalists that descend on the show every year. Many of them flock to the Marais to relax with a drink after a hard day’s work at the show, and the creative buzz is likely to be pulsing through the capital more than ever this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

If you’re lucky enough to be an industry insider, then enjoy the show. As the show is closed to the public, the rest of us will only hear the big news after the show has finished—unless we can convince somebody to sneak us in, of course!

My Gay Paris: Christmas is Coming in Paris

It might seem like it’s still a long way off, but here in Paris, preparations are well underway for Christmas. Lights have sprung up in the main shopping streets, and all the gay bars in our neighbourhood, the Marais, have begun hanging up the decorations.

If you’re coming to Paris in the run-up to Christmas, then we hope that you think about staying in one our gay-friendly furnished apartments. But much more importantly, though, we hope you take some time to make the most of some of the best shopping in the world to pick up some excellent presents to take your loved-ones back home!

Food

We’ve already talked about some of the exceptional food you can try in Paris here on the blog, whether it’s sweet treats like macarons from Ladurée or delicious hot chocolate from Café Angelina. Food halls, delis and even ordinary supermarkets are beginning to stock up with Christmas favourites from all over France, including foie gras, with local consumers showing none of the squeamishness other countries have about force-feeding geese to produce the fatty liver pâté. Bakers and pâtissiers, meanwhile, are hard at work producing the bûche de Noël, the traditional Christmas yule log.

Many of these treats, and more, are available at the annual Christmas Market, which is already open on the Champs-Élysées.

Fashion

Two weeks ago we recommended shopping on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, but if your budget doesn’t quite stretch, then you could try one of our favourite online sites, studiohomme.com (with a showroom at 62, rue Réaumur), which specialises in designer menswear from big French names like Kitsuné as well as up-and-coming creators.

Design

Paris might be well-known for the old masters lining the walls of its fabulous galleries, but if you’re interested in slightly more modern art and design, then you’re spoilt for choice. Our favourite is the Atarzart Design Bookstore (83, quai Valmy), with a range of books on photography, architecture and more. It also enjoys a great canal-side location, perfect for a stroll.

Museums

One of the best places to pick up unusual gifts is at a museum shop, and two of Paris’ newest cultural institutions have stores that go far beyond the usual souvenir poster. La Gaîtié Lyrique (3 bir, rue Papin ), a former theatre which has been transformed into a museum of digital culture, carries a range of gadgets, gizmos and hard to find video games for the geek in your life. French charity Emmaüs recycles unwanted clothes and furniture, selling them on to raise money in charity shops around the city. Their new location at Le Centquatre (104, rue d’Aubervilliers), though, only sees the best pieces, with real bargains to be add on exclusive designer items. It’s well worth a visit and unlike any charity store you’ve ever seen!