An area of 2000 m2 dedicated to the new luxury retail area of the Galeries Lafayette : an escape to the leading fashion names. Get together on the 1st floor of this main parisian store, located Boulevard Haussmann.
Commissionned from the talented architect Bruno Moinard, the lay-out of this new floor offers to us the magic of ready-to-wear, accessories and jewellery collections. Hushed or vivid surroundings ; golden or black-lacquered walls, laid carpets, stone or wooden floors ; a different scene for each brand. The barriers disappear in the transparency of glass screens.
On one side, Dior, Céline, Dolce & Gabbana and its magistral black chandelier, and Louis Vuitton with its glossy parquet. On the other, Prada, YSL, Gucci, Jean-Paul Gaultier and its TV fashion parades. Just to name a few of sought-after luxury designer brands. Among the new ones, Miu Miu attracts our attention since it enjoys the use of a big swivel stage.
The ceiling is a real masterpiece. Created in partnership with the light artist Yann Kersalé, the ceiling is organized in a succession of sculpted staff elements representing bumps and hollows with 2000 chandeliers made from Limoges porcelain hanging underneath.
Are also brought to light a dozen of young talents. Among the represented new designers, Lutz, Véronique Leroy and Felipe Oliveira Baptista typify the new generation of French ready-to-wear designers.
In 1960, Sonia Rykiel was known as Laura
Traditionally, young avant-garde upstarts have been presented to customers since 1960. It was the case for Laura which became Sonia Rykiel and so was it for Yves Saint-Laurent.
By then, the success rate of the Galeries Lafayette was higher than the one of the Eiffel Tower, being visited by key figures such as the duchess of Windsor or even Mrs Khrouchtchev. Catching sight of the escalators, she would have exclaimed “it is as Moscow’s subway”. At this period, the department store was offering a tearoom, a library and also a hairdresser shop.
Today, you are invited to taste a glass of champagne in the champagne Bar which follows the curves of the “balcony”.
La Galerie des Galeries : a contemporary art exhibition on 300 m2
It is above all the creation of a contemporary art and design gallery which constitutes a real surprise for visitors. At the heart of the luxury retail area, this galerie des galeries was created 10 years ago to introduce independently, worldwide talents to the public. Emphasis is put on the warm welcome to its daily 350 visitors who can head towards many cultural mediators.
In the hand of a sixth-generation family, the department store has always been involved in developping culture and backing artists, explains Elsa Janssen, managing director. This is how the Galeries Lafayette now dedicates 300 m2 to four annual exhibits of french and foreign artwork.In essence, fashion is a creative process which interacts more and more with artists from other fields. And fashion designers also take a leaf out of paintaing states Elsa Janssen.
The exhibition “Into the woods – from January 26th to March 17th, 2012 – thought by a young curator, puts the spotlight on 11 women artists aged from 25 to 40, around the theme of the forest. It offers a mysterious aesthetic experience. A shadowy mental landscape constituted from various works and varied performances : portraits, sculptures, photos, sound installations, motion pictures, highlighted objects, poems.
From April 3rd to June 2nd, 2012, the Philippe Catherine’s exhibition entitled “such as a pineapple” holds a few surprises in store.
At the ground floor of the main store, the Tronchet door reserves a Privilege Welcome to customers in a hurry, arriving by taxi or with their personal chauffeur. Upon reservation by calling 01.53.20.01.49 or directly upon arrival. You can also request for a bellhop who will carry your shopping bags, a chic and effective way to keep your hands free!
A personal shopper’s expertise may be precious to be guided around the luxury retail area. By appointment, calling the 01.42.82.35.50 (2nd floor). You also have at your disposal about fifteen interpreters and the following languages are available : English, German, Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Spanish, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese and French. Lastly, on the ground floor, two rooms are dedicated to VIP with checkout personnel specially trained in VIP sales and purchases (tax refunds, deliveries and so on). You can sit down and even enjoy a refreshment while paying for your purchases.
Nathalia Bienvenu-Kapferer, December 2011
Translation : Sandrine Parot Deméré
Photo Credits : Les Galeries Lafayette