Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Giraffes and Zebras and Paris windows, Oh My!

 I already showed you the horse that Hermès amusingly placed in s bedroom . . . well, that's not the only animal in town. Across the Seine, Louis Vuitton is all about the zebra
 in various postures
 its strong graphics melding quite splendidly with the vitrine's Parisian reflection
 Imagine where this sumptuously-coloured trunk might take you . . .

 Pater and I generally ignore the Champs Elysées, leaving it to those tourists who want the brand name shopping and the overpriced cafés. The last time we strolled along it, in fact, this Louis Vuitton building was being redone and was encased in a construction envelope which rendered it as giant trompe d'oeil luggage. It's obviously continuing to provide passers-by with visual treats, including this giant sculpture of a horse prancing in a window around the other side of the building.

A small plaque in the window credits the artist
A bit further along, the large animal theme continues at Hugo Boss. You'll have to peer closely to discern the giraffe, but I'm not about to complain about the sunshine that made these shots tricky. . . .

We enjoyed our amble down the Champs, distracted by these marvellous windows, but we were just as interested to note how sharply the neighbourhood changes once we passed the Arc de Triomphe and the Avenue changed to that of the Grande Armée  -- car and motorcycle dealerships parked their models all along next to the sidewalks. At least we weren't much tempted to slow down anymore and moved along to the Bois de Boulogne, our destination, and our only reason for venturing this way. I can't wait to show you some of the pleasures we saw there (and perhaps tell you about some we did our best to avoid!).


  1. I have heard that M&S have reopened in Paris a branch of their store on the Champs Elysées, I love the Zebra motif I find it so much more preferable than other animal prints.
    I must confess I bought that silly book by Ines de la Fressange, I thought it was a style guide but it's a guide book to Paris! You will probably know a lot of it but I had never heard of Toilettes de la Madeleine, they are down a staircase on the right of the church on Place de la Madeleine. 8e

  2. Oh gosh I love the zebras! And I wish I could see the giraffe better. I am dreaming of a giraffe print dress, although not in giraffe colors.

  3. My second time in Paris I went to visit an American friend who was living on the outskirts, west of the city. She had a car and one evening we went into the city for dinner. On the way back she drove us through the Bois du Boulogne - at night - yes, it was quite the experience!!! :0) P.

  4. Those frolicking zebras are très charmants! We did the Champs on our first Paris trip, but haven't bothered since as it had the feel of a large shopping mall. Though le monsieur wants to go climb to the top of the Arc this next visit.

    Yes, I've heard about some of the (ahem) "pleasures" going on in the Bois, and have been warned to stay away at night too.

  5. Who knew you would encounter these African critters in Paris?

  6. Alison: I've heard lots about the book and will try to check it out in a bookstore -- she's in the Printemps windows (well, mutual promotion -- she's not actually there!). Don't know about the Madeleine toilettes, but I'm always glad to add to the list of pit-stops!
    Mardel: I think if you google you might be able to get a better view from another photographer -- not sure if it's a giant replica or a taxidermy giraffe, but it looks rather convincing. Would the print you're dreaming of be to scale, ideally?
    Patricia: Even in the mid-afternoon, there was considerable activity!
    Pseu: Oddly enough, we were just trying to remember if we'd taken the kids up top of the Arch when we brought them here 20+ years ago -- you'd think we'd remember, but I'll have to get home and check my photo albums. I know we did the Eiffel Tower with them -- for a view, I'm quite partial to the Beaubourg and then there's the benefit of an exhibition. . .
    Terri: It's interesting -- here and in London, I've been thinking of what a cool paper someone could write (it's perhaps been written already) on animals and monuments and representation and colonialism, etc., etc.,
    Tiffany: Isn't it great! Reminded me of the War Horse puppets although it's actually quite different -- but there's something about the way it catches the essence of a horse in much more airy materials . . .

  7. The French have so much fun! Love the zebras. What a fine touch!


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