French couturier Stéphane Rolland's uplifting new haute couture show was held at Radio France in Paris with live percussionists. Inspired by the romance of the Silk Road and the reality of our contemporary peripatetic lives, the Autumn/Winter 2018/19 collection was full of both billowing silhouettes and sleek, figure-hugging outfits evoking the modern urban nomad. Story by Jeanne-Marie Cilento. Additional reporting and photographs by Elli Ioannou.
David Bowie Inspires Wooyoungmi's New Menswear Collection
Designer Katie Chung has launched her second menswear collection in Paris as solo Creative Director of Wooyoungmi, the fashion house founded by her mother Madame Woo. The Spring/Summer 2019 show is inspired by David Bowie with a romantic bohemian ethos that is close to the designer's heart, writes Jeanne-Marie Cilento. Photographs by Elli Ioannou.
Jasper Conran's Graceful Geometry and Luminous Colours
As one of Britain's leading designers and part of a family design dynasty started by his father Sir Terence Conran, Jasper Conran has worked across all aspects of design including fashion, the theatre and interiors. His streamlined and richly-coloured Autumn/Winter 2018 show was one of the highlights of last month's London Fashion Week. His latest collection has a spare yet graceful geometry highlighted by luminous colours, writes Antonio Visconti. Photographs by Kseniya Segina.
Splashes of Colour Enliven Paris' Winter Whites at Victoria/Tomas
Wearing a wintry wardrobe of layered whites, Paris opened the last of the Autumn/Winter 2018 fashion weeks. It's the final stop on the frenetic month-long schedule that started in New York and London and moved on to Milan and the French capital. Engulfed by a sub-zero cold snap, the city's rugged-up fashion pack scurry between shows across town. The new collection of young French label Victoria/Tomas was presented in the dark corridors of YoYo beneath the Palais de Tokyo, writes Jeanne-Marie Cilento. Photography by Elli Ioannou.
Japanese Designer Yuima Nakazato's Cosmic Couture
Japanese couturier Yuima Nakazato was inspired by the Space Age and interstellar travel for his new cosmic haute couture collection shown in Paris last month. The designer continues his exploration of new production technologies and recycled materials to create unique clothes that can be updated and worn for generations, writes Jeanne-Marie Cilento. Photographs by Elli Ioannou.
Poetry and Drama at Stephane Rolland's Haute Couture Show
The dramatic and poetic haute couture show of Stéphane Rolland was held in the gilded Favart room of the Opéra Comique in Paris. The fluid and sculptural creations of the designer's Spring 2018 collection were embellished with gleaming discs as well as jewellery created in a new collaboration with Albert Boghossian, writes Jeanne-Marie Cilento. Additional reporting and photographs by Elli Ioannou.
New Directions For Luxury Label Ralph & Russo
Australians Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo are expanding their London-based couture house Ralph & Russo into a global luxury brand. Their fluid, elegant gowns are standouts on the red-carpet but their star reached an apotheosis when Meghan Markle wore a diaphanous dress for engagement portraits with Prince Harry. Another first for Ralph & Russo, was the launch of their debut prêt-à-porter range. Jeanne-Marie Cilento looks back at the highlights of the Spring/summer 2018 show. Photographed exclusively for DAM by Elli Ioannou and Kseniya Segina
History, Drama and Romance at Alistair James in London
One of the highlights of London Fashion Week was the official debut of British design duo Nicholas Alistair Walsh and David James Wise who first met at Alexander McQueen. Their evocative SS18 presentation was held in the exquisite Fitzrovia Chapel, designed in 1891 by celebrated Victorian architect John Loughborough Pearson. Story by Jeanne-Marie Cilento. Photographs by Elli Ioannou.
Paris Fashion Week: Highlights from Moon Young Hee's Spring/Summer 2018 Ready-to-Wear Show. Photography by Elli Ioannou.
Iceland's Volcanic Mountains and Grassy Plains Inspire New Issey Miyake SS18 Collection
Japanese fashion house Issey Miyake used dancers to open an evocative show in Paris, inspired by Iceland's austere, volcanic landscapes. The Spring/Summer 2018 collection's fluid, three dimensional textiles evoke a frozen, igneous world that is harsh yet full of life, writes Antonio Visconti. Photographs by Elli Ioannou.
New Romantic: Bora Aksu's Otherworldly Collection Inspired by Turkish Aristocrat & Artist Mihri Müşfik Hanım
One of the standout collections of London Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2018 was Bora Aksu's romantic collection. Full of voluminous gowns with swinging, ruffled skirts in chiffon and tulle, the long-haired maidens walking the runway, crowned with sparkling, beaded coronets, reflected his inspiration from the life of Mihri Müşfik Hanım, aristocrat and artist, writes Jeanne-Marie Cilento. Photographs by Elli Ioannou & Kseniya Segina
From Haute Couture to Ready-to-wear: Ralph & Russo Open a New Chapter
As haute couture house Ralph & Russo prepare to launch their first ready-to-wear collection in London next month, we take a look at the label's soigné show that was a major draw card during Paris Couture Fashion Week. Australians Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo head the company in Britain and have plans to create a super luxury brand and the next step is bringing the pret-a-porter range to a new audience, Jeanne-Marie Cilento writes. Photographs by Elli Ioannou.
Menswear Design Directions: Issey Miyake, Walter van Beirendonck and Henrik Vibskov
We look at three fashion designers with outstanding new menswear collections, showing the way forward for Spring/Summer 2018. While Japanese creative director Yusuke Takahashi's collection at Issey Miyake was full of billowing tunics inspired by the desert, Belgian Walter Van Beirondonck's was dominated by bold colour and abstract, graphic designs while Danish designer Henrik Vibskov took us into the fantasy world of sleep with vivid prints of charming monsters and summery stripes. Story and photographs by Elli Ioannou.
Icosae's Urbane and Avant-Garde French Revolution
We look at the rise of Icosae, an urbane yet avant-garde French label created by two young Parisian brothers, Valentin and Florentin Glémarec. Their spring 2018 collection offered a new vision of menswear at Paris fashion week, one that combines both the creative and conceptual, writes Antonio Visconti. Photographs of the SS18 collection by Elli Ioannou.
Yuima Nakazato: Digital Couture Creates Custom Design for All
Japanese fashion designer Yuima Nakazato is part of a new generation of avant-garde couturiers showing on Paris' official haute couture schedule. This season, he presented a collection made entirely with his new technology creating digital couture that allows custom-designed clothes to be accessible to everybody, Jeanne-Marie Cilento writes. Reporting and photographs by Elli Ioannou.
Chanel Haute Couture Paris: Behind the Scenes of the Show
Take a look behind the scenes at Karl Lagerfeld's latest haute couture collection for Chanel in Paris, with Kristen Stewart, Tilda Swinton, Julianne Moore and Pharell Williams. We also see the Chanel atelier and the exquisite workmanship that creates this iconic fashion house's couture collections, writes Jeanne-Marie Cilento.
Interview with Karl Lagerfeld: Chanel Haute Couture in Paris
Creative director of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, talks about why Paris is best known for high fashion and how the Eiffel Tower is the monument that best symbolises his new Autumn Winter 2017/18 haute couture show. Beneath the soaring glass dome of the Grand Palais, Chanel created a 38-meter high version of the tower, with wooden garden chairs set out beneath like a Parisian park, a runway designed to invite a leisurely stroll and a rediscovery of the city, writes Jeanne-Marie Cilento.
The Tribal and Celestial At Manish Arora
Fashion designer Manish Arora started his career in Mumbai but this season celebrated 10 years of showing his ready-to-wear collections in Paris. His latest runway show mixed the tribal with the galactic, burgeoning with coveted pieces such as form fitting, embellished denim with brilliant colours and embroidery~ key trends for the autumn/winter 2017 season. We take a look back at his career and his vivid new work that is sleeker but still has his bohemian signature, Jeanne-Marie Cilento writes. Photography by Elli Ioannou.
Street Style: Critical Mass in Milan and Paris
Street style pitstops at fashion shows in Paris and Milan have become alternative runways all of their own. Instead of a catwalk, the streets outside a designer's new collection have become stages for the exuberant extrovert. The past decade has seen an explosion in both photographers and their willing subjects appearing at fashion weeks. And it's getting more difficult to be noticed among the crowds and to make a career from shooting them, Jeanne-Marie Cilento writes. Photography in Paris by Elli Ioannou and in Milan by Kseniya Segina.
Chanel ready-to-wear Fall / Winter 17 - 18
Watch an interview with karl Lagerfeld and the entire show from start to finish.
Yuima Nakazato: Ignis Aer Aqua Terra
Not a needle or thread were used in the creation of Yuima Nakazato's elemental show, Ignis Aer Aqua Terra. We take a look back at his second collection as part of the official haute couture calendar in Paris where Nakazato experiments with the future of fashion construction, writes Paul McDonnell. Photography by Elli Ioannou.
The New Femininity: Diaphanous Fluidity at Ralph & Russo
Australian design duo Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo saw a gap in the luxury fashion market, starting out in London with one sewing machine and a dream to create a couture fashion house that provided beautifully-made, elegant gowns and daywear for an international clientele. This season they were back in Paris, showing a sophisticated and highly-polished collection that had clients ordering pieces before the models had even left the runway, writes Jeanne-Marie Cilento. Photography by Elli Ioannou.
Hyun Mi Nielsen's debut collection 'Nocturne, a Picture of a Night Scene'
In Paris, Christine Hyun Mi Nielsen presented her dynamic debut collection full of light and frothy ruffles, black leather and dark make-up, as a first-time guest member on the official Haute Couture calendar, writes Paul McDonnell. Photography by Elli Ioannou.
Medieval Majesty in Paris: Guo Pei's French Revolution
If haute couture is about imagination, fantasy and exploring the realms between fashion, art and theatre, Guo Pei's ebullient show in Paris embodied all of that. Her opulent collection made a strong contrast to Paris Couture Week's other often pragmatic presentations that were more like ready-to-wear. Instead, the diminutive couturier created an enthralling collection held in a French Gothic palace imbued with a richness and magic that only two years work and 500 artisans could bring to fruition. Photography by Elli Ioannou.
Chanel Haute Couture Hits New Heights in Paris
Interview with Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director of Chanel, talking about his soigne new haute couture collection in Paris under the great, glass dome of the Grand Palais and a look backstage at the preparation before the show, by Jeanne-Marie Cilento.
Robust Urban Camouflage Dominates Men's Wear Autumn/Winter 2017
On runways from London to Milan, urban camouflage with a strong Seventies vibe dominated the Autumn/Winter 2017 men's wear season. Many designers' new collections were sporty yet bulky & rustic enough to do another day of battle in the metropolis. We look at the latest directions and tumultuous changes causing seismic shifts in the fashion world, including combining men's and women's collections on the same catwalk.
A Designer to Watch: Interview with Nicklas Kunz
As London men's fashion week is getting ready to open the runway season for 2017, our Fashion Editor Limor Helfgott interviews talented Danish designer Nicklas Kunz about his life in Denmark and his cosmopolitan collections creatively inspired by the urban jungle, African tribes, sartorial couture and American rap music
Each season Karl Lagerfeld creates Chanel collections that seduce and polarise new generations of the jeunesse dorée. His latest work, shown in Paris earlier this month, for Spring/Summer 2017 was set in a digital world with two cyborgs opening the show, both a commentary on society's obsession with new technology, followed by a brilliant yet wearable collection that seemed both contemporary and retro with a dash of Eighties futurism, writes Jeanne-Marie Cilento.
What's in a Name: Bill Gaytten's Maison John Galliano
Bill Gaytten's new collection for Maison John Galliano showed an engaging femininity and sense of romance. The designer has developed his own signature at the fashion house in the past five years, with a light and fluid aesthetic. Our Paris correspondent, Elli Ioannou, takes a look back at the highlights of the Spring/Summer 2017 ready-to-wear collection, shown earlier this month in the French capital.
This season, London Fashion Week began with a large question mark: would the 'see now, buy now' initiative be a success? From Top Shop to Burberry, brands are bringing tech to the catwalks and instant shopping was the biggest trend along with strong new design directions, our fashion editor Limor Helfgott reports from the British capital.
Unique Visions of Haute Couture: Adeline Andre & Bowie Wong in Paris
Adeline André and Bowie Wong are fashion designers at different places in their careers with contrasting aesthetics, yet both couturiers share a determination to maintain a singularly distinctive vision of haute couture, writes our special Paris correspondent Elli Ioannou.
The Rise of Ralph & Russo in the World of Haute Couture
One of the highlights of last month's Paris Haute Couture Week was the beautiful collection by London-based Australian duo Ralph & Russo. Just two years ago, they became the first British-based couturiers in a century to show collections in the French capital. Our special correspondent Elli Ioannou looks at Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo's meteoric rise in the world of global high fashion.
Chinese couturier Guo Pei was relatively unknown in the West until Rihanna wore that extraordinary yellow gown with it's giant train at last year's New York Met Ball. This year, Pei is one of the first Asian designers to be invited to become a guest member of Paris' Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. Our special Paris correspondent Elli Ioannou examines her spectacular second collection for Autumn/ Winter 2016/17 in the French capital.
The Cosmos & Nature in Yuima Nakazato's Futuristic Collection
Inspired by the cosmos and nature, neo-futurist Japanese designer Yuima Nakazato showed for the first time as a guest at Paris Haute Couture week. The designer's shimmering, otherworldly collection of holographic origami gleamed from the darkness in the depths of the Palais De Tokyo, creating kinetic architectural sculptures, reports our special Paris correspondent Elli Ioannou.
The Art of Fashion: Henrik Vibskov's New Collection in Paris
One of the highlights of Paris Men's Fashion Week was the whimsical show of Danish artist and designer Henrik Vibskov. Set amid a surreal kitchen of fabric salami and white-coated butchers, the models wore a signature baroque and folkloric collection, making an interesting alternative to Scandinavian minimalism, reports our special correspondent Elli Ioannou.
One Love: Paul Smith's Vivid New Menswear Collection in Paris
In Paris, the new menswear collection by Paul Smith for Spring/Summer 2017 was bright, summery and positive, inspired by the Soho clubs he frequented in the Sixties and Seventies with jazzy checks, vivid T-shirts, striped-collar polo tops mixed with elegant, tailored suits. The models sported halos of fine afro hair, and with jaunty smiles walked a rainbow runway at the French capital's spectacular stock exchange with it's soaring domed roof, Elli Ioannou reports.
The Poetry of Space: Issey Miyake's New Collection in Paris SS17
Issey Miyake's new collection for SS17 in Paris was held in a vast open-air atrium at the city's Pierre and Marie Curie University with models criss-crossing the enormous space, wearing clothes that became increasingly more colourful, inspired by India's Holi festival, Elli Ioannou reports. Photographs by Elli Ioannou.
Paris Men's Fashion week: Y/Project's Innovative Eclectic Collection
A touch of romance and a lot of Andy Warhol with a Belgian twist were the key ingredients at Y/Project’s Spring/Summer 2017 men's show at Paris Fashion Week. Story & photographs by our Paris special correspondent Elli Ioannou.
The Future of Mens' Fashion: Revolutionary Changes at the SS17 Shows
While the fashion industry is currently musing over the future of men’s fashion, London collection: Men launched its ninth season last weekend at a new venue. Our special correspondent, Limor Helfgott, looks at the changes in the business of men's fashion and the new directions for Spring/Summer 2017. Photography by Liron Weissman & Limor Helfgott.
Charles Jeffrey: New Loverboy Spring/Summer 2017 Collection
London Collections:Men's fashion week shows the most avant-garde menswear designers from around the world. The Man showcase, established for young designers in 2005, has launched many successful new brands in the British capital. One of the most iconoclastic new designers on this season's SS17 schedule is Charles Jeffrey, writes Jeanne-Marie Cilento.
The Australian Connection: Fashion Designers in Paris
Paris draws designers from all over the world for its ready-to-wear and haute couture fashion weeks. Our special correspondent Elli Ioannou writes that if Australian designers want to show their work on an international stage Paris is the best place to be.
The Creative Universe of Japanese Design House Issey Miyake
In Paris, our special correspondent and photographer Elli Ioannou went backstage to shoot the elaborate preparations for the Issey Miyake AW16 show and attended the launch of a comprehensive new book about the Japanese designer's life and work by Taschen.
The New Theatre of Fashion: Street Style in Paris at Valentino
What people are wearing outside fashion shows has become almost as important as what models are wearing inside on designers' runways. Our correspondent in Paris Elli Ioannou captures in words and pictures the theatrical scene outside the balletic Valentino show at the Jardin des Tuileries.
Time After Time: Paris Fashion Week's Seventies Zeitgeist
Our correspondent in Paris looks behind the scenes at what it takes to get a collection onto the runway at fashion week in the French capital for Autumn/Winter 2016 and discovers that the 1970s vibe is still the key direction, with David Bowie and the Sex Pistols all important influences along with short hair, thigh high boots and tartan. Story & photographs by Elli Ioannou.
From Pink to Black with Lots of Colour Clash: Autumn/Winter 2016
London is often referred to as the colourful, youthful sister of Paris, Milan and New York fashion weeks. It has certainly always been the most experimental with its fresh and energetic collections. While last season’s collections focused on a soft feminine look, this Autumn/Winter 2016 shifted to an edgier, darker side. Limor Helfgott reports on the trends from the British capital's runways.
Unguarded Moments: Backstage at Paris Men's Fashion Week AW16
Reporting from Paris, our correspondent Elli Ioannou captures the evocative backstage world of fashion shows where models & photographers are at the centre of the creative storm that ebbs and flows around the runway.
Men's Fashion and the Future: Interview with Sacha Walckhoff
Christian Lacroix's Creative Director Sacha Walckhoff talks to Jeanne-Marie Cilento from his Paris atelier about fashion, creativity and the future. Photographs by CG Watkins.
Mens Collections Spring/Summer 2016
As the Spring/Summer 2016 men’s shows come to a close for the season, it is striking to note that London Collections: Men has become, in just a few short years, one of the most anticipated events on the menswear fashion calendar along with Milan, Paris and New York.
London Designers Paris AW16: The Business of Art and Fashion
Art was the key inspiration in Paris this season for Autumn/Winter 2016 during men's fashion week. Emerging designers showing at the London Showrooms event, presented avant-garde and raw collections using collage, photo montage and Pop Art, reports Elli Ioannou from the French capital.
Fashion and the Future: Interview with Sacha Walckhoff
On the eve of his menswear spring/summer 2016 collection arriving at Christian Lacroix next month, the house's Creative Director Sacha Walckhoff talks to Jeanne-Marie Cilento from his Paris atelier about fashion, creativity and the future. SS16 photographs by CG Watkins.
Valentino in Rome: Light at the Heart of the City's Darkness
Valentino’s evocative haute couture collection shown in Rome’s historic heart at Piazza Mignanelli was set against the scenic backdrop of Renaissance palazzi and the great column of the Madonna of the Imaculate Conception. The atmospheric show offered light, beauty and opulence amid the unkempt Eternal City's current woes of near bankruptcy and an internecine corruption scandal, reports Jeanne-Marie Cilento.
Fashion Report From the Catwalks: Sping Summer 2016 Trends
As the Spring/Summer 2016 fashion season comes to a close, we take a look back at the highlights and trends from the catwalks with a special focus on London Fashion Week, renowned for being more experimental and free spirited than New York, Milan and Paris, our Fashion Editor Limor Helfgott makes a special report.
Jean-Pierre Braganza: London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016
This spring/summer 2016 season, the British Fashion Council has moved London Fashion Week from its traditional home at Somerset House to the more edgy and urban surroundings of Brewer Street in Soho. One of the stand-out shows at the new venue was Jean-Pierre Braganza's vivid and fluid collection, Jeanne-Marie Cilento reports.
Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016: The New Eclecticism
The Scandinavian designers at this season's Copenhagen Fashion Week filled the catwalks with androgynous and eclectic designs that brought an original and fresh look to Spring/Summer 2016, writes Limor Helfgott. Photography by Jesper Bang-P Thirteen.
American Jewellery Designer Andy Lifschutz in Rome
American jeweller Andy Lifschutz has a studio in New York’s hip Bushwick neighbourhood but has recently opened a gallery and studio in the heart of Rome. An artist in metal and stone, the designer's richly-textured pieces are hand-crafted and full of whimsical metaphor and poetry. Jeanne-Marie Cilento talks to the tall, laconic Portland native at his 16th Century bottega in Via Arco Di Palma. Portraits by Paul James McDonnell.
New Fashion Trends: Mens Collections Spring/Summer 2016
As the Spring/Summer 2016 men’s shows come to a close for the season, it is striking to note that London Collections: Men has become, in just a few short years, one of the most anticipated events on the menswear fashion calendar along with Milan, Paris and New York, Limor Helfgott reports.
Fashion Trends Spring/Summer 2015: What We'll Be Wearing
As the Spring/Summer 2015 season of fashion comes to a close we show the top trends influencing what we'll be wearing in the coming months. London Fashion Week was the stand-out for originality and design direction among the shows in New York, Milan and Paris. Our fashion correspondent Limor Helfgott with photographer Mike Rolls make a special report on all of the best looks direct from the catwalk to street style.
London Fashion Week: Day 2 Highlights Spring/Summer 2015
THE short film below shows the highlights of Day 2 at London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 including interviews with Rita Ora, Anna Wintour & Daisy Lowe. Look out for our upcoming report on the best of this season's LFW by our fashion correspondent Limor Helfgott.
London Fashion Week: Day 3 Highlights Spring/Summer 2015
THE short film below shows the highlights of Day 3 at London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 including interviews with British Fashion Council ambassadors Alexa Chung and Poppy Delevingne. Look out for our upcoming report on the best of this season's LFW by our fashion correspondent Limor Helfgott.
London Fashion Week: Day 4 Highlights Spring/Summer 2015
highlights from the catwalk shows from Day Four at London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015.
There are interviews with Laura Bailey, Paula Reed & Naomi Harris. Look out for our upcoming report of all the best looks and trends from our fashion correspondent Limor Helfgott.
London Collections: Men Autumn/Winter 2015 ~ Highlights & Trends
Amid the cold, bleak days of a wintry London, the new autumn/winter 2015 men’s collections added a strong dash of brilliant colour. From exuberant and idiosyncratic street styles to suave and preppy suits, our fashion correspondent Limor Helfgott and photographer Mike Rolls were there to capture the highlights.
Punk Rock Party: Fashion Designer Shoshi Barbi's Collections
Fashion designer Shoshi Barbi creates dynamic collections that manage to be both pretty and punk rock. Beloved of musicians, her clothes are hand-made and bristle with her original, graphic prints. DAM's fashion correspondent Limor Helfgott interviews the designer at her atelier in Tel Aviv.
Focus on New Fashion: Le Photographe by Christopher Beales
During fashion week in London, Milan & Paris there are also special collections of new and upcoming designers and labels. Our correspondent Limor Helfgott with photographer Mike Rolls visited the Fashion Scout shows in London and met designer Christopher Beales, the creative mind behind the new brand Le Photographe.
The Nuts and Bolts of Fashion: Jewellery Designer Yaniv Baranes
Fashion correspondent Limor Helfgott interviews designer Yaniv Baranes at his Tel Aviv studio and discovers that hardware and fashion definitely go together. As a young boy, the Israeli grew up surrounded by the nuts, bolts and springs of his father's factory. He never imagined he would one day be making jewellery from them. Special editorial photography for Design & Art Magazine by Sherban Lupu with model Nela Samokovlija.
Copenhagen A/W 2014: The Fashion Capital of Scandinavia
Our fashion correspondent Limor Helfgott looks at Scandinavian fashion and chooses the best new talents and established designers at Copenhagen Fashion Week for Autumn/Winter 2014.
David Bowie Is: New Exhibition Opens At The V&A in London
The spectacular new exhibition of David Bowie's life and work has opened at the Victorian and Albert Museum in London, reports Jeanne-Marie Cilento.
London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2014: See You Next Season!
London Fashion Week has a reputation for edgy and avant-garde design and Spring Summer 2014 was no exception. Limor Helfgott looks back at five exciting days of high catwalk drama at Somerset House in the British capital.
Brilliant Colour and Bold Forms at London's Graduate Fashion Week
At this year's Graduate Design Week the world's best new fashion designers presented exciting collections to thrilled audiences. Design & Art Magazine's fashion correspondent Limor Helfgott files a special report from London.
First Haute Couture Christian Dior collection by Raf Simon
Belgian designer Raf Simon's first collection for Christian Dior was launched in Paris at a beautiful house near the Arc de Triomphe, reports Jeanne-Marie Cilento.