Paris Scene: Lace Up... Etc... Teamwork...

Calling all lace lovers. Solstiss has opened its first Comptoir de Dentelle, or lace bar, on a by-appointment basis.

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EAST MEETS WEST: A soupçon of Japan is on display at the Bagatelle garden in the Bois de Boulogne. The Paris mayor's office and Tokyo's Bunka Gakuen Foundation are presenting an exhibition of kimonos to mark the 150th year of Franco-Japanese relations. The show charts how the kimono has changed little since the 15th century and how it has remained a staple in Japanese culture to this day. Rich decorative motifs reflect Japan's unique sensibility towards nature while visitors are sure to be intrigued by the ceremony and tradition involved. The exhibit's 60 some kimonos are on display through July 15.

ART SMARTS: Paris is certainly living up to its name as a cultural feast. "The Grace Kelly Years: Princess of Monaco" exhibition at City Hall is a fascinating look at the famous late princess. Equally engaging is the Jeu de Paume's Richard Avedon show, while the Musée Rodin is exhibiting a selection of Camille Claudel's work. Meanwhile, at Versailles, Karl Lagerfeld's 40 large-scale black-and-white photographs of the famous chateau will be on display through Sept 7. And any fashion fan has to check out the Valentino show at the Musée de la Mode et Textile.

CHEZ MARIA: After 20 years on the Rue Cambon, retailer Maria Luisa Poumaillou is moving her store around the corner to 7 Rue Rouget de L'Isle. Poumaillou said the new space allows her to group women's ready-to-wear and accessories under one roof after the two categories had been stocked in separate stores for years. "It will optimize the selling process," explained Poumaillou, who enlisted fashionable architect Laurent Buttazzoni to design the elongated space with a modernist aesthetic. Poumaillou is keeping her separate men's shop right across the street.

MARSEILLE BOUND: Jean Touitou has opened his third APC outpost in Paris, at 5 Rue de Marseille in the 10th arrondissement. Designed by architect Laurent Deroo, it is located in one of the city's trendy up-and-coming neighborhoods. But Touitou said that wasn't the draw. "The street has a great baker," he quipped. "And I liked the name of the street. And I like the number five." The store is the most recent in a string of projects Touitou has cooking. The designer is working on a scent line, and in August he will open a store in Copenhagen where he will sell vintage Scandinavian furniture. Touitou meanwhile will perform with his band in Tokyo when he opens a second store in the city in late July. And he has a Paris surplus store opening in Montmartre, also in July.

Former Emanuel Ungaro designer Vincent Darre is ditching fashion (somewhat) for home decoration with a shop on the Rue Mont Thabor that will showcase his playful furniture designs. "Luxury for me is rarity," explained Darre of the shop. "I wanted a shop where you see something new, something you can only see in Paris." Darre's furniture has a surrealistic bent: table legs are formed like bones and the back of a chair is carved to look like vertebrae. The shop's name itself, which, in French, is a play on words that means both prison and home, points to Darre's cheeky aesthetic.
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