Archive for France

3D Printing’s Tipping Point Tour: London, New York, Paris

This is a little shorty I wrote up for British Airway’s High Life magazine on the 3D printing revolution. This has been going on for years but only hit the tipping point into mainstream consumption in the past year or so.

The stuff looks outlandish like it’s out of a Luc Besson film or something so I’m not sure how mainstream it will get (after the initial novelty wears off) but I’m sure the tech will advance quickly and we’ll see more wearable stuff come out in the years to come.

My only gripe with it is that so far the rudimentary tech produces garments that look like they’re all cut from the same cloth, so to speak – a kind of uniformity that exists in tech which I abhor (pret-a-porter for the net-a-porter generation).

3D Printing Show London New York Paris

5 Designer Hotels of the Moment

1. Jade Jagger/Baglioni, Marrakech

Jade Jagger Designed Baglioni Marrakech Hotel
With a clothing boutique in London’s chic and always quirky Notting Hill, and a dad with moves like… well, you get the picture, Jade Jagger has her finger on the pulse. Add to that the fact that she’s the designer on the Baglioni Marrakech Hotel (2013), and the future is bright for the talented creator.

2. The Armani Hotel, Milan

Armani Hotel Italy

Armani and Milano go together like fric and frac (or fric and fashion). The Northern Italian city was the perfect location for a hotel by the legendary fashion house, the much-buzzed Armani Hotel. The look is masculine and subdued. The furnishings are from Armani Casa’s home collection. And, according to a New York Times scribe, even the Q-Tips are chic–black and a whopping six inches long (but don’t get any inappropriate thoughts).

3. Missoni Hotel, Antalya, Turkey

Missoni Hotel Turkey

The flamboyant stripey look is unmistakable: Missoni. Imagine an entire hotel decked out in that style. Antalya, Turkey (a.k.a. The Turkish Riviera) will get a taste of Italian chic in 2013 when it becomes home to the Hotel Missoni Belek Antalya. But forget all that fashion house fluff, what I’m most excited about is the 18-hole golf course designed by Swedish golf champ Annika Sörenstam.

4. Bulgari Hotel, London

Bulgari Hotel London

Founded in 1884, Bulgari has been a mainstay in the high-end jewelry, watch and accessory sphere for well over a century. Now, the Italian company is ready for its close-up, 2012 Olympics style. Just in time for the festivities, the hotel will open its doors in a London West End fashion hub: Knightsbridge.

5. Martin Margiela/Maison des Champs Elysées

Martin Margiela Maison Champs Elysees Hotel Paris

I’ve saved the best–or at least my favourite–for last: Belgian designer Martin Margiela’s epic and jaw-dropping Maison des Champs Elysées in the City of Light. The structure dates back to 1864 when it was the home of Princess d’Essing, Duchess of Rivoli. It marries the best of classical style with sparklingly spartan Post Modern splendour. A ‘oui,’ in my book.

Monte-Carlo Beach Relais & Chateaux… Deco-Futuro

Monte Carlo Beach Hotel

Designer India Mahdavi once told Index magazine that she counts among her heroes James Bond, adding, “He’s sexy, and it always puts me in a good mood when I see him.”

The timeless Ian Fleming character would certainly appreciate Mahdavi’s latest project: the refurbishing of the grand old Monte-Carlo Beach Relais & Chateaux which struts its stuff, so to speak in the coming month.

Monte Carlo Beach Hotel

Originally opened in the ’30s, it has been restored to its former glory with some contemporary even futuristic touches (although what is futuristic these days–the future is five minutes from now). In any case, the old upscale hospice has apparently still retained its signature Mediterranean style.

Some of its more interesting elements are the award-winning Deco-futuristic fixtures created by Roman company .PSLAB.

Monte Carlo Beach Hotel Chateau & Relais

However, beyond design, hedonists (present company included) will surely gravitate towards the hotel’s spa, Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo where Moroccan treatments await along with every woman’s best friend: facials and body treatments courtesy of  crème-de-la-crème skincare artistes La Prairie.

Related: Interactive Travel in the Cote d’Azur

Interactive Travel: From Sightseeing to People-Meeting

Paris France Locals in a Bar
By Shana Ting Lipton

[originally published on Huffington Post | Travel]

We ended up sitting in a late-night cafe for four hours questioning each other on our respective cultures. I was hungry for info on former-president/poet Václav Havel. He grilled me on Beverly Hills 90210 (cheesy Hollywood culture is ubiquitous, I discovered).

These days, the notion of “interactive travel” connotes using your iPhone overseas (at a hefty cost) and then tweeting or Facebooking your friends, or perhaps stalking your contacts via Foursquare.

But that’s not really my idea of being present, interacting, and engaging in a locale. Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards. And by that I mean, go back to good, old-fashioned, RL (real life) interaction.

What is your yardstick for a great travel experience? When I think back on some of the most memorable excursions I’ve ever had, they all seem to have one thing in common: people. To use tech-parlance, visiting a country and only viewing its sites without connecting to its locals is akin to reading a blog or website with no links or commenting capabilities: flat.

During my first trip to Prague with two friends from grad school, I felt myself closely in danger of becoming a member of the traveling flat Earth society. My culturally-curious pals took me sightseeing on guided (and self-navigated) tours around the city. It was stunning, but there was something missing.

One night, on our way back from dinner, they suggested a walk on theCharles Bridge. As gothically gorgeous as it was/is, I passed it up (sated by the monotony of daily sightseeing), and walked back to the hotel alone.

It was dark, it was somewhat late, and I heard heavy footsteps behind me. A toothless middle-aged man had been shadowing me for more than six blocks. I turned around and he stopped, disappearing into a shadowy street corner. I started walking again and his footsteps continued at a quicker tempo, towards me.

In a panic, I ducked into a little bistro where I told a kind waiter my dilemma. He said, “sit, have a glass of wine.” So I did as he said. Later, when I had calmed down, he was kind enough to walk me out after his shift.

We ended up sitting in a late-night cafe for four hours questioning each other on our respective cultures. I was hungry for info on former-president/poet Václav Havel. He grilled me on Beverly Hills 90210 (cheesy Hollywood culture is ubiquitous, I discovered).

I thank God for that creepy Czech stalker. Were it not for his unsavory intrusiveness, I would never have had a unique personal connection to the city via my waiter friend. For that reason — not the Mucha paintings or Art Nouveau architectural detailing — I will never forget Prague.

Open Mic Night at a Bar in Cannes France

Photo: Open Mic Night at Morrison's Pub, Cannes; Shana Ting Lipton Sings Van Morisson's "Brown-Eyed Girl"

On a recent trip to Cannes, I wanted to get away from the glitzy nouveau riche crowds, so my friend and I ducked into a local pub. What resulted was my French singing debut (if you could call it that) or more humbly “open mic night” on a couple of occasions. Thanks to my loungey renditions of “Hotel California” and “Brown Eyed Girl” we gained some new friends (and fans — in my dreams… ).

On another occasion, I was in Lisbon alone for two days en-route to visit family outside the city. I researched a cool art gallery and discovered that they were having an opening that night. These are the best events for meeting locals as there’s wine, art, and of course a discussion subject (art).

I ended up chatting with the gallery owner. Had I not struck up this conversation, he never would have invited me to a limited (myself and a handful of others) showing of a new edgy gallery space in an abandoned old building.

But, it’s not just about meeting locals for the purpose of finding the cool, off-the-beaten-path spots. That’s a pleasant side effect of such interactions, of course. The point is that if you let fear and insecurity keep you from talking to locals and you aren’t lucky enough to have any friends in your sojourn locale, then your travel experience may not get to the heart of a culture: the people.

A town and its buildings aren’t just the manifestations of architectural blueprints. They come from the minds and hearts of its locals. Naturally, art and architecture reflect back a component of a culture, but it’s the people who live the culture. And in this breakneck world of devices and mobile lifestyle, that culture is rapidly changing on a daily basis.

More on Traveling Like a Local:


Chic Trek: Quirky Paris (VIDEO)

Travel and culture journalist Shana Ting Lipton’s video of quirky bits and bytes of Paris including snapshots of Parisian vibes and rituals.

Latest Art + Paris Guide Book: Impressionists and Post-Impressionists!

Art Paris Guide Book Museyon Impressionists













Two of my favorite subjects: Art and Paris. And the pair of course go hand-in-hand.

In this very sphere, Museyon has a new title in its Art+ series of books (a series that looks at various cities through the lens of their artworks). Art + Paris: Impressionists and Post-Impressionists has been released and will closely be followed by the re-opening of Paris’ Musée D’Orsay this Fall.

The museum has been undergoing a two-year renovation. Its makeover will be revealed in time to celebrate its 25th anniversary (the D’Orsay opened to the public on December 9, 1986).

During the renovation, its famed Impressionist and Post-Impressionist have been on tour in San Francisco, Madrid and Nashville as part of a traveling exhibition (‘The Birth of Impressionism’).

So, there’s no time like the present to start reading up on the works, and enjoying the artistic eye candy provided in the Museyon guide book.

It not only features replications of paintings by Renoir, Degas, Manet and Monet, but also includes unchartered ‘through the eyes of the Impressionists’ walking tours of Paris. A resounding oui to that!

Parisian Chic: Inès de la Fressange’s City-Centric Style Primer

Parisian Chic By Ines de Fressange

Every country, city and even quarter has its signature style–Japan’s Gothic Lolitas, the so-calledLondon look, New York’s Williamsburg hipsters. Their territorial tonality is not simply made up of architectural sites, museums and great city planning.

Clothing and style are in the foreground of every town or a city. However, few city styles are as timeless as those imprinted on fashion’s European capital of Paris.

And when in Paris, who wants to look like a turista?

Inès de la Fressange answers that proverbial question with the style tips and tricks she reveals within the precious pages of her big red book, Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange with Sophie Gachet (Paris: Flammarion, April 2011).

The fashion faithful may recognize de la Fressange’s name from the pages of Elle magazine, where her drawings frequently appear. The former runway model (once the face of Chanel) has launched a clothing line and is currently the brand identity consultant for Roger Vivier.

Parisian Chic Book By Ines de FressangeIn Parisian Chic, she accesibly explores a range of topics from ‘Fashion Faux Pas at 50+’ to looking like a million Euros without suffering the ravages of bling. Moreover, de la Fressange delves into the broader subject of Parisian style via her advice on throwing dinner parties, and making your home your own cozy little château.

Perhaps most valuable to stylish travelers, both male and female, are the 70 pages of ‘Inès’ Paris’–her own personal recommendations of spots to check out while in La Ville-Lumière. What follows are some selected picks and favorite quotes from the book.

Parisian Chic Book By Ines de Fressange

Parisian Chic Book By Ines de Fressange

Parisian Chic Book By Ines de Fressange

Selections From ‘Inès’ Paris’

L’Ecume des Pages

174, boulevard Saint-Germain, 6e
Tel. +33 (0)1 45 48 54 48

Cooking Class: 
École Ritz-Escoffier
15, place Vendôme, 1er
Tel. +33 (01)1 43 16 16 30

Chez Paul
15, place Dauphine, 1er
Tel. +33 (0)8 99 69 05 81

Hotel Recamier

3, bis place Saint-Sulpice, 6e
Tel. +33 (0)1 43 26 04 89

Parisian Chic Book By Ines de Fressange

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