hether described as the City of Lights, the City of Love or the Capital of Fashion, Paris is unequivocally synonymous with “chic.” The word itself, of course, comes from the French. In 1846, Charles Baudelaire called out the new Parisian slang for being a “horrendous and strange word, recently coined, that I don’t even know how to spell.” However, barely a decade later, Gustave Flaubert popularized the word “chicard” in his debut novel, Madame Bovary, to describe a person or item that is stylish. With a new cache of incredible Parisian images from Peter Fetterman Gallery, our specialists were inspired to unite their favorite French artworks and objects currently for sale in our online store.
Capturing Fashion in Movement
American-born photographer and filmmaker William Klein made his name shooting for Vogue in the ’60s, introducing an element of spontaneity unusual for fashion photography of the era, which relied heavily on studio environments. Additional works available for sale by Klein include the image of Serge Gainsbourg used for his Love on the Beat album cover (1984).
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The Chanel Classic Flap Bag
Karl Lagerfeld’s Classic Flap Bag debuted in 1983, which derived from Coco’s 2.55 Flap Bag, designed in 1955. With this iconic reinterpretation came two new features — a leather woven chain and Double C turn-lock closure. Additionally, the Classic Flap comes with an endless range of options, including quilting (the iconic classic vs. chevron), color, materials, sizes, flaps (single vs. double) and hardware combinations. Recognized and highly sought after for its universal wearability and simplicity, Lagerfeld’s inaugural Classic Flap Bag was a breakout success, and is still highly coveted today. While the bag had a few changes, it nods to Chanel’s history and the design remains the same — including the small interior zip pocket that is rumored to be where Coco kept her love letters from her late boyfriend Boy Capel.
One Century of French Romance
As hard as it might be to convey France’s contribution to literature, this 1902 limited edition of its most well-known writers is a good place to start. From Balzac, to Victor Hugo, to Flaubert, to Émile Zola, the collection has a total of 20 books — all with watercolor drawings by Uzanne, in case you need more convincing.
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When Dior Met Nike
This Nike and Dior collaboration mixes all the right ingredients: haute French fashion with American sportswear fascination. Kim Jones, the artistic director of Dior Men, said, “I love mixing together different worlds, different ideas — Jordan Brand and Dior are both emblematic of absolute excellence in their fields.” Limited to only 8,500 pairs of Lows and 4,700 pairs of Highs, both styles feature the Dior gray color palette, an homage to one of Christian Dior’s most-loved hues.
To Love and To Hold: The Birkin
In 1984, one of the most covetable objects was born in the sky. On a flight from London to Paris, British actress Jane Birkin sat down next to Jean-Louis Dumas, who at the time was Executive Chairman of Hermès. Jane lamented to Monsieur Dumas that she couldn’t find the right bag to suit her needs as a young mother. Monsieur Dumas, who had created many items for the iconic house, quickly drew up a spacious, rectangular holdall with saddle stitching — a nod to the house’s equestrian heritage. The Birkin has become one of the most sought-after items in the 21st century, and one that is almost impossible to get. Since its original inception, it has come in an array of limited editions, leathers and colors; however, the distinguished, classic style and shape have always remained the same.
A Work of Art in Silk
The Hermès scarf (or Carré, as they are often referred to) is said to have been inspired by the shawls worn by Napoleon’s soldiers, first designed by Robert Dumas from a woodblock. Unlike other scarves, the Hermès scarf is made from imported Chinese silk, which is extremely strong, and it became an instant hit. Today, many artists are given the chance to design a specific motif, bringing together the artist’s style incorporated with Hermès’ heritage.
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First Place: Silver
Christofle, the French maison of haute orfèvrerie, joined forces with artist Junichi Hakose, and the result is an exquisite urushi piece. The brand’s iconic MOOD flatware case, which is shaped as an egg, takes a new dimension in the hands of the renowned maki-e artist. Each line was individually drawn with a single unbroken movement of the brush and fingers, creating art with a blend of patience and resilience.
The French Tank
Cartier’s tank watch was created in 1917, inspired by the new Renault tanks which were used on the Western Front; its first prototype was gifted to General John Pershing of the American Expeditionary Force. After it entered full production, different versions and styles were released, gaining fans and collectors in its wake — most notably, Yves Saint Laurent and Jackie Kennedy. The Tank Francaise Cadran Reference 2403 (2010) renders a streamlined version: both the Roman numeral dial and the chemin de fer chapter ring are omitted to give full spotlight to the brancard in white gold and diamond.