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Music and the food of love

Cultural digest: a round-up of news, and those creating ‘le buzz’ in art, music and film

1. Chanson through the lens of a chanteur

Popular French singer Etienne Daho, with his decades-spanning career in revivalist chanson, countless musical collaborations under his belt and a passion for chronicling the timeline of popular song, is the ultimate pop music insider. He also takes great photos.

All of which makes so his curation of a big retrospective of French music at the Philharmonie de Paris cultural institution the must-see exhibition of spring.

As well as enjoying Daho’s own photos of stars past and present and his bespoke playlists of his favourite music, visitors to the immersive Daho Likes It Pop! (Daho l’aime pop!) will enjoy tracing the French musical landscape, partially shaped by the Rennes-born singer himself.


2. Fashionistas go MAD for Dior

Such was the clamour by visitors to get a last glimpse of the Christian Dior, couturier du rêve exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs before it ended in January, that the building stayed open until 10pm each night to let everyone in.

The display of 300 dressed created by the designer from 1947 onwards was a massive hit: by the end of October 2017, with nearly 400,000 visitors in four months, the museum broke its attendance records for an exhibition. “For us it is an absolutely exceptional case,” said the museum director Olivier Gabet, co-curator with historian Florence Müller.

The museum has recently been officially renamed using the acronym MAD – a name sure to amuse Anglophone visitors.


3. Do you have choux to match?

A pastry chef who took Instagram by storm by posting shots of himself clutching exquisite pâtisserie while wearing shoes to match the sweet treat’s colour scheme, is up for a major social media award at the Shorty Awards in New York this April.

Such is Tal Spiegel’s expanding audience of cake and chaussures lovers (172,000 followers and counting) that shoemakers send him ever more flamboyant footwear in the hope that they might feature in a photo match-up.

“As a former graphic designer, I’ve always liked bright colours,” he told The Guardian.

Of his success, he said: “I think it’s down to the unexpected connection I make between fashion and food.”
You can browse his photos at


4. On the road with Rohmer
A novel about a search for long-lost first film by Eric Rohmer has won the prestigious Deux Magots literature prize.

Julie Wolkenstein’s Les vacances tells the story of Sophie and Paul, a retired university lecturer (specialist subject: the author the Countess of Ségur) and a young PhD student. Together they embark upon a search for witnesses and explanations as to what happened in 1952 when the film was shot and lost.

As well as being a comedy about the mores of the world of researchers, and an analysis of Rohmer’s place in cinema, the book switches its focus to the characters involved in the film’s shooting, as Sophie and Paul explore the castles and bocage of the Normandy countryside.

Prix des Deux Magots is one of France’s oldest literary prizes, and was first awarded in 1933. It was created as a less academic antidote to the Prix Goncourt and today comes with a €7,750 cheque.

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