Seine, italienne, art

An Italian in Paris

Musée Rodin
Seine, italienne, art
Jardin des Tuileries
Seine, italienne, art
Bibliothèque de l'Inha
Seine, italienne, art
Galerie italienne
Seine, italienne, art

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Galerie Perrotin

Seine, italienne, art
Jardin du Luxembourg
Seine, italienne, art
Musée des arts décoratifs
Seine, italienne, art
Musée des arts décoratifs
Seine, italienne, art
La chambre Claire
Seine, italienne, art

Puces de Saint-Ouen

Le Duc

Seine, italienne, art
Musée Gustave Moreau
Seine, italienne, art

Maison Simone de Beauvoir

Les deux magots

Maria Grazia Chiuri, creative director at Dior, shares her favorite places in Paris with her compatriot Maria Luisa Frisa.

Maria Grazia Chiuri divides her time between her native city of Rome and Paris, her adopted home since July 2016, when she became creative director at Dior. As a new resident and explorer of the city, she’s charted her own path, dotted with places of imagination, knowledge and work, which inevitably intertwine sometimes. So while she may allow herself to go with the flow of the city, as a sort of Dadaist flaneuse, she’s also mapped out some places that, as well as being her favorite haunts, reveal her way of working. The Rodin Museum, which she’d visited as a tourist, has taken on special significance as the place where she debuted her first Dior collection. Chiuri, one of the most intriguing figures in contemporary fashion, was the first woman to take on such a role at a top fashion house like Dior. It was doubtless her sensibility, her bold, feminine---and feminist---outlook that led her to such emblematic places for many women as Simone de Beauvoir’s home. Chiuri wants to encourage women to use fashion in a way that is both personal and aware. “We should all be feminists” was the message proclaimed loud and clear by Nigerian feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which Maria Grazia made her own, splashing it on a white t-shirt that made its way around the world. It’s said that designers live mostly in their heads. Maybe that’s why Chiuri immediately sought out libraries and bookstores, which help her with the research that is an integral part of her inspiration and planning for each collection.

Jardin des Tuileries

Chiuri’s urban vision, her own map of Paris, is more of a first impression, she explains to me, as it takes time to get to know a city, and it’s a process that never ends. In our discussion, she starts with a particular locationa garden, to be exact. The Tuileries Garden, which she often visited when she used to come to Paris in her previous jobs. After every fashion show, she’d go there to spend quality time with her kids and to clear her mind. And it was there that she decided to commission Maripol to take her first official portraits for Dior.

Bibliothèque de l’INHA

Chiuri has an extremely personal approach to research. Reading really drives her imagination. “For me, words are as inspiring as imagesif not more so. I like to fill the space between words and their meaning with my own interpretation. My vision comes out of what I read.” A love of reading and an interest in art can both be indulged at the Library of the National Institute for Art Historya majestic yet comforting building that represents for Chiuri, in effect, the architecture of knowledge. It’s a place where she could spend hours on end.

Galerie Italienne

“Learning how to look at art, comparing different artists, has been fundamental for me. Art helped me grow as a person and it’s a continual source of inspiration in my work,” Chiuri says as we enter the Galerie Italienne. She discovered it thanks to an exhibition of work by internationally renowned Italian artist Pietro Ruffo, which she collects and with whom she shares a creative kinship. “His work,” Chiuri explains, “manages to meld the poetic gesture with the urgency of his themes, as in his project on migration, which he often addresses.”

Galerie Perrotin and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac

Paris has a wealth of contemporary art galleries, with lots of interesting, high-quality  work on display. Chiuri’s list of favorites 
includes the Perrotin and Thaddaeus Ropac galleries. Both are extraordinary spaces. Emmanuel Perrotin’s gallery, in the heart of the Marais, is perfect for doing research, but also for staying attuned to new synergies between art and other disciplines, such as music and design. Thaddaeus Ropac’s gallery, also in the Marais, organizes exhibits that allow the art and the space to play off each other“something that creative directors must always keep in mind,” explains Chiuri, “especially as their work has to be presented in the best possible way, so that the message is strong and clear.” 

Jardin du Luxembourg

“I always try to make time to walk to work so I can go through the Luxembourg Garden, which I can actually see from the windows of my apartment. That way, I can enjoy its lush beauty throughout the different seasons. Then, when I discovered that it was Maria de’ Medici who had the Luxembourg Palace and adjoining gardens built, thinking about her childhood in Florence, I understood what was linking me to this place: its harmonious blend of styles, influences and passions for the French and Italian cultures.”

Musée des Arts Décoratifs

“For me, the Museum of Decorative Arts is a magical place for fashion,” explains Chiuri. “Here, I’ve always seen exhibits that have critically expanded and enriched my own understanding of fashion. As the creative director at Dior for the past year, I have found it so exciting that this museum has decided to put on a groundbreaking exhibitwith over 200 outfitsto mark Dior’s 70th anniversary. Not to mention that my own work is included in the show.” The museum thus serves as an entry point to the house of Dior through the objects (garments, documents, artwork) and the codes that have made it a worldwide icon. The exhibit reaffirms the relationship between the museum and the house that began with Monsieur Dior himself, an art lover who decided to display his collection in this museum. 

La Chambre Claire

“When I finish a collection, at the moment I see it before sending it off to the catwalk, I always think about who might photograph it, to recreate the imaginative vision that defined each piece. The publicity campaigns are what actually establish contact with the public and reveal my poetics. I like working with photographers with whom I have a relationship based on respect and understanding, and who give me a fresh perspective on my work. So for me, going into a photography bookstore like La Chambre Claire, in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, is like a research trip both to learn about artists and as a way of creating my own personal visual archive.” 

Les puces de Saint-Ouen

he flea market in Saint-Ouen is a museum of everyday life where past and present come together in the goods on display, meticulously arranged in orderly piles of stuff that create a fascinating landscape of objects. It’s also a legendary destination in Paris. It’s not hard to see why Chiuri likes to lose herself in a sort of Dadaist flanerie every time she’s here. Each object, from classic pieces to the oddest curiosity, takes on a new life through the memory of the person rediscovering it. 

Le Duc

“Knowing a place well also involves appreciating its cuisineI think this is especially important for Italians,” says Chiuri. “The restaurant Le Duc, a symbol of French Nouvelle Vague cuisine, is like a taste of home for me. It might sound paradoxical, but here, in the heart of the grand Boulevard Raspail, a return to simple dishes, a rejection of fancy bourgeois tastes, sparks in me an immediate connection to Italy, where it is traditional to celebrate basic ingredients.” 

Musée Gustave Moreau

On a recent Sunday spent visiting Paris museums, Chiuri discovered the museum dedicated to Gustave Moreau. She had a cursory knowledge of Moreau from school. Her interest in Surrealism led her to the museum of the artist whom Breton esteemed above all other pioneers in art. Chiuri was surely struck by the representation of women in this male artist’s imagination, defined by narratives from mythology and the idea of the femme fatale popular in the fin-de-siècle period. Far from her own perspective, in other words, but fascinating for its visionary, magical dimension.

Les Deux Magots

“I like to have my coffee watched over by the two exotic figures that the place is named after, where all of the 20th-century’s brightest minds used to hang out back when Paris became a beacon of culture and freedom.  Sitting on one of the straw bistro chairs there, I feel like I’m also a part of this city and its magical places.” 

Carnet d’adresses

Jardin des Tuileries

Bordé par la place de la Concorde et la rue de Rivoli.

Bibliothèque de l’Institut national d’histoire de l’art

58, rue Richelieu, 2e arr. Tél. +33 (0)1 47 03 76 29.

Galerie Italienne

15, rue du Louvre, 1er arr. Tél. +33 (0)9 84 43 87 34.

Galerie Thaddaeus

Ropac 7, rue Debelleyme, 3e arr. Tél. +33 (0)1 42 72 99 00.

Galerie Perrotin

76, rue de Turenne et 10, impasse Saint-Claude, 3e arr. Tél. +33 (0)1 42 16 79 79.

Jardin du Luxembourg

Bordé par les rues Auguste-Comte, Guynemer, de Vaugirard, de Médicis et le bd Saint-Michel, 6e arr. Tél. +33 (0)1 42 34 20 00.

Musée des Arts décoratifs

Christian Dior, couturier du rêve. Christian Dior, couturier du rêve.Exposition à l’occasion des 70 ans de la maison.Jusqu’au, rue de Rivoli, 1er arr. Tél. +33 (0)1 44 55 57 50.

La chambre claire

14, rue Saint-Sulpice, 6e arr. Tél. +33 (0)1 46 34 04 31.

Puces de Saint-Ouen

Porte de Clignancourt.

Le Duc

243, bd Raspail, 14e arr. Tél. + 33 (0)1 43 20 96 30.

Musée national Gustave Moreau

14, rue de La Rochefoucauld, 9e arr. Tél. +33 (0)1 48 74 38 50.

Les Deux Magots

6, place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, 6e arr. Tél. +33 (0)1 45 48 55 25.

Le Gymnase

208, bd Raspail, 14e arr.Tél. +33 (0)9 50 81 34 94.

Maison Simone de Beauvoir

11bis, rue Victor-Schœlcher, 14e arr. Ne se visite pas.

Address Book

Going There


AIR FRANCE has ights to 167 destinations from Paris- CDG and 6 daily ights to Amsterdam.

KLM has 6 daily ights to Paris-CDG from Amsterdam.

Arrival airports

— éroport Paris-CDG.
À 23 km au nord-est.
Tél. +33 (0)1 70 36 39 50.

— Aéroport Paris-Orly.
À 14 km au sud.
+33 (0) 892 56 39 50.


Aux aéroports.


Agence Invalides.
2, rue Esnault-Pelterie, esplanade des Invalides, 7e arr.

— Agence Maillot.
2, place de la Porte-Maillot, palais des Congrès, niveau 0, 17e arr.

Agence Opéra.
49, avenue de l’Opéra, 2e arr.

Agence Luxembourg.
À 14 km au sud.
+33 4, place Edmond-Rostand, 6e arr.


— Depuis la France :
Tél. 3654.

— Depuis l’étranger :
Tél. +33 (0)892 70 26 54.

Car rental

Hertz, à l’aéroport de Paris-CDG.
Tél. +33 (0)825 889 755.

Hertz, à l’aéroport de Paris-Orly
Tél. +33 (0)825 889 265.

Further reading

Paris Gallimard, coll. Cartoville.

Paris Gallimard, coll. GEOguide.

Paris Gallimard, coll. Encyclopédies du voyage.

Paris Lonely Planet.

Paris Phaidon, coll. Wallpaper City Guide.

Tip-Top Tips to Paris Mark Gaito, Tana éditions (in english).

© Parko Polo / Central Illustration Agency.  Map for illustration purposes only