Newly opened in Paris’ trendy 9th arrondissement, Soho House Paris takes inspiration from Jean Cocteau and the City of Lights creative aspirations.
Past the door, a large portrait of Jean Cocteau greets you. What was once the home of the French poet, artist and visionary filmmaker reopened its doors as Soho House Paris, the group’s 31st address. Long overdue, the launch of the well-known members-only club brings creativity to quiet rue La Bruyère, South of Pigalle, complete with members’ spaces to eat and drink, a gym, courtyard garden and pool terrace, a cabaret room and 36 bedrooms.
Soho House has always been a creative hang-out and the Parisian edition is no exception: a stroll back in history, the property is inspired by Cocteau’s mythical villa Santo Sospir on the Côte d’Azur. In the 1950s, Cocteau painted (or in his own words “tattooed” as he felt he was painting on the skin of the house, rather than decorating its walls) the house walls with amazing frescoes, most of them inspired by Greek Mythology. An endless source of inspiration for a new generation of artists and designers, the remarkable villa on Cap Ferrat is in Cocteau’s image. “Always avant garde, always looking at new ideas and ways of expressing himself,” explains Cocteau specialist, Annie Guédras.
Soho House Paris feels the same and there is simply no equivalent in the City of Lights for the creative minds. Inside the original 19th Century building complete with a 1940s wing, Soho House Paris marries traditional French design with a more contemporary Art Deco twist, using a mix of vintage furniture and bespoke pieces. Influenced by well-known French designers, the interiors celebrate curved lines and painted murals, rattan and bamboo touches. Each corner and room feels different, as if staged to welcome all kinds of creative profiles: fashion designers like art directors, photographers like artists.
During the FIAC art fair, Soho House Paris was buzzing with artists, gallerist, young creatives, and their muse! Not to mention the in-house cultural program of creative talks, performances and events. Some came to see the newly opened club, others to admire the impressive collection of artworks: curated by Head of Collections Kate Bryan, it features 150 paintings.
“Paris is known for its historic painting collections: the Louvre alone holds thousands of canvasses. The House collection responds to this history by showcasing artists working in this medium today, from Jules de Balincourt and Oscar Murillo to Donna Huanca and Laure Provoust”, Bryan explains.
Seating at Soho House Paris (c) Alexandre Tabaste
As a result, large commissioned paintings hung in panels give the impression they have always been there. Soho House Paris also welcomes has the first stained glass commission in the global collection, with six glass paintings specially created by Paris-based artists Natsuko Uchino, Mel O’Callaghan and Emmanuel Van Der Meulen and original pieces in the bedrooms by Antoine Langenieux-Villard, Sara J Beazley and Elisabeth Lecourt.
Jean Cocteau would have approved!