Last week Miu Miu unveiled a new kind of private club in Paris. Transforming a historic location into a contemporary salon of the imagination, themiumiu-club Paris brought a new sense of occasion to Paris Couture Week.
The one-night only event hosted by Miu Miu revived the ornate private residence of Hotel de la Paiva on the Champs-Elysees into clubrooms including a cinema, restaurant and show house for a presentation of its Croisiere Collection. Mixing histories, layers of cultural meaning and the Miu Miu’s underlying spirit of female empowerment, the-miumiu-club Paris attempted to deceive the senses in a merging of the new collection with new encounters.
Members were able to view, for the first time, the new Autumn/Winter 2016 campaign and video; sample cuisine by Margot Henderson; listen to a renowned string quartet, Dirty Pretty Strings, and DJ sets by Paul Simonon, Plastiscines, Kate Moss and Katie Grand; while watching a showcase of all eleven of the auteur series Miu Miu Women’s Tales and experience the Croisiere collection up close.
The building’s history is an ironic and colorful backdrop for a club celebrating the many facets of the Miu Miu woman. It was built in the mid-1800s, commissioned by the infamous courtesan Esther Lachmann (known as La Paiva) for her private residence. Legend has it La Paiva was once pushed out of a cab by a customer into the Champs-Elysees, and vowed she would one day build a house there.
The exquisite rooms of Hotel de la Paiva radiate with extraordinary details. It is famed for its painted ceiling of Day chasing Night away by Paul Baudry (the painter responsible for the ceilings in the Grand Foyer of the Opera Garnier) and its magnificent staircase, carved from Algerian yellow onyx. A Napoleon III style bathtub also in yellow onyx has taps set with precious stones. La Paiva is said to have taken baths of milk, lime-blossom, and even champagne in it.
La Paiva held some of the most tantalizing and decadent soirees of the age in the lavish mansion. Her circle included members of the literary, artistic, political and intellectual elite, including Gustave Flaubert and Emile Zola. Since 1904, Hotel de la Paiva has been home to the Travellers Club, a gentlemen’s club (10 years ago women began to be admitted), partial to travel and backgammon.
the-miumiu-club Paris was an evolution of the exclusive Miu Miu Clubs held in London, Shanghai, LA, and Macau. the-miumiu-london, held for three days at the Cafe Royal in 2012, was a new kind of members club, celebrating the many facets of the Miu Miu woman. In 2011 Miu Miu took over the iconic Park Hyatt Hotel in Shanghai with a 1940s-themed multi-sensory experience. That same year Miu Miu flew to LA, where a film noir cinema club was created for the premiere of Muta – the second of the Miu Miu Women’s Tales. Lancaster House, an extraordinary private palace in London, was transformed into a temporary Miu Miu dining club in 2010. At Miu Miu’s club on the Peninsula of Macau in 2008, guests experienced a fashion show, dinner and Crazy Horse cabaret performance.
We wonder where it will go next!