Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Glimpse at the Marché aux Puces

Nestled in the heart of one of northern Paris' least-savory neighborhoods, Clignancourt, in the 18th arrondissement-- known mainly for its seedy, dilapidated storefronts and relentless, Canal Street-esque vendors hawking fake watches and chintzy Eiffel tower keychains (Clignancourt is also, incidentally, the home of the least popular of La Sorbonne's many campuses)-- is the otherworldly oasis of the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen; a world-renowned flea market which offers everything from antique furniture to vintage clothing to 19th-century doll parts. In the Vernaison section, one can find a pair of 1950's Louboutin pumps, a crystal perfume decanter, a lamp made from an old horse trough, realistic baby-doll eyes complete with lashes and blinking lids (uncanny, to say the least), ancient yards of yellowing, painstakingly hand-crafted lace, gilt-framed Baroque mirrors, old postcards written in sprawling manuscript, record players in all shapes and sizes, and even miniscule sex-doll keychains (I purchased one for a friend back home, of course). A born-and-raised Parisienne and good friend of mine, Kelly Ajuelos Hansen, took me to the Marché aux Puces in May, and I must say it beats out the Melrose Trading Post and the PCC by a landslide. Below are a few photographs I took at the Marché... just a small idea of the kind of things you can find there:

Kelly, modeling the aforementioned baby-doll eyes

A vendor's dog. French bulldog, naturally.

a hanging light fixture

antique chairs

quite a unique place to hang your hat...

The Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen occurs every Saturday to Monday from 9am-6pm on Rue des Rosiers, 75018 Paris (Métro: Porte de Clignancourt).

Midnight City

While we're on the subject of French dream-pop bands (I promise I'll stop posting about French things so much... maybe)... The gorgeous first track from M83's much-anticipated new album,
Hurry Up, We're Dreaming (the follow up to 2008's Saturdays = Youth), produced by Beck and Nine Inch Nails bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen and slated for release on October 18, 2011. I personally am counting down the days...

Plus a weird Star Wars-ish monster thing for the album art!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Taste of Open Space & Stars

Just a taste from the shoot I did of the amazing French dream-pop band Open Space & Stars this past May at MAD Agency (a French artists' collective founded by Paul Armand-Delille, Hugues Armand-Delille and Anatole Maggiar) headquarters just outside of Paris... stay tuned for the full article and interview, which will appear in Autre Quarterly, the print version of Pas Un Autre, later this month!

OSS' debut album, Pop Prophecy, came out in December and is available on iTunes. Take a listen here.

Paul Armand-Delille and Nina Lili J of Open Space & Stars on the rooftop of La SIRA in Asnières

Anatole Maggiar, president and co-founder of MAD Agency

skateboarding is the best way to get around at La SIRA...

look out for Nina's solo album, currently in the works

Nina and Anatole

Paul and Nina

MAD Agency

La SIRA- inspired artwork

Paul and Nina

Open Space & Stars

For a taste of the beginning stages of Nina's solo project, check out her original video and cover of 10cc's "I'm Not In Love":

...and one of the most unique takes on Timbaland/OneRepublic's "Apologize" I've ever seen:

Can't wait to see what each and every one of these fantastic, creative spirits have planned for the future!

All images shot by Annabel Graham on location in Asnières-sur-Seine, France.