Pierre Hardy talks personal taste: Part Two

The French designer concludes his list of likes with the elegance of La Nouvelle Vague, cake and caviar in Le Marais, and BLTs and Bloody Marys in the West Village

Pierre Hardy photographed at home in Paris
Pierre Hardy photographed at home in Paris | Image: Stephanie Jayet

My style icon is the actor Jean-Pierre Léaud. I love the 1950s and 1960s French elegance of La Nouvelle Vague; everyone was so free and effortless in the way they dressed. That elegance has almost disappeared – today everyone takes such care to look good, but in the end you only see the effort.

Actors Jean-Pierre Léaud and Marie-France Pisier at La Nouvelle Vague trial, Paris
Actors Jean-Pierre Léaud and Marie-France Pisier at La Nouvelle Vague trial, Paris | Image: Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The best gift I’ve given recently was a photograph by Duane Michals, to my partner for his birthday. It’s a black and white close-up of a male torso, and although you don’t see anything below the waist it’s very erotic. www.faheykleingallery.com.

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And the best one I’ve received was my engagement ring from De Vera in New York, which I wear as my wedding ring because I like it so much. It’s quite big and looks like shiny silver pearls mounted on a circle of matte gold. 1 Crosby Street, New York, NY 10013 (+1212-625 0838; www.deveraobjects.com).

Pierre Hardy’s engagement ring from De Vera, New York
Pierre Hardy’s engagement ring from De Vera, New York | Image: Stephanie Jayet

The last meal that truly impressed me was at Le Dauphin in Paris, partly because of the white-marble architecture and mirrors; I love its modern clean lines. It serves very sophisticated tapas and you can pick dishes in whatever order you like, starting with pudding if that’s what you fancy. It’s exactly the way I like to eat because, for me, sitting at a table for three hours and following a menu is torture. 131 Avenue Parmentier, 75011 Paris (+331-5528 7888; www.restaurantledauphin.net).

View of a hill town in Corsica
View of a hill town in Corsica | Image: Getty Images/Cultura RM

An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Corsica. The island is part of my story and who I am – I spent summers there as a child and have family there – which makes it very special.

Etudes, 14 Rue Debelleyme, Paris
Etudes, 14 Rue Debelleyme, Paris

If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose my neck of the woods, Le Marais in Paris. I love the clothes shops like The Broken Arm, which is edgy, and a new one called Etudes that sells fantastic menswear. There are great food shops too, like Des Saumons et des Ailes, which has wonderful caviar, and Jacques Genin, which makes delicious chocolate and cakes; the charlotte russe at Christmas is exceptional. The Broken Arm, 12 Rue Perrée (+331-4461 5360; www.the-broken-arm.com). Des Saumons et des Ailes, 41 Rue Charlot (+331-4278 3288). Etudes Studio Paris, 14 Rue Debelleyme (+331-4996 5662; www.etudes-studio.com). Jacques Genin, 133 Rue de Turenne (+331-4577 2901; www.jacquesgenin.fr).

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An indulgence I would never forgo is travel. My work is not necessarily inspired by trips or exoticism, but when I travel I have the time to think. It’s something quite close to meditation for me.  

The person I rely on for wellbeing is my osteopath Olivier Jacq. He looks after a lot of dancers and I used to dance so know how to use my body – but I used to torture it too. Olivier explains what he is doing and how it will work, which I find fascinating. 48 Rue de Rivoli, 75004 Paris (+339-5004 0110; www.olivierjacq.com).

If I didn’t live in Paris, the city I would live in is New York. I’d have an apartment in the West Village, which is where my partner used to live and where my shop is, so I know it well. I’d eat at Il Cantinori, a genuine Italian restaurant with real Italian staff and patroni, and have BLTs, nearly always with a Bloody Mary, at Café Cluny near my shop. I’d visit Paula Rubenstein, an antiques shop that sells American objets from the early-18th century to today; it’s like a history of the United States. Café Cluny, 284 West 12th Street (+1212-255 6900; www.cafecluny.com). Il Cantinori, 32 East 10th Street (+1212-673 6044; www.ilcantinori.com).Paula Rubenstein, 21 Bond Street, New York, NY 10012 (+1212-966 8954).

If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a rich heir travelling through Italy like people did in the 18th century. I would never get bored – boredom is a feeling I just don’t know.

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