Olivier Rousteing’s perfect weekend in Paris

The French fashion designer was appointed creative director of Balmain in 2011 aged just 25, having previously designed ready-to-wear at Roberto Cavalli

Oliver Rousteing at Chez Castel in Paris
Oliver Rousteing at Chez Castel in Paris | Image: Lea Crespi

“On a perfect Saturday I’ll wake up at 7am and walk across the Place de la République in my hoodie. It is a really important place for me because it is all about freedom of expression – every week people come to speak out about issues. There are still flowers commemorating those who died in last year’s terrorist attacks. At the time I was in my studio near Avenue Montaigne, and when I came home you could really feel the sadness of the city.

I meet my trainer Karin at the Klay Club gym, where I run for 45 minutes, box for 90, then have a sauna and hammam. Afterwards I go back to my apartment. It is in a historic Haussmann building – very baroque, with a marble fireplace, big mirrors and old stained-glass windows. I’ll call up my friends and organise a brunch at Café Charlot, which is an interesting spot for seeing lots of different people. I usually order the paillard de poulet or oeufs brouillés and a salad.

Paris is amazing for exhibitions on fashion, art and photography. After brunch I’ll go to Le Grand Palais – I really enjoyed the Helmut Newton exhibition there a few years ago, and the beautiful Azzedine Alaïa retrospective at Palais Galliera. 

I can’t cook, so if I’m hosting a dinner I will get catering. On the menu will be cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets – you can’t beat junk food. But I also love caviar – for that I go to Caviar Kaspia in Madeleine for the signature potato with caviar and sour cream. The crowd here is great; you can spend the evening going from one table to another, talking to people you haven’t seen in a while.

Hôtel Costes is like my canteen – I use it for work appointments and I’m there for dinner almost every Saturday night. It’s always really busy but still has a feeling of intimacy, and I love being out on the terrace with my friends. If I’ve been in the studio, I’ll invite my team for a dinner of crispy duck with rice. I don’t do cocktails; I prefer a glass of chablis.

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Afterwards, we go out partying. There are different options: Chez Castel is a small club that is strangely nostalgic, with a strong French touch. A lot of fashion people go – stylists, designers, PRs. I often go with my friend Olivier Zahm, editor of Purple, a fashion magazine. When it’s midnight in Paris the fashion crowd is more amiable than at midday.  

On Sunday I love to spend the morning in bed. There is a great place for sushi called Matsuri that delivers and I always order the chirashi salmon. 

If I need something for the flat like a mirror or some glasses, I go to Clignancourt flea market, which is good for vintage fashion too. You can find very refined leather belts, gold chains and bracelets – I might buy something to wear or something for inspiration, like a fur coat. Then there is a great store on Rue Saint-Honoré called Dary’s where there’s really old jewellery – it’s good for presents. I also love Anouschka, which houses fashion archives, with iconic pieces by Alaïa, Chanel, YSL, Thierry Mugler and McQueen.

For a Sunday dinner by candlelight I like Belle Epoque on the Rue des Petits Champs – it’s cosy, almost like a French pub. You don’t want to go there during Fashion Week because you will spend all night saying hi to everybody. I’ll order a burger and a glass of wine. 

I go to bed at 11pm watching a US show like Criminal Minds. I never go to the cinema so I might also watch a movie, like the new Zoolander. That film is the story of my life.”

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