A surreal Christmas present pop-up in Paris

The Hoxton takes inspiration from Marcel Duchamp

The pop-up will include sustainable Christmas tree design workshops, €25
The pop-up will include sustainable Christmas tree design workshops, €25

This August, The Hoxton opened its doors in a handsome hôtel particulier in the heart of Sentier, Paris’s atmospheric textile district. Originally designed for Etienne Rivié, adviser to Louis XV, the building was more recently a clothing factory, but then left empty for 10 years. Now, in its new incarnation as a hotel, it’s also carving out a niche as a hub for creative pop-ups, and there’s a special one arriving in time for Christmas – a light in the darkness for those searching for present inspiration.

Louise Bourgeois sleep mask, €29
Louise Bourgeois sleep mask, €29

“We’ve never been about just offering a bed for the night – we go beyond that, creating interesting themed events so guests are able to mingle alongside the locals and discover the true identity of the area,” says Sharan Pasricha, founder and CEO of Ennismore, the global hospitality brand that owns The Hoxton. “This includes our eclectic programme of monthly events, in collaboration with local artists, designers and influencers, and stimulating pop-ups.”

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The events take place throughout The Hoxton and below stairs in Les Voûtes (the vaults), where palimpsests of the past survive in a meeting and boutique space that nods to the hotel’s history.

The Hoxton hotel, in Paris’s atmospheric Sentier district
The Hoxton hotel, in Paris’s atmospheric Sentier district

For its first Christmas, The Hoxton is joining forces with designer Emily Marant, creator of Studio Marant, and Alice Gotheil of Flash Design Store. Inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s 1914 portable “Box-In-A-Suitcase”, the pop-up (December 7-24) centres around the concept of “Something in a Box…” and is an eclectic, often wonderfully eccentric collection.

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Starting small, inside Something in a Box… to Fly, you’ll find a Louise Bourgeois sleep mask (€29); more generously you’ll find a flacon of 1969’s Chinese Tobacco fragrance (€155 for 100ml EDP) inside Something in a Box… to Be Pretty; while at grand scale, Something in a Box… to Design your Home features a Duchamp-esque objet d’art: an antique car windshield (€2,300) by Marion Mailaender for Playground Editions.

More interactively, keen gardeners can book ahead to join a sustainable Christmas tree design workshop (€25; Saturday December 9 at 3pm and 4.30pm), while on December 10 from 10am until 8pm, film director Jeanne Frenkel is photographing portraits (€30) in black and white silver prints using a Kamra-E-Faoree (Afghan Box Camera).

All in all, a box of delight.

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