Issue number 27. An ordinary figure. But in fact it heralds the Acharnœur’s first birthday! So, first things first: THANK YOU! Thanks to you our precious readers, for reading and following us. Without you, there would be no adventure. And if you feel like giving us a gift, keep spreading the word! The adventure wouldn’t happen either without our amazing team. Perrine, Odile, Maurice, Franck, Tresi, Chloé, Bruno, Tibo, Stéphanie, Elido, Marie, Bianca, Mégane, thank you.  




    Toute l'équipe a souhaité que Virginie Achard, fondatrice et rédactrice en chef de l'Acharnœur, souffle la bougie pour fêter ce premier anniversaire. Un moment qu'il fallait partager avec vous...

  • 27- Respect

    Photo © Jean Barak


Some know her well as a dancer. Some know her well but in a bad way because of her time at the Ballet National de Marseille. Others merely know her as a jury member on the French version of “Dance with the Stars”… Some people can’t stand her. We love her. Because Marie-Claude Pietragalla is one of those miracles that gives us art.

Whether she is on stage or directing a choreography, Marie-Claude Pietragalla manages to make a metamorphosis occur in her body. It seems to be disconnected from time, often in slow motion. It displays movements that go to the very edge of each cell, each muscle, each vertebra. Sometimes with an unimaginable elasticity, sometimes with great strength and precision, it seems unbelievably light. It must be said, Pietragalla reinvents the rules of gravity and we are carried off on the same journey. 

She takes inspiration from the nouvelle danse, a movement initiated in the seventies. But Pietragalla pushed it so that each dancer moves with their gut. This is Pietragalla’s real signature. What she wants to show and give is human depth. She makes every dancer on the stage strips down, searching inside for what they want to say. Indeed, at times this emotion is more important to her than perfect technique. And the advice she gives on the show on TF1 is constant proof of this. “Be yourself” she seems to repeat over and over… 

So obviously, with this philosophy, shivers down the spine are inevitable. Completely inevitable. Even when the tableaux she proposes can appear closed off, it is of no importance, we savour them nonetheless. And to get to where she is, Marie-Claude Pietragalla fought long and hard. While she was spotted quite early by Carolyn Carlson, one of the initiators of French nouvelle danse, Marie-Claude Pietragalla has also come up against the greats like Rudolf Nureyev and Roland Petit, and faced up to her critics when she was at Marseille. But there you go. Today, she shares her passion, her language. Pietra galla could be translated as “a stone that rises to the surface” in Italian. A name predestined to defy the laws of physics with such grace?

Marie Veyrier

• Watch the trailer for her new show "Mr et Mme Rêve"
• Take a journey into her world with an extract from "La Tentation d'Eve"


  • 27- Beurk

    Photo © Odile Berthemy


Irritated by the image of the typical Frenchman with a beret on his head and a baguette under his arm that foreigners seem to have of us? Well, don’t worry, it won’t last. As we are working hard to “ruin” our gastronomical pride and joy. 

The affair was in all the papers this summer. The Wall Street Journal lit the fuse. We are losing our touch when it comes to bread-making. And the fault lies with customers who increasingly want their bread “not too baked”. The poor bakers are obliged to interrupt their baking to satisfy us, thus sacrificing the crunchiness of the crust and the lightness of the dough, the trademarks of our culinary symbol. 

Bad clients! Hold out your hands for punishment. Not to mention the so-called baguette “de tradition” that demands certain other ingredients than a crunchy bake and that now accounts for a quarter of all bread bought! Above all, let’s highlight our own sadness. As in tandem with this, the French are complaining in increasing numbers that they are having trouble finding “a good bakery”. Not only one that can make a good baguette but one that can make… a good croissant! That’s all. We should be ashamed of what we find behind the glass at times: as greasy as it is tasteless, often inedible.

Bakeries that have good bread and good pastries are not on every street corner. One must choose. At this rate we will have to have a different address for each speciality: one for the baguette, another for the croissant, another for the brioche… An exaggeration? Even the last bread World Cup that took place at the end of September is a shocking admission of our failings. While France did win first prize, it was for “sandwiches” and “artistic pieces”.  As for the first two categories, “Breads of the world” and “Pastries”, France disappointed the jury and got the same marks as the lowest placed country overall. Nothing to write home about. 

Bianca Alberti




We are not here to give lessons or correct homework. But it is important to recognise that some mistakes or approximations are at times so blatant that they are harsh on the eyes or ears. On the radio, for example, or in the press.

On France Info this summer, the music journalist Bertrand Dicale told the story behind an old song or hit record every day. When he evoked the famous “Oh les filles!” by Au Bonheur des dames, that was released early in 1970, and adaptation of “Sugaree” de Rusty York, he reminded listeners that the American track was first covered in French by the Pingouins in the early sixties. Wrong, the Chaussettes Noires got there before them with the hit “Chérie oh chérie”. As if that weren’t bad enough, Dicale pointed out that on the same record by “Au bonheur des dames” there was also a cover version of the famous “Twist à Saint-Tropez” by the… Chaussettes Noires when in fact it was by the Chats Sauvages. That makes for a lot of mistakes in such a short time and it is intolerable even though it seems anecdotal. Especially coming from a music expert like Dicale.

A few weeks later in Le Parisien, on the subject of the omnipresence of sex, in the new literary season (see L’Acharnoeur n°1 from last year), blockbuster films, exhibitions, etc. the in-house literary critic took as an example of this change, a book published by Joëlle Losfeld, daughter of Éric Losfeld who, straight after the war freed up erotic literature from its restrictive legal status. Not a very convincing choice. By searching a little more, certain sexy pages from Flammarion or Lattès would have been less banal and annoying for readers in the know.

The problem is in fact that it casts doubt on everything one reads or hears afterwards.
But just for that moment, luckily…

Maurice Achard


A book, a film, a piece of music... a few years, decades or centuries later. When culture never stops blooming.
  • 27- Floraison

    Photo © Odile Berthemy


One ballad that shivers in Autumn. A simple song that is hummed and abandoned with a deep breath, on a palette of tender emotion. Octobre, written in 1994, is a discreet gem in Francis Cabrel’s repertoire, his favourite song, he confides. We approve and applaud his choice. 

From the opening chords, scratched out on a dry guitar, the rhythm is level, quietly balanced. «Le vent fera craquer les branches […] Y aura des feuilles partout» (The wind is making the branches creak […] there will be leaves everywhere). We are transported by this windy melody that we leaf through gaily. No nostalgia, just a touch of melancholy in the landscape: «Sur les tables en fer blanc/ Quelques vases vides et qui traînent» (On the white iron tables, a few empty vases remain). There are always these streams of mist, like scarves that discreetly veil the lovers, as the change in season has not extinguished the passion. On the contrary, it burns up the décor in a blast of colour. «On ira tout en haut des collines/ Regarder tout ce qu’octobre illumine». (We’ll go to the top of the hill/ Look at all October lights up). A magnificent panoramic view of the distant vales. «Il y aura quelques hommes qui se souviennent/ Et des nuages pris aux antennes» (There will be men who will remember/ And clouds caught on the antennae).

Octobre does not incite revolution but resistance, «Pour ne pas qu’octobre nous prenne» (So October doesn’t take us)! The romance of a happy love, hidden under a sun that has become scarce «Le soleil sortira à peine/ Nos corps se cacheront sous des bouts de laine» (The sun will hardly come out/ Our bodies will hide under bits of wool). This song will retain its mystery: «Octobre restera peut-être» (October might stay)… 

For Francis Cabrel, October remains the symbol of altruism: in October 1994, he set up «les Rencontres d’Astaffort» that organises courses for young songwriters, composers and singers, in the commune where he was born and still lives.
And for us, with this song, October remains the luminous burst that keeps our hearts high before the chill of winter sets in.

Bruno Lancelot

• Listen to "Octobre" from Francis Cabrel




Between the real and the imaginary, Sandrine Estrade Boulet revisits monuments, footpaths and landscapes, always with an astonishing imagination… A way of looking at our surroundings in a totally different manner! Extracts from a series as weird as it is irresistible.

Agent : guillaume@lebookmaker.com
To discover others photos or buy the book : sandrine-estrade-boulet.com

  • 27- Foodoir

    Photo&recette © ideesdeparents.com


Generally it is not a tart. Neither is it truly a cake. The birthday cake is usually chocolate. You would think that chocolate is a luxury, a gourmet, special ingredient.
It must be said that tarts are not very practical for candles and it is a bit too “Sunday dessert”, too “family-ish”, while a chocolate fondant is a call for guests. As for the oblong madeira-style cake that is there to be sliced, it is a little basic, a touch filling also. It lacks refinement, even with the addition of exotic dried fruit. No, a birthday cake must be as precious as a gift. It crystallises the good wishes of each person as it is shared. But above all, it must be a surprise. So some deliciously “housewife-like” mothers – the Bree Van de Camp type – take the opportunity to demonstrate their supermother skills. From the princess-castle cake to the pirate-ship cake, to the astounding pudding, at times funnier than it is tasty*.

The essential is the decoration, according to an Anglo-Saxon custom that is now quite common, the basis of which is icing. Of course, nothing seems easier than icing a cake. All you have to do is energetically beat icing sugar with egg white and dilute it with a little lemon juice. Otherwise, a chocolate covering is also optional. However, we are not all equally gifted in the use of icing bags (for the less handy, there are tubes of butter cream available in all the artificial colours possible…). It is even more intricate to create sugar or marzipan flowers or hearts, or even edible characters…

Whatever the cake, a simple “Joyeux anniversaire” or “Happy Birthday”, or even better, an affectionate or personalised dedication is enough to bring tears to the eyes by candle light before blowing them out. 


* Don’t miss the movie “Historias minimas” where the football-shaped cake becomes a sort of greenish tortoise…



They come one after the other, practically, if you change channels. 
What they have in common? A presenting problem, so a viewing numbers problem.

The former is a new show on France 2, at 18:20, entitled «Jusqu'ici tout va bien» presented by Sophia Aram. Popular with the public, the comedian was given the reins of a daily talk- show at the start of September. But as early as the second night, a fair share of viewers had wandered off elsewhere: they hadn’t found the girl they were looking for as she was suddenly held back by her new job of handing out roles, getting others to talk. But, you never know, her opening monologues have started to resemble her again over the past few days…

The second is an old show “Le grand journal” on Canal+, at 19:10, now presented by Antoine de Caunes. Philippe Gildas’ unforgettable partner in crime in “Nulle part ailleurs”, this small-screen mover and shaker was given the reins of this reworked version. But, yet again on the second night, many viewers deserted him: they didn’t find the guy they were expecting, often constrained, contained, in his dark arbiter’s suit. Having said that, he seems to have recently changed tailors… However, de Caunes has many programmes under his belt, “Chorus”, “Rapido”, but these were his own music shows. And when he presents the Césars, it’s more of a one-man-show.

A drop in viewing figures = less advertising and the rumours predicted the worst for their ex-favourites. It is true that the “professional professionals” have taught us to accept ruthlessness as a given, on public and private channels, regardless of the casting mistake. They may have the elegance to let their “fallen heroes” enough time to get things under control. 
Even though, time is money.



To access more informations about the one-off
or limited edition items, click on the different windows!


Cyrto is extremely shy and prefers the shadows to the light. She is an illustrator and graphic artist and is spending more and more time on her true calling: creating fantastic worlds from her own emotion, impulse and imagination. She invents but does not reinvent. She follows no trend or influence but instead takes all her inspiration from her inner self. Her uniquely artistic approach will soon be visible through her writing and directing.




The whole idea comes from the glove as second skin. Cyrto creates indelible designs on gloves evoking ramifications, sketches… connections. Each piece is unique and comes only from her imagination. There are no rules, no hierarchy, the cells form every instant and grow together through paths and encounters. Her lines tell of a fantastic world that is almost invisible to the naked eye. Between tattoo art and a pseudo-botanic vision, the lines of the hand take on a new meaning.


Gloves made to order. 


The approach is entirely artistic. The final piece is handed over in exchange for an envelope in which the client « gives » the amount they wish.


The Acharnœur will act as intermediary but takes no commission. For more information: avenue@acharnoeur.com

Illustration from Cyrto Art.


- Light-coloured gloves supplied by the client
- Unique drawings done in indelible ink 
- Time required: two weeks
- Price of piece fixed by the client
- Delivery costs extra (6€ minimum for France)

Lord SM - 180€

Lord SM was set up in 2009, and making luxury from vintage is something they know. It all began with the designer reworking morning suits to make them more « Rock Couture ». Slowly but surely she let her inspiration develop with scarves, bags, leather jackets, tunics, dresses… The terms « Union Jack » or « Mini Jack » are used for the scarves only she knows the secret to. Her « Ring of Fire » scarves are the stuff dreams are made of and we have a total crush on her fringed bags. Her pieces already have a cult following and her Spring/Summer 2013 collection was presented at Tranoï. The world is Lord SM’s oyster.



A Mini-Jack in vintage fabric and noble materials. Silk, cotton voile, silk velvet and leather all blended in a unique patchwork. The cut is the result of hours of work, stitching and imagination, which makes it adaptable to all shapes. The model is unisex and universal. 100% made in Paris, 100% Lord SM. New pieces available in the same shades.


One-off piece. Price: 180 € taxes inclued

Mini-Jack unisexe Lord SM.


- Silk, cotton voile, silk velvet, leather, cotton patchwork…
- 60x60 cm
- Folded in a triangle

Aline Lang - 80€

Aline Lang is a photographer and graphic artist who one day, for fun, drew a bracelet watch like a piece of film. A designer at Cartier, Omega, liked it and oriented her into watch face design. Her first watch was for the bicentenary of the French revolution. Since then she has designed over forty watches, including one for the Bibliothèque nationale. Her rare and unusual creations are born from her inspiration and are produced as limited editions.




The Gallops watch. An homage to chronophotography (the decomposition of a movement by a succession of photographs) and to Muybridge’s work that in 1878, proved that the four legs of a horse leave the ground at the same time when the horse gallops. This watch was first made by a big luxury house before being edited by the Musée d’Orsay. Its leather bracelet and particularly flat face makes this version timeless.


Limited edition. 10 pieces available.
Price: 80 €.

Gallops Watch


- Case in chromed brass
- Black leather bracelet 
- Quartz movement
- Made in France, Alsace.

Uni&Vintage -198€

Behind Uni&Vintage is the eye and imagination of one Christine Ekodo-Delaunay. So, what is her USP? She cuts up vintage clothes, scarves and fabrics, puts them together if needed with a specially dyed satin to help the fabrics blend and makes an entirely new piece. Skirts, shirts, trousers, tunics: the Uni&Vintage line proposes exclusive cuts that fall differently according to colours and prints. As a result, each design is unique and numbered as part of a broader collection.



A vintage Lanvin headscarf, satin dyed in verdigris, a « kimono » cut, together form the skirt specially made for l’Acharnœur. The multitude of colours blend delicately as the bands superimpose with modernity. The inner belt is adaptable so the skirt falls perfectly on everyone regardless of size. The outer belt dresses the entire waist for an ultra-refined effect. This piece is number 1045 of the Uni&Vintage brand.


One-off piece. Price: 298€ taxes inclued

Uni&Vintage silk and satin skirt. Piece number 1045.


- Front and outer belt: vintage Lanvin headscarf 100 % silk 
- Back and inner bands: 66% satin and 33% cotton 
- Kimono belt
- Size 2

Let It Be - 63€

Created by two jewellery fans (including the ex-founder of Mercerie Moderne), Let It Be is a Parisian brand that is still quite low key. The charm lies in a collection of cheeky, sometimes ecumenical pieces but are not worn just as symbols. On the contrary: Let It Be is aimed at the liberated men or women who have decided to be themselves, instead of defining herself relative to others… Who wear Let It Be lay claim to nothing, except beauty!




This bracelet is a key piece in the collection. It is made from soft leather and white metal, it is both chic and gothic, ultra-precious and rock and roll. The clasp dresses the wrist with a refinement and originality that attracts all women, regardless of their age or style. A stand-out piece sold exclusively on l’Acharnœur and also available without the skull.


Price: 63€ with skull.
58€ without skull.

Without skull item or with a bow also avalaible.


- Leather bracelet
- Bracelet chain in plate silver
- Skull clasp in stainless Zamac 
- Sizes available: 32cm, 34 or 36cm (made-to-measure on request)

Gabriella de Galzain - 125€

She used to work under the name «Frénétik». Today Gabriella de Galzain is coming out of hiding and is launching her eponymous brand. She makes baroque, romantic, rock n’ roll jewellery that expresses a bohemian spirit of elegance and freedom, paying homage to the most beautiful icons. Her undeniable talent can be seen in brooches, necklaces, earrings, cuff-links… She counts many stars among her greatest fans and some of her pieces tell the most beautiful stories. 




We requested an homage to the Eiffel Tower. Only for l'Acharnœur, Gabriella de Galzain came up with this timeless yet contemporary brooch. The blend of off-whites means it can be worn at all times. Pearls, chains, crystals, ceramic flowers… The codes of elegance and femininity with an essential touch of impertinence. All the audacity of the “Grand Dame” herself.

Item made to order. 
Special price: 125€ taxes inclued

«La Parisienne» brooch


- Resin beading and icons
- Resin flowers, glass cabochon, crystal Swarovski rhinestones
- Base in silver-plated copper
- Silver-plated brass chains
- Icon high : 10cm
- Total high (with chains) : 24 cm 



Finally you won’t have to pick up the leaves! Finally a way to avoid sweeping up in front of your door! It’s a wonderful life. 

12.90€ Autumn leaf door-stop. On sale at deco et saveurs


Métro Cardinal Lemoine or Jussieu
Line 10 ou 7

  • 27- Station

So you can’t channel Bree Van der Kamp to make an amazing cake (see Foodoir)? Head for Sugarplum Cake Shop. Opened in 2010 this shop is a flavour-filled blend of tradition and creativity. As a base, the famous American-style round or square sponge cakes that can be stacked. Then add the most original, elegant or crazy decoration ideas… They are literally astonishing! Each cake is a made-to-measure marvel, with all natural ingredients, guaranteed without industrial preparation or artificial flavours. An extra little luxury that is far from insignificant. It’s simple, Sugarplum make the Frenchest of American cakes. Applause!

Sugarplum Cake Shop
68 rue du Cardinal Lemoine, 75005 Paris

  • 27- Quotibien 2

    December in 2011. First days in l'Acharnœur's creation.


The Acharnœur has been online for a year now… A whole year of sharing our observations, our crushes, our annoyances, our discoveries with you… A challenge with each issue. Chosen moments.

First, let’s talk about the editorial meeting where we outline the contents. The young and the old gather around the table. From twenty to sixty, diversity is not an issue! But then again… we reflect our readership perfectly. Because you are, for the most part, aged between 24 and 65. What a gap! We are indeed proud of our range! In a little more detail, you are, according to certain statistics, 59.7% women and 37.5% men. We know, that doesn’t add up to 100% and some of you don’t seem to be complete. You are inimitable. Which doesn’t mean we haven’t copied you in the gender stakes: the team is well mixed and totally doesn’t respect parity!

The differences lead to some interesting clashes. Everyone shows up with their own ideas and determination. Talking, simmering… Often sulking… The rule? It must surprise or touch the majority of us. While certain subjects such as defending smokers or the French flag seem absolute winners straight away, the debates can go on and on for other articles: should we hit out at Louboutins in issue number one? We express a certain political fed-up-ness? Yes, but how? We are already up to here… 

The team then meet up for a reading. This time, a phrase, a word, a comma can lead to long conversations. We are committed and we will remain committed! But this meeting is one the editorial team particularly enjoys. Teasing and jokes replace the heated arguments. Finally the photographers, iconographers, artistic director and translator take over until we go to press. 

But there you go… In three hundred and sixty-five days, that makes two hundred and twenty articles, twenty-seven photo galleries, fifty four briefs and eleven postcards, read by our readers who are 90% French, as many in Paris as around the country, shared over 10 000 times with friends and taken up as subjects by other news outlets… So, let’s get back to work!



What the wardrobes, walls or drawers of our teenage bedroom
say about who we are today.
  • 27- Junior Suite

    Alexis Tcholakian in his child's room. February 77.


When my mother suggested that I take piano lessons when I was seven, it was only natural that the instrument, an upright Zimmermann be housed in my room among my toys. I loved it immediately. I took it seriously. I had my weekly class with Huguette and enjoyed my daily half-hour of piano practice before going out to play. Then an hour, then two… Up until I turned fifteen and dropped everything. Teaching methods too traditional, no psychology… My adolescent self rebelled, the discipline no longer suited me.

So, I was given a synthesiser. I started to record small compositions, integrating other instruments. I missed the feel of an acoustic piano. I went back to it and had a breakthrough. I left high school at sixteen and with my parent’s permission moved out of the apartment into the little studio upstairs to work on my music full time.

My second room. I lived in between the coffee maker, the bed, my four track recording gear and my two keyboards. I knew I had to learn harmony and song writing to move on. I went back to Huguette but we clashed and her parting shot was: “In any case, you’ll never be a pianist”. We would see about that. I locked myself in the attic and discover jazz. The lights suddenly went on... I felt at one with my need for freedom, to escape. I worked hard, often up to six or eight hours a day not to mention rehearsals at night. To play the acoustic piano I went back down to my first room. I lived happily between the two spaces! I deepened my knowledge with Bernard Maury, one the of the best harmony teachers going. He remained my spiritual father until I was 23 when I stopped taking classes and became his assistant at the École Supérieure de Jazz. It was time to leave my two rooms and start my adult life.

Today, I make a living from my passion between teaching, concerts and albums where I play both jazz standards and my own compositions… My latest record “Poetic Memory” is based on some classical pieces that I adapted to jazz and is a blend of my understanding of each genre. I have come full circle!

Virginie Achard drom an interview with Alexis Tcholakian

Listen to Alexis Tcholakian 
• Read more about sur Alexis Tcholakian and discover his last album Poetic Memory 



  • Publisher/Editor
    Virginie Achard
  • Artistic Director
    Perrine Lebas
  • Web design
    Franck Biehler
  • Contributors
    Maurice Achard, Bianca Alberti, Bruno Lancelot, Elido, Marie Veyrier, Stéphanie Norris
  • Translator
    Tresi Murphy


Sandrine Estrade Boulet

Odile Berthemy