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The Ritz celebrated its 125th anniversary in style

The Ritz celebrated its 125th anniversary in style

On Thursday, September 14, the Ritz Gold Gala was held, a memorable evening to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the legendary hotel, under the banner of history and art. The artistic direction of the event was entrusted to French set designer and stage director Frédéric Fontan. Luxus Plus was present at this memorable gala, and spoke to Frédéric Fontan about his inspirations and the organization of this exceptional evening.


Laurent Herschbach, General Manager of the five-star hotel, pulled out all the stops for the 125th anniversary gala on September 14.


More than 800 guests attended the anniversary party, which featured artistic performances and gourmet food tastings. All this in the hotel’s legendary Grand Jardin, an enchanting setting.


Among the celebrities attending this extraordinary event were actors like Léa Seydoux and Raphaël Personnaz, designers like Stéphane Rolland and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, musicians like Elodie Frégé and Corine, and Étoile dancers like Hugo Marchand and Germain Louvet.


Lea Seydoux ©Ritz Paris


The anniversary evening on September 14 paid tribute with panache to two personalities who have marked the history of the Ritz. The first was Caesar Ritz, who founded the hotel in 1898. The second figure honored was none other than… Louis XIV! In fact, it was the Sun King who ordered the creation of Place Vendôme (on which the Ritz was built) in 1686, now the stronghold of the great Jewellery and Watchmaking Houses. So it was only logical that the theme of the evening was the color Gold.



Louis XIV


“I wanted to create something that would evolve, flow and retrace the life of a Louis XIV, past, present and future,” explains Frédéric Fontan, who was entrusted with the evening’s artistic direction.


This illustrious set designer and stage director, once known as a solo artist, singer, dancer and actor, quickly became renowned for his innovative artistic direction. Thanks to his unique style, he has orchestrated both intimate and international events. He has collaborated internationally with luxury brands such as Cartier, Bulgari and Hermès. He was also artistic director of GQ’s Men of the Year ceremonies, while continuing to create and support artistic projects with institutions such as the Petit Palais, the Concrete Museum in Dubai, the Fujiyoshida Opera House and the Hong Kong Cultural Center.


Frédéric Fontan, Marc Moreau, Hugo Marchand et Germain Louvet © Ritz Paris


This large-scale anniversary was an opportunity for him to recall certain memories. He explains: “It was a nod to my great-grandfather Pierre-Hippolyte Fontan, who used to come to the Ritz during the Belle Epoque, with artist friends like Sarah Bernard and Edmond Rostand. He was someone who loved hotels, the arts and partying, while at the same time being a business leader, diplomat and a bit of an artist in his spare time between Asia and Europe.”


Musical direction was entrusted to Dijon composer and conductor Thomas Roussel. Roussel is well known for his work on the catwalks of Chanel, Dior and Givenchy.


A tribute to Versailles balls


To reproduce the atmosphere of a Versailles ball, the evening was divided into three parts: “Le Roi chante”, “Le Roi danse” and finally “Tout le monde danse”. For several hours, no fewer than 90 artists performed in succession.


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“The Ritz is an ode to craftsmen and artists. I wanted to show that this place is also a showcase for them, and that’s what we wanted to do with this evening,” explains Frédéric Fontan.


© Ritz Paris


Presented by Daphné Burki, the gala was a true demonstration of eclecticism, with a succession of choreographic performances by Étoile dancer Alice Renavand and premier dancers Roxanne Stojanov, Florent Melac and the Electrostreet collective. There were also electronic music performances by iconic DJs Pedro Winter and Kiddy Smile. What’s more, all the costumes were created in collaboration with Xavier Ronze, costume director of the Paris Opera Ballet, and Burki’s in particular by Couturier Stéphane Rolland.


While guests contemplated the evening’s artistic performances, they were treated to a grand gastronomic buffet. Jérôme Legras, the Ritz’s Executive Chef, François Perret, the hotel’s Chef Pâtissier, and Romain de Courcy, the Chef Barman, were responsible for organizing the buffet. According to Frédéric Fontan, the teams demonstrated their coordination and communication skills in staging this exceptional event.


© Ritz Paris


In terms of installation, it’s a luxury hotel on Place Vendôme. It had to be done very discreetly, and the planning was very complicated. All the teams at the Ritz supported me in this desire to set off into a daydream.




Featured photo : ©Press