City. Country. Flow.

Paris has always been empty in August, but this year is special. Mademoiselle Lili likes the city all the more.


You'd think we're in the fourth lockdown. My cheese merchant and the vegetable woman on Rue Oberkampf, my regular baker - the showcases barricaded, the doors closed. On the street - hardly any cars, lots of free seats in the metro, and in the museums you are so alone that you might think you are an important state guest who has a private audience. Yes, it's August again. It is wonderful when the thermometer does not climb above 30 degrees and you become a white bread stick in the stone oven yourself. I always say come to Paris in the summer when the city slows down and the few remaining Parisians put on relaxed smiles - out of solidarity. We guardians of the abandoned city, all to ourselves.


But this year is a lot different. It is even emptier than usual. Corona has led to a new rural exodus. It used to be part of the good Parisian tone, an unmistakable sign of professional success, to own a weekend and holiday home in the country in addition to the city apartment. But to live there permanently, mais non! As a staunch citizen of the metropolis, one only appreciates the word “province” when it comes to holidays or as a mark of origin of food, but no home address that does not begin with the postcode 75. That has changed with the pandemic.


While I was stuck in their rabbit halls, aka city apartments, like many others, the first envy came through social media. Photos and videos in front of wheat fields, streams, hydrangeas, chickens and rabbits in real gardens, posted by those who already had a country home and titled “my new office”. We learned to live with teleworking, and whenever I interviewed a Parisian fashion designer about Zoom & Co., he was also sitting in the countryside far from the city. The longing for land, nature and freedom of movement seized everyone - and the real estate platforms began to stick large-format posters on the metro stations of Paris: Would you like to leave Paris? And next to it a photo of a romantic brick house by the forest: "House in Heuqueville, 130 square meters, with a 2000 square meter garden: 240,000 euros." Sounds like a knock on the heavenly door for Parisians, but for the price there is just 20 square meters -Buckle. The advertising e-mails from the furnishing shops, which are calling out the trend towards the new country style with white-stained furniture and wicker armchairs, go well with this.


Renowned trend researcher Li Edelkoort is also sitting at her screen in Normandy when she predicts a major escape from the metropolis for the future. “I was stuck in Cape Town during the first lockdowns in March last year, but when I was allowed to return to France in June, I went straight to my house here. And I've stayed since then. I think I might never live in the city again, at least not every day. ”It is not an isolated incident. Many of my friends have already moved permanently, to medium-sized cities like Bordeaux or tiny places within a 100-kilometer radius of Paris. "The houses here in Normandy are already being sold over the phone, like cakes - without a visit," says Edelkoort.


Fashion is also celebrating the new lust for the countryside, Chanel recently converted the Grand Palais into a southern French village square for its haute couture show and the southern French Jacquemus, the city's new fashion favorite, never tires of bringing the beauty of the province close to his urban followers bring. Let them all leave Paris, that's fine with me. A few hundred thousand fewer residents are sure to look good on the city. I come from the country and I know what it means to really live there.


Mademoiselle Lily loves Paris - the museums, the architecture, café terraces, the savoir vivre, the flair of elegant hotels and of course fashion, fashion, fashion. With her insider column “Paris, mon amour” she reports for La Biosthétique from her adopted home, where she has been happy for over ten years.