Studio Harcourt is a photography studio founded in Paris in 1934 by the brothers Lacroix as the result of their association with Germaine Hirschefeld aka Cosette Harcourt. Initially, the company produced images for the press, at a time when prestigious photo studios like Nadar closed for lack of clients. The change in direction came when Cosette Harcourt started to specialize in black&white glamour picture of figures from French cinema and culture, always using 24x30cm prints immediately recognizable for their distinctive style and lighting. This typical Harcourt style consists in a photo taken at close distance to the subject in its best light, generally creating a halo of light and dark, on a gray-to-black background. The attitude of the subject is personal, often wearing a slight smile, but somehow always feels a little staged. Also, the Harcourt logo is featured prominently on every print. Studio Harcourt grew to become such a destination for heroically lit, up-close-and-personal portrait photography that the stars of the silver screen, both from Hollywood and from Paris, were known to drop by for a sitting. More recently, it was the scene of Sophie Albou's menswear presentation for Paul & Joe. Reminder : After graduating from the French Fashion Institute, designer Sophie Albou worked with Azzedine Alaya. She then became a stylist for Le Garage shirting brand and after six years decided to start her own label, Paul & Joe, named after her two sons. In 1995, she launched her first menswear collection contrasting strongly with men's fashion around at the time : young, fresh, retro and colorful. For this season's offering, Sophie Albou designed, she said, with French cinema's l'âge d'or in mind : the Fifties and Sixties, when "chic, beautiful, elegant and very masculine men" like Yves Montand and Jean Gabin ruled the roost. It was an homage to mid-century staples : belted overcoats, fedoras, and flat caps; wider-legged pants than P & J's usually slim-cut standard. It could have been costumey, but for every wide pant, there was its counterpart in skinny, as well as colors, shapes and fabrications that her young client base will recognize as their own, whether they know Yves from Adam. She may be looking toward the past for inspiration, but Sophie Albou continues to move her label forward. She is introducing a diffusion men's line, PJ, this year. She opened a store in Saint Petersburg, Russia earlier this year and a first New York store is expected.