Parisian Insights: 2016 Exhibitions

Hello, a very happy new year to all from Paris!

For my first 2016 post, I am going to keep things simple and propose a little update of the fashion and textile oriented exhibitions that will be on during the new year and that I am impatient to share with you. What I love about this round up is how diverse the themes are. There is the Grand Palais’s Louis Vuitton exhibition: Volez, Voguez, Voyagez, dedicated to the luxury house’s creations and exquisite craftsmanship in the travel domain. I had seen, a few years ago, quite a similar display at the Musée Carnavalet but I am curious to see how it is interpreted in such a large space as the Grand Palais’s rooms and under the magic touch of the Musée Galleria’s director, Olivier Saillard.

Countess Greffuhle by Otto,  1886-87. Palais Galliéra

Countess Greffuhle by Otto, 1886-87. Palais Galliéra

Speaking of the Musée Galleria, I can’t wait to visit the La Mode Retrouvée – that opened in November – display dedicated to the Countess Greffuhle’s wardrobe, a woman who inspired Marcel Proust for his Duchess of Guermantes in his iconic novel, In Search of Lost Time. I am impatient to enter the intimacy of a historical “it-girl” and have fun confusing the real-life individual with her literary companion.

In April, the Arts Décoratifs will celebrate its 30th birthday and thus explore its own collections, freeing its mannequins from their terrible glass cases (at last!) and sharing three centuries of fashion history with visitors. An ideal fashion museum, the display’s artistic direction will be supervised by British dancer and choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon. I think that is what I am expecting the most, observe how a man dedicated to movement and the body will give life to the garments and the scenography: a very interesting choice from a museum that often lacks dynamic conversations around the absent body.

Finally, there will be a few exhibitions that, without having fashion as a central theme, will nonetheless enable visitors to encounter textile, costumes or simply the adornment of the body should it be to enhance a pop celebrity status, to make little girls dream or to affirm one’s identity.

The Grand Palais will highlight the Malian photographer, Seydou Keita’s work from March. I strongly admire his work alongside that of fellow companion, Malick Sidibé. The two photographers have wonderfully observed the changing society of Mali and how interesting to analyse the confrontation of local costume traditions alongside that of Western styles. Although, mostly black and white, Seydou Keita’s images are pure eye candy and we can easily imagine the wonderful colors through the graphic prints. It will also be great to observe how much they have inspired contemporary designers such as Mary Katrantzou.

In March too, the Cité de la Musique will propose an exhibition dedicated to the Velvet Underground. I must admit it is one of my favorite musical bands and I hope the display will propose various objects and costumes enabling to contextualize not only its musical influence but also its impact on pop culture and fashion.

Finally, because I am never against addressing my inner child, I am very curious to discover the Arts Décoratifs’s exposition dedicated to the one and only Barbie doll. I want to see miniature fantasy garments and the evolution of a doll that has always been linked to her times’ (surreal) aesthetic criteria. What I hope is that the display will also question the societal context of each era accompanying the dolls.

So here’s my fruitful program for the weeks and months to come!

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