Parisian Insights: Tenue Correcte Exigée, quand le vêtement fait scandale

There must be something in the air that pushes curators to explore themes of vulgarity, shocking, taste and scandal in fashion. Maybe because of our political contexts, is there an urge to remind spectators how a “revolution” can be imperative…Besides Judith Clark’s The Vulgar, Fashion Redefined, at the Barbican, in London, was proposed, here, in Paris, an exhibition dedicated to what has been considered scandalous …

Parisian Insights: Mode & Femmes – 14/18

Rarely has World War I been studied through the prism of fashion and femininity. It is often as if, from 1914 to 1918, civil life had been suspended. Maud Bass-Krueger and Sophie Kurkdjian, the two curators of the Mode & Femmes – 14/18 exhibition held at the Bibliothèque Forney, in Paris, have decided to demonstrate how different reality was. With numerous documents and various garments …

Parisian Insights: L’Elégance Engagée by M/B at the Galeries Lafayette

Exhibitions and artistic displays are nothing new in stores. The ever-so lasting ‘art meets commerce’ debate is revived every time art hits shops, runways or window displays as well as when fashion brands take part to the artistic world through foundations, galleries or sponsorship. When it comes to fashion as a patrimonial/curatorial tool, the boundaries are slightly more blurred because today, curated fashion has become …

Parisian Insights: A Happy Artistic Year!

A new year is beginning and thus comes an array of new exhibitions announced for 2017, in Paris…Quite an eclectic panorama with a spotlight on foreign cultures and designers. At the end of 2016, opened Tenue Correcte Exigée: Quand le Vêtement Fait Scandale, at the Arts Décoratifs. An exhibition that clearly echoes that of the Barbican, The Vulgar. What Parisians have preferred to analyse here, …

Parisian Insights: Herb Ritts

There are some photographers that are closely linked to a certain 1990s glamour and sensuality – Herb Ritts is one of them. In an exhibition that has just closed its doors at the MEP (Musée Européen de la Photographie), the photographer’s work was  meticulously analyzed, from his iconic celebrity and fashion portraits to his musical videos and his African memorabilia. With Herb Ritts it’s a …

Parisian Insights: Barbie at the Arts Décoratifs

I used to spend hours playing with my Barbie dolls as a child and young teenager, dressing them up, undressing them, making them celebrate parties, go to the beach, fall in love and even suffer from terrible accidents (why do children always have this thing with making their toys endure the most tragic events?)…When I heard about the Arts Décoratifs’s exhibition dedicated to the famous …

Parisian Insights: Anatomy of a Collection

The first major concept fashion curators come across while studying, is that of the relationships that exist between garments and bodies, thus wearers. It is a reflection that follows all professionals analyzing fashion history and how they could display it, enhancing or, on the contrary, denying its previous existence, that of a worn piece of clothing. I had written in my previous post how different …

Parisian Insights: Fashion Forward – Three Centuries of Fashion (1715-2016)

Each time a fashion exhibition opens somewhere in the world, the great and timeless debate concerning the legitimacy of such displays is questioned. Does fashion deserve to be in museums? Is fashion, art? Are fashion blockbuster exhibitions purely mercantile? When are exhibitions intelligent versus commercial? I must say, I usually apprehend these debates because as an art and fashion historian and curator, to me there …

Parisian Insights: La Mode au Moyen Age

It must have been a very long time since I visited an interpretation museum, mostly keeping those pedagogic explorations for my childhood holidays. Yet I challenged my habits by discovering Paris’ Tour Jean Sans Peur’s display dedicated to Fashion in the Medieval Times. A 15th century tower, the Tour Jean Sans Peur now serves as an interpretative center in order to comprehend and reflect upon …

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