April 24, 2015

Le Grand Palais Welcomes l'Enfant Terrible

Inaugurated on April 1, 2015 and on until August 3, 2015, the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at Le Grand Palais is not to be missed.

This carefully curated collection has been organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts with the Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais, together with Maison Jean Paul Gaultier, Paris.
Entrance to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at Le Grand Palais, Paris
Gaultier’s Falbalas
We begin our journey with Gaultier’s humble beginnings in the Parisian suburb of Arcueil. Amongst old family photos and sketches, one of the first artifacts we see is his childhood teddy bear, “Nana”, wearing a conical bra fashioned out of old newspapers. Years later, this design would become one of Madonna’s most iconic looks. Other notable pieces in this first room include Gaultier’s first dress, as well as a garbage bag and tin can ensemble.

Nana, Jean Paul Gaultier's childhood teddy bear
"Since I was a child, I have tried and tested various facets of creativity. I made my first conical breasts with newspaper for Nana, my teddy bear. I borrowed a circular mat from my grandmother, and cut a circle in it to make a skirt for my teddy. Without knowing it, I made a cut on the bias!"-Jean Paul Gaultier
Jean Paul Gaultier's first dress, Le Grand Palais, Paris
JPG's first dress
Garbage bag dress by Jean Paul Gaultier, Le Grand Palais, Paris
From trash to treasure

The Odyssey
Moving on, we enter a dimly lit room of sailors and sirens. Here we see the mariner stripes, a favorite of the designer and symbol of his brand. Visitors watch in awe as the mannequins come to life, smiling, winking, singing and telling tales.

Jean Paul Gaultier sirens, Le Grand Palais, Paris



Punk Cancan
In the third room of the exhibition, we surround the catwalk of a haute couture fashion show. Mannequins strut their stuff in French-inspired designs, while punk rockers with outrageous hairstyles  line the outside walls. We discover eye-catching pieces inspired by the Paris of the Belle Époque and London’s traditional and avant-garde mix.

Jean Paul Gaultier runway , Le Grand Palais, Paris



Punk inspired clothing by Jean Paul Gaultier, Le Grand Palais, Paris
Muses
Every great designer has their muses, so it’s no surprise that they should receive a dedicated section within the exhibit. It is here that we admire costumes that have graced international stars like Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Mylène Farmer. 

Jean Paul Gaultier's iconic cone bra, Le Grand Palais, Paris
The Salon
In the following room, we see that there is no limit to Gaultier’s imagination. From his modern take on old-fashioned corsets, to unique second skin like fabrics and fetishist materials.

Jean Paul Gaultier corsets, Le Grand Palais, Paris
Jean Paul Gaultier body suit, Le Grand Palais, Paris
Bondage inspired clothing by Jean Paul Gaultier, Le Grand Palais, Paris
50 shades of Gaultier?

Metropolis
In the penultimate area of the exhibition, we encounter the meeting point between the entertainment and fashion worlds, with examples of the creator’s costumes for film, television, music and dance.
Unique dress by Jean Paul Gaultier, Le Grand Palais, Paris
White dresses by Jean Paul Gaultier, Le Grand Palais, Paris

Urban Jungle
Before exiting into the gift shop, we are treated to one final feast for the eyes. We take a walk on the wild side with extravagant animal prints, bling and other surprising designs.

Jean Paul Gaultier urban jungle, Le Grand Palais, Paris
Animal print dress by Jean Paul Gaultier, Le Grand Palais, Paris

Le Grand Palais
3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower
75008 Paris

April 14, 2015

Sunny Saint-Cloud

The past few days in Paris have been gloriously sunny. The masses are starting to come out of hibernation, giving the impression that the city’s population has magically doubled overnight.

A favorite Parisian pastime, besides that of soaking up the sun at a streetside café, is a leisurely afternoon spent in one of the capital’s lovely parks.

Many will tell you that there are no green spaces here, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You just have to know where to find them.

Over the weekend, I discovered the Parc de Saint-Cloud (officially le domaine national de Saint-Cloud) for the first time. Situated on 460 hectares (bigger than Central Park!), these impressive grounds are just a stone’s throw from Paris in the nearby suburb of Saint-Cloud.

le domaine national de Saint-Cloud, Saint-Cloud, France
le domaine national de Saint-Cloud, Saint-Cloud, France
le domaine national de Saint-Cloud, Saint-Cloud, France
le domaine national de Saint-Cloud, Saint-Cloud, France
le domaine national de Saint-Cloud, Saint-Cloud, France
le domaine national de Saint-Cloud, Saint-Cloud, France
le domaine national de Saint-Cloud, Saint-Cloud, France

Pedestrians enter free of charge, and vehicles pay a nominal fee. Visitors can explore wooded trails, lounge on the greens, admire sculptures and fountains, rent bicycles or even grab a bite to eat in one of the park’s many restaurants.

Domaine national de Saint-Cloud
92210 Saint-Cloud

Open every day
March, April, September and October: 7:30 am-9 pm
May-August: 7:30 am-10 pm
November-February: 7:30 am-8 pm


Note: As the park is vast and spread over rolling hills, good walking shoes are advised.

April 8, 2015

Paris Magnum

Since December 2014, Paris’ Hôtel de Ville has welcomed over 100,000 visitors for its free photo exhibition, “Paris Magnum”. Originally set to run until March 28, 2015, it has been prolonged until April 25, 2015 due to its tremendous success.

Exterior of the Paris Magnum exhibition, Paris

The exhibition features 150 photos of Paris captured by 30 photojournalists from international photographic cooperative Magnum Photos. Spanning 80 years of history, the photos are divided into 5 momentous periods of time:

  • 1932-1944 Magnum Before Magnum
  • 1945-1959 Poverty and Anxiety
  • 1960-1969 The Swinging Sixties
  • 1970-1989 Reaction and Philosophical Resistance 
  • 1990-2014 Picturing Marginality 

Strolling throughout the rows of snapshots, visitors are offered an extraordinary glimpse at some of Paris’ most significant moments.
Paris Magnum exhibition, Paris

Hôtel de Ville de Paris
Salle Saint-Jean
5 rue Lobau
75004 Paris