Some Things Never Change : 19th Century Parisian Activities

Expo : Les Parisiens de Daumier.
Until March 4th… HURRY!
3€ Entry.

Galerie du Crédit Municipal de Paris

55, rue des Francs-Bourgeois – 75004 Paris.

Mon-Fri 9am-5pm – Closed Sundays

I first heard about this expo via the blog Paris, Maman et Moi. Being a 19th century French literature fan (I have the entire collection of Balzac – and FYI, some editions of Balzac’s works were illustrated by Daumier) I knew this was right up my alley. So instead of waiting in line for the Brassaï expo (just like in Sheily’s post linked above), I headed over to see these wonderful drawings of what Parisian life was like in the 1800’s.

You could say that Daumier, who’s work is the entirety of the exposition, was what we would consider a lifestyle/humorist blogger today. Each drawing (there were dozens and dozens of them) mocked, exaggerated or poked fun at a certain “type” of Parisian, in different situations of social life back 150-200 years ago. Continue reading

THAT Lou – Museum Treasure Hunt

I have been dying to write about THAT Lou for some time now, but I wanted to do so with the voice of experience. Alas, time and scheduling constraints have kept me from joining one of her acclaimed treasure hunt tours thus far. But the idea is SO COOL! Imagine visiting a museum and having fun! So here is Daisy’s oeuvre in all it’s press release glory! I will get on one of her hunts one of these days…I promise! In the meantime I urge you to play the THAT Lou game on your next trip to Paris or on your next rainy day off! It’s a great idea for groups of friends and or family, student groups or even employee groups working on team building. Continue reading

Why Visit Paris in October

Post by Jenny Bailey

Jenny Bailey

Why Visit Paris in October?

Well, I’ll tell ya!

Autumn in Paris

Autumn in Paris de cani&porci on flickr

In October, Paris is packed with personality.

From art to fashion (et vin, bien sûr) here are some suggestions of autumn activities and affairs to try in the capital if you’re in town this month. Continue reading

NYC Expo : Punk, From Chaos to Couture

Post by Frank Cierpial

Frank Cierpial

Punk 3Ever since I have started making annual trips to Paris to help make my dream come true, I begin to go through a cycle of emotions. Spring is always the time of enlightenment, and the few weeks before going to Paris always seem to move so slowly. That is why I headed down to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to write about a very exciting exhibit for me called “Punk: From Chaos to Couture”. The exhibit was very well planned out, very well displayed, and was exactly how it sounds. The exhibit aims to explain how a rebellious, anti-establishment, and creative style, kind of “do it yourself” fashion, became a large inspiration for some of the biggest designers in Haute Couture like Dolce and Gabbana, La Maison Balmain, and Gianni Versaci. Continue reading

Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity

Frank Cierpial
Post by Frank Cierpial

Paris has always been a city loved by artists. How can it not be? Paris is beautiful twenty four hours a day in every light. In Paris, art is everywhere. From every building to every café crème, beauty is a big part of life in Paris. New York is the opposite. In New York, art is basically confined to Art Galleries in Chelsea and museums. Please do not miss-understand, New York has its own art and beauty, but it is not as visible and tangible as the art in Paris.

On my second day of spring break, I was brought to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. My friend Jaclyn and I walked through the hallways filled to the brim with European, Roman, and Greek art and felt the soft cultural touch of the old world. Then we got to the special exhibit. The exhibit that this article is centered around, the exhibit that was comparable to me getting on a plane, putting my tray in a an upright position, leaning back, and taking off back to the place that showed me the beauty of art for the first time 5 years ago. I saw Paris for the first time through a very unique lens. I saw Paris through the lens of someone who didn’t know what to expect. I was 17, and I acted like Keanu Reeves in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”, needless to say art was not in my repertoire. But, before I go into the exhibit and what I saw, I would like to give some background on Impressionism and what impressionism is.
In its time, Impressionism was a very controversial subject. Some writers thought it was incomplete and did not understand its sketch-like and creative appearance. But, other writers saw it as a depiction of modern life. That is exactly what Claude Monet and his contemporaries were trying to accomplish. Impressionism is considered to be a new way of looking at life, to quote my friend Jaclyn “not exactly what is there, but the way the artist sees it”. Impressionism is a long and complicated subject that I can write you pages and pages on. But, I’ll save that for my book. Right now, I’ll just cut to the chase about what I saw. Continue reading

Most Romantic Spot in Paris : Artistically Ardent

Now an on-going series exploring the “most romantic” spots in Paris, I have written on the romance in the open air along the water in the City of Lights, as well as romantic dining

Now poses the question of what is the most romantic cultural experience in this beautiful city. Freedom of space as well as delightful things to taste can ignite romantic feelings, well, art also inspires emotion. So there is most definitely room for romance among the various and numerous museums in Paris.

On the top of that list I would place the Musée Rodin.
P1030660 Continue reading

Monuments off the Beaten Path – The Château de Chantilly

Post by contributor Jenny Bailey

Parc du Château de Chantilly, by Esther Westerveld

With so many tourists visiting Paris every year looking for great deals, it’s hard to imagine that there are still some places that are relatively unheard of. Away from some of the more popular attractions, there are however various monuments that are equally as impressive. One of these is the Château de Chantilly – a beautiful castle located in one of the largest forests near Paris, Le Massif de Trois Forêts, in the town of Chantilly. It is home to the Grand Stables, various courtyards and gardens, a lake and the Musée Condé – one of the country’s finest art galleries. Continue reading

World Press Photo Expo

The World Press Photo 2011 expo is hosted by (fashion designer) Azzedine Alaiä, in his gallery in the Marais.
These are the photos of 2011 that have won World Press Photo recognition. This is photojournalism with a push towards creativity. The contest to select the top photos was held in February, and over 108,059 photos were submitted in the 9 different categories. Press photographers, press agencies, newspapers and magazines were able to submit photos. Those that were recognized are up on the walls of Mr Alaïa’s gallery.



The building is normally home to The fashion designer’s showroom. It was build just before the Eiffel tower, and has that very distinct architectural design that came out of that era. The space was originally built by the owners of the BHV to become a people’s class restaurant. After that it became a place for BHV to store things, until Mr Alaïa purchased it for his fashion house. I love the opaque white glass ceiling which lets in so much light that no artificial light is really needed at all. And then there’s that typical juxtaposition of sculpted metal and glass that is so common to Parisian architecture from the Art Nouveau period (one of my favorites along with Art Deco).


Enjoy the expo until June 21st, 11am to 7pm every day. Entry is free. 18 rue de la Verrerie 75004, Paris.


Friday en Français : Faire le pied du grue

Le concept : traduire un ancien billet et français, déjà pour pratiquer mon français à l’écrit mais aussi pour faire un geste envers mes lecteurs et lectrices francophone!

The concept : translate an old post into French, first in order to practice my written French, but also to be a bit more welcoming to my francophone readers!

(Original Post in English)

Ce billet a été posté le 16 octobre 2009 :

Je ne vais jamais au Champs Elysées, sauf si c’est absolument nécessaire. Mais quand même j’ai rencontré Dita Von Teese elle-même en Printemps dernier, et cela dans une pharmacy… peut-être je devrait y aller plus souvent. Bon bref, nous y étions l’autre soir, pour allé au cinoche pour voir The Informant (avec Matt Damon jouant très bien dans la peau d’un personnage différent de ses rôles habituels, je devrais dire). En avance d’une demi heure, nous avons décidé de se promener un peu sur l’avenue au lieu d’attendre dans la queu à regarder avec désintérêt le vendeur des popcorns. A quelques portes de là on se trouve au 136 avenue des champs Elysées. Alors ce n’est pas la première fois que je suis passée devant cette adresse, mais je l’ai toujours ignoré comme si c’était un attrape-touriste et totalement sans intérêt. Cette fois j’ai en fait regardé ce que l’on y expose.

À part les voitures Peugot, articles d’exposition complètement évident (et assez beaux), il y a plein d’autres articles à voir et à acheter qui sont eux aussi créés par Peugot. Et moi qui pensais qu’ils ne faisait que des voitures! En fait il paraît qu’ils n’ont pas commencé en fabricant des voitures.

En plus d’une petite leçon d’htoire (Peugot) avec une liste des dates, on peut examiner tous les modèles jamais fabriqués par peugot en forme de petit modèle.

Savez-vous que Peugot fabrique aussi des clés à molette? Et des salières et poivrières (avec éclairage dessus)? Ouai! Ils les font! Une bonne idée pour la chaussette de noël. En fait la boutique a plein de bonnes idées. Mais vous pouvez y aller voir comme si c’est une exposition de l’hostoire Peugot si vous ne commencez pas encore vos courses de noël, et c’est entré libre et gratuit!


IN OTHER NEWS : A LITTLE POSHGLAM SHOE REPORT! REPORT Footwear Brings Stylish Comfort With Spring/Summer Collection

Two decades of passionate fashion

Dior, by Galliano

The nineties and the first decade of the new millennium brought us an entire spectrum of emotions that the Musée des Arts Décoratifs has decided to commemorate in an intimate look at some of the most influential designers, in the second volume of their retrospective exhibition : Histoire idéale de la mode contemporaine. Starting with Maison Martin Margiela and ending with Balençiaga with sandwiched inbetween everyone from Dries Van Noten to Alexander McQueen to John Galliano, Karl Lagerfield with Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier, Lanvin, Prada, Comme des Garçon, Martine Sitbon….and more.

The expo began with these words (translated by me) : The nineties was the decade of maturity. They were also radical years, completely opposing the preceding decade.” …… “The first decade of the millennium were years marked definitively by the graveness of the events that punctuated them. The euphoric start of the new century was in part stunned by world-wide tragedies. The world of fashion put on a more discreet demeanor.”

Each designer that is displayed has several pieces set in a mise-en scène with lighting, and a video of a défilé or two that helps define the artist’s true nature, or inspiration. Some of the artists reinvent themselves over and over, so it is hard to chose one particular collection, but if it can’t pin them down to one style or inspiration it can at least communicate what drives these designers to create, and display what they bring to their art.

Just some of my personal highlights :

Dries Van Noten, his SS2005 show, set to the musical piece “Boléro” by Ravel, with the models walking the length of a podium turned into very long white linen table and the spectators had glasses of wine they were drinking out of, with dozens of chandeliers hanging in a line over the table. The spectacle was so breathtaking that I forgot to look at the clothes!





Lanvin, by Claude Montana, with stiff form holding pieces made mostly out of silk. The amount of work it must have taken to find the right composition so that the fabrics held these very striking forms…it’s a science really.Plus the video of his Automn-winter 1990-1991 and Spring-Summer 1992 where a stunning Linda Evangelista walks the podium, and the collection is full of that sheer classy elegance that Lanvin is famed for.

Photo: Guy Marineau, from museum website

Alexander McQueen’s Spring-Summer 2004 collection shown in the form of a 30 minute show that was inspired from the novel “They shoot horses don’t they” (1935) that was turned into a movie by Sydney Pollack, 1969, (which I have actually seen many years ago); a story about a dance marathon during the Great Depression, starring Jane Fonda, that tries to take a look at what desperate people will put themselves through. It’s a study in psychology more than a fashion show, and gives a hint to those emotions that simmered within this incredible artist.



Dior’s gown, from the 2004-2005 collection, by John Galliano, shows the bottomless source of over-the-top creativity of the designer for this couture house. The gown gives a whole new meaning to the shape of a woman, and although it is different and not common, it is beyond beautiful, and displays the fact that couture is art first and fashion second.



A Dolce & Gabana bodice made entirely out of gem-like “stones”. from the Autumn-winer ’91-’92 collection at the start of the nineties, that was shown to mixed Madaonna hits, and was composed of mostly whites, contrasting with what most palettes are composed of for winter wear, this blinged-out bodice shows the remnants of the 80’s that influenced fashion is such a dramatic way. (sorry for the poor photo quality, photos are not allowed at this museum, and I was taking clandestine ones with my phone).

The previous collection I mentioned, contrasts so greatly with the Victor and Rolf Autumn-winter 2001-2001 collection where forms were larger-than-life, colors were steel-grays and moody blacks, and the défilé had models with faces painted entirely in a dark soot color. This shows the mood of the start of the new century, and the somber turn fashion took almost as if it were anticipating the mourning to come after the tragedies that were about to unfold…

Photo : Guy Marineau, from the museum website

To end on a happy note, with a theme that is becoming as common in our daily lives as breakfast : recycling. E2, a line created by a couple of designers that uses vintage pieces found in flea-markets, vintage clothing stores and elsewhere, and remakes them completely or reuses the fabrics to create an entirely different piece. I love the eco-friendly aspect of re-using, and the creativity of finding a new soul for an old article of clothing.

Photo: Goran Vejvoda, photo from museum website

Exhibit until May 8, 2011
Les Arts Décoratifs – Mode et textile
107 rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris

Students under 26 get in for FREE!