Paris Preview: The Scene

Lots to do in the City of Light.

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Balenciaga, evening gown fall-winter 1952.

Photo By Balenciaga Archives Paris

FASHION CULTURE: Lovers of fashion exhibitions have plenty of options during Paris Fashion Week.

It might be ready-to-wear season, but “Paris Haute Couture” will take center stage starting March 2. The exhibition, held at the Hôtel de Ville,  brings together approximately 100 haute couture dresses from the collections of the fashion museum Musée Galliera, which is set to reopen after renovation in September.

Swarovski, which has historically worked with many couture designers, is supporting the exhibition.

Another off-site exhibition held by the Musée Galliera is  “Mannequin — le Corps de la Mode” (or “Model — the Body of Fashion” in English). The show, staged at Les Docks, the design and cultural center on the eastern fringes of Paris, explores the role of models over time through nearly 120 images of fashion mannequins, from videos and magazines, plus wax effigies.

Originally created for the Rencontres d’Arles 2012 summer photography festival, the exhibition includes the work of photographers Horst P. Horst, Erwin Blumenfeld, Henry Clarke, Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Nick Knight, Corinne Day and Juergen Teller.

Meanwhile, the show “Arrrgh! Monstres de Mode”  (“Arrrgh! Monsters of Fashion”) at the Gaîté Lyrique was inspired by the transformative nature of contemporary fashion and animated characters in the digital age. It features more than 80 fashion looks and installations by 55 artists and designers, who were chosen for their experimentation with atypical forms and extreme volumes. These include Alexander McQueen, Walter Van Beirendonck, Maison Martin Margiela, Issey Miyake and Dai Fujiwara.

On the retail scene, Galeries Lafayette will hold Danish designer Henrik Vibskov’s first solo exhibition in Paris, from Feb. 27 to May 4. That will run in the Galerie des Galeries exhibition space inside the Paris department store. And the BHV is hosting a show for designer Sakina M’Sa, called “Eco-Système de la Mode” (“Fashion Ecosystem”).

“Paris Haute Couture,” from March 2 to July 6.
Hôtel de Ville, Salle Saint-Jean, 5 Rue Lobau, 75004
Tel.: +33-1-42-76-51-53
Open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Free.

“Mannequin — le Corps de la Mode,” through May 19.
Les Docks, Cité de la Mode et du Design, 34 Quai d’Austerlitz, 75013
Tel.: +33-1-76-77-25-30
Open Tuesday-Sunday, 2 p.m.-6 p.m.

“Arrrgh! Monstres de Mode,” through April 7.
La Gaîté Lyrique, 3 bis Rue Papin, 75003
Tel.: +33-1-53-01-52-00
Open Tuesday-Sunday, 2 p.m.-8 p.m.

— Laure Guilbault


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