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What’s on in Paris this May?

20 April 2016

A New Gallery Opens, a Costume Exhibition Comes to an End

Paris: the arts and culture capital of the world. If this is the reason you’re heading to Paris in early summer – and especially if Parisian fashion and style is your guilty pleasure – then May is the perfect time to plan your trip. The Galerie des Galeries is a new exhibition space in the 9th arrondissement, celebrating the talent of today and tomorrow. Their current show is called ‘All Over’ and highlights the use of stripes in artwork and fashion through time. Meanwhile, the Palais Garnier is hosting a costume exhibition of all the dazzling costumes collected from operas, ballets and plays since it opened in 1908. Now is the time for fashionistas everywhere to make a visit to the City of Light.

The Gallery of Galleries: Seeing Stripes

Is there anything more typically French in fashion than the Breton stripe? The synonymous navy and white horizontal pattern has become a staple of ‘classically French’ style since the 1850s when the stripes were found on the uniforms of the French navy. Coco Chanel took notice and in 1917, she incorporated the stripes into her clothing line – France (and the world) has never looked back since. This spring, Galeries Lafayette Haussmann has dedicated a whole exhibition to the humble “rayure” following its use through art and, of course, fashion. The exhibition opened in February and runs until 14th May 2016.

Galeries Lafayette - Flickr 5833339521
Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

Using the works of artists both new and experienced, the exhibition immerses guests in a colourful array of vibrant creations. The space appears lit up by the playful shapes, rhythms and vibrations of this abstract and fascinating stripy installation. The artwork is interactive and celebrates the pieces that people from different generations and cultural backgrounds have accumulated. Stripes have played a huge part in art across the ages and it’s fascinating to see these pieces collected together in one room.

Artists such as John M Armleder, Domenico Battista, Francis Baudevin, Lisa Beck, Sylvain Croci-Torti, Stéphane Dafflon and Ian Davenport are exhibiting their works. Whether you’re an art-lover, fashion enthusiast or perhaps you just like wearing stripes yourself, this fabulous exhibition is for you. While you’re at Paris Haussmann, take a look around the boutiques for classically Parisian shopping opportunities while you’re full of inspiration from the ‘All Over’ exhibition!

Palais Garnier: Fairytales, Drama and Fashion

Until 15th June visitors can, not only visit the Palais Garnier to watch opera and ballets, but get an exclusive glance behind the scenes at some of the most exquisite and iconic costumes in the history of the theatre. This grand performance venue has hosted musical extravaganzas and compelling plays for over 140 years and its catalogue of costumes is breath-taking.

Palais Garnier - Flickr 16547989741
Palais Garnier

Having presented famous works such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Madam Butterfly and Don Giovanni during its prestigious history, the theatre has some wonderful garments for the public to view. Not only that, but some of the most famous ballerinas, choreographers, opera singers, artists and designers of their day worked here such as Sergei Diaghilev, Coco Chanel, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Their influences are still evident all around the theatre and, with the help of a knowledgeable tour guide, can be pointed out to visitors to get the most out of your trip.

The current costume collection is a visual feast for fashion lovers, including exquisite hand-sewn tutus, sweeping tulle gowns and velvet fitted suit-jackets with intricate embroidery. The Ballets Russes was Paris’ resident ballet company between 1909-1929 and many of their costumes are kept in this ornate Baroque building with its gilded chandeliers and vibrantly painted frescos. Tour tickets can be bought here and tickets to catch a stunning live ballet or opera performance at the Palais Garnier are on sale here. 


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