The top 5 exhibitions you could have seen in Paris if it wasn’t for Corona
Updated: Mar 19
The times are no fun. COVID-19 is spreading, we are all encouraged to behave responsibly and go out as little as possible. We can barely go out anywhere even if we wanted to, as non-essential places, shops, and restaurants, are being closed. But when all this is over (hopefully very soon), these exhibitions are something to look forward to and keep our hopes up.
Harper’s Bazaar. First in Fashion (Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 107 Rue de Rivoli, 75001), 28.2.2020 – 14.7.2020
This major exhibition, that only a few got to see before the museum closed its doors, was created to mark the reopening of the fashion galleries of Musée des Arts Décoratifs after a long renovation. One hundred and fifty two years in existence is no mean feat. Only hear will you have a chance to see some of the major fashion photographs next to the real couture garments featured in them. Only here will you get a chance to delve into the creative freshness that the personalities of Carmel Snow, Alexey Brodovitch and Diana Vreeland, brought not only the magazine, but to the world of fashion at large. Be sure to visit when we will be safe again.
BETTY CATROUX, YVES SAINT LAURENT (Musée Yves Saint Laurent, 5 Avenue Marceau, 75116 Paris), 3.3.2020 – 11.10.2020
Dubbed Yves Saint Laurent’s “female double”, Betty Catroux is the perfect embodiment of the fluid lines between masculine and feminine. The genderless fatale! It only feels appropriate to devote an entire exhibition to the eternal muse. Catroux made a special donation of 180 haute couture pieces, plus 138 ready-to-wear Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche items, that the current creative director Anthony Vaccarello curated into an exhibition to be seen. Themes like androgyny, seductiveness and modern ideas of femininity are explored by way of clothing, short movies, and pictures by some of the most renowned photographers like Helmut Newton, Irving Penn or Steven Meisel. But the exhibition does not stray away from the codes of the house of Yves Saint Laurent, showing in full depth the masculine influence for a female wardrobe through his signature style from Safari jackets to trench coats, pantsuits, and tuxedos.
Christian Louboutin : L'Exhibition[niste] (Palais De La Porte Dorée, 293 Avenue Daumesnil, 75012), 26.2.2020 - 26.7.2020
A unique exhibition in the 12th district of Paris in a museum built for the International Exposition of 1931. It is exactly in this area that the designer, famous for his signature red sole shoes, grew up. Mr. Louboutin used to visit the museum often as a child, as it was free for children living the in the arrondissement. The exhibition is a must-see! It presents the designer’s creative process, where he draws his inspirations and all the incredible creations that have made up his 30-year career: Parisian Women, Couture, Art, Travel, Sexuality, Nudes and much more! For now, be sure to visit the exhibition’s website to have a sneak peek via an interactive visit.
BOB ET MARILYN (Galerie Dina Vierny, 36 Rue Jacob, 75006 Paris), 21.1.2020 - 31.3.2020
A small gallery at the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Près is worth that five-minute stroll after coffee at Café de Flore, especially since it is free. You will find a two-room gallery with lots of wood on the walls serving as background for rarely seen photographs of Marilyn Monroe by Bert Stern on one hand, Bob Dylan by Jerry Schatzberg on the other. It literally takes less than 10 minutes to look at everything and read the handout… Unless you are noisy like me and start asking questions. Then it gets interesting and you might leave with a free poster. Most importantly, you will find out which photographs of Marilyn were published in Vogue just a day after Marilyn’s death, and which ones were too daring for the world to see. You might as well learn how one of the famous photographs with a cross throughout Monroe’s body got made. These are the last original prints made by the photographer himself. Worth to see, available to buy… If your bank account balance has at least five figures, that is.
“EFFLORESCENCE” VIRGIL ABLOH (Galerie Kreo, 31 Rue Dauphine, 75006 Paris, France), 15.1.2020 – 10.4.2020
Boring, literally a waste of words and your time. Just Google it. Blocks of concrete spray-painted with nonsense. You can go (after the confinement is over) to parts of Eastern Europe which still hold signs of soviet influence from the past century and see blocks of concrete with holes, sprayed over with nonsense. Except it does not cost four figures (at least) that the Asian tourists were excitedly discussing with the gallery representative. On a different note, if you understand the exhibition's handout explaining the “though process” but really reads more nonsensical than a fashion show press release, give me a call.