What’s on in Paris this April
10 March 2016
Explore the History of Fashion & Art During a Five-Star Stay at Hotel Balzac
With world-renowned museums and galleries lining its picturesque streets, Paris is the perfect holiday destination for any art and design fan. This April, one of the capital's hidden gems will be offering the chance to discover how the beautiful landscapes of Normandy inspired the Impressionists, while another will be presenting three centuries of fashion using national archives. Read on to start planning an unforgettable cultural break in Paris at the five-star Hotel Balzac.
Musée des Arts Décoratifs
7th April – 14th August 2016
The Musée des Arts Décoratifs will be celebrating its fashion collection's 30th anniversary with a 300-piece exhibition this summer. Curated using the museum’s archives that now boast 150,000 items ranging from historic textiles to beautiful accessories, it will offer the opportunity to journey through the last 300 years of fashion; from 1715 to the present day.
The chronologically ordered display will feature men’s, women’s and children’s wear including an awe-inspiring S/S 2000 Hussein Chalayan dress adorned with white, angular panels across its bodice. Elsa Schiaparelli’s 1938 hot-pink cape will be on show alongside a coordinating monochrome trouser, blouse, blazer and hat set by Andre Courrèges circa 1965. While the likes of a burnt-orange silk taffeta suit tailored for a pet monkey and cream, embellished Beijing silk court dress will showcase fashionable styles from the 18th century.
Seeking to explore pieces further via their social and artistic contexts, the exhibition will also feature videos, music clips, photographs and drawings, including those by Cristobal Balenciaga. There’ll also be an array of decorative arts pieces linking to designs including wood-block printed wallpapers by Zuber & Cie, alongside Art Deco style illustrations of Paul Poiret’s dresses by Paul Iribe. Presented in the grand surroundings of the Nave, this indepth presentation will offer the chance to see key moments in fashion’s history visualised using France’s national collection.
18th March - 25th July 2016
Located within an exquisite example of a Second French Empire mansion, the Musée Jacquemart-André will be exhibiting over 50 works related to the history of Impressionism – and the scenic landscapes of Normandy. As ‘the open air studio’ – i.e. painting outside - became increasingly popular during the 19th century, the region became a hub for artists and key to the development of the movement.
The invention of paint in a tube in 1841 helped pave the way for this ‘artistic revolution’; allowing artists to paint landscapes outside in a variety of colours and using greater quantities. Infact, Renoir stated that “without tubes of paint, there would have been no Impressionism.” Freed of their studios, the avante garde began to flock to Normandy, which provided a diverse range of both natural and industrial landscapes, a more visually exciting weather forecast than that of the Côte d’Azur…and was well-appointed between London and Paris.
The exhibition will look at Normandy during this period, exploring the area’s impact on Impressionism and interactions between artists. Works on show will include the likes Claude Monet’s ‘Etretat, la porte d'Aval, bateaux de pêche sortant du port’; a picturesque depiction of rock formations, turquoise waters and sailing boats leaving the port. Eugène Boudin’s ‘Camille on the beach’, which will hint towards the class of clientele Normandy had begun to attract with a finely dressed woman sat in a deck chair; a sheer veil covering her mouth. While, away from the shore, Auguste Renoir captured mussel collectors carrying their haul along a pathway to a thatched cottage while surrounded by long grasses, trees and flowers in ‘La cueillette des moules’. Featuring Pissarro, Degas and Morisot, amongst many others, this will be an unmissable event for any art lover.
With its leading galleries and museums offering the chance to discover more about the history of both fashion and art, Paris can offer fascinating cultural experiences this April.
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