Trying to put my thoughts & ideas down somewhere and give another outlet to my creativity. It's all connected, so I can't say it's a blog about just this or just that. Dolls. Fashion. Art. A little bit on travel, whatever... let's take it wherever it goes...


Exhibition report: Dries Van Noten - Inspirations at Les Arts Decoratifs

I spent the last weekend in Paris, just for the purpose of seeing two great exhibitions (and yes, to eat some great food as well... :-) ), so it's time to report a bit!

First off: Dries Van Noten - Inspirations at Les Arts Decoratifs. No photos were allowed, as usual, so I can't show you any, but check out this link, there's a quite a few images! I must admit, though I knew the name, I did not have an idea at all about Van Noten's work. But it looked interesting, and after a fellow VFG member had already posted her comments, I decided that it mus be worth it - oh, and how it was! The exhibition shows in themed groups, by what he was inspired for his designs. It was created by him, and he basically went through the museum's collections (just imagine... I think if they'd let me loose in there, they wouldn't get me out again!) to choose what he wanted - it's a similar concept to the excellent Christian Lacroix exhibition of a few years ago, and I think it's a great idea. It let's you see what makes a designer tick, what inspires him. And of course, you get to see so much eye candy. A lot of his own designs, but also the work of other designers, historical fashion, folk fashion, art, paintings, films - all kinds of things. The inspirations were as diverse as they get - Dior's New Look (yes, with the Bar suit), the film "The Piano", a garden of flowers, oriental traditional fashions, Bollywood films, dandies of the 19th century... What stood out for me, that throughout the exhibition, the other designer of whom there were the most fashions shown was Elsa Schiaparelli. Her amazing designs cropped up in many different inspiration themes. The one after her was probably Dior, who featured with classic designs too. There were displays in muted colors and there were true riots of color, like with the garden theme (imagine a display chock full of haute couture evening gowns, with flower embroideries etc. and in all colors you can imagine!). What also struck me, there was a suit that had once belonged to the Duke of Windsor on display. I can only say - boy, he was small - and slender. It would probably fit me...
And what do I think about Dries Van Noten? I may not like all of his designs, but there's a lot to like, and I love how he uses color, and isn't afraid to use bright colors and mix them wildly. It's just a joy to see that. And it's wonderful to see a designer who takes his inspirations from such a variety of things. Be it another designer, a piece of art, a feeling, a film - and in that way, he is an artist as well. 
The exhibition has just been prolonged until November 2nd, so if you get a chance, go see it!

And of course a visit to Paris wouldn't be a visit to Paris if we didn't to a lot of walking around and exploring bits we hadn't seen before. What always amazes me about Paris is the fact, that just by taking a little side lane, you get away from all the tourist hubbub in a minute and end up in a completely quiet, authentic part of the city! This time, we found our way to the "other" side of the Marais - basically between the Rue Saint Antoine and the Seine. It's old, historic, looks like what we think of as a cliché of Paris - but it is just authentically like that! There is also a set of four quiet courtyards, the entrances to which one could easily miss, that have all sorts of little antique shops, art galleries, cafés and more. It's called Le Village Saint Paul.

Just a few images from the other side of the Marais...
 The Bibliothèque Fornay - housed in a former bishop's palace from the 15th century.

 Walls of houses leaning in all directions, little lanes...
And a remnant of a 12th century city wall and tower.

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