My true love sent to me, macaroons and bonbons on a Christmas tree… under the stained glass dome at the Galeries Lafayette, Paris IX xxxxx love Aliss
From the Dior Show at Musée des Arts Décoratifs: One alcove in the floor-to-ceiling cathedral of mousselines or toiles (second wing of the exhibit) one of my favorite rooms… These are preliminary muslin versions of couture designs to test life-size patterns before cutting more expensive fabrics. Almost more beautiful than the final garment…
The good news… “Sublime” doesn’t begin to describe this show, staged with loving reverence for detail: 300 haute couture creations, from the house’s establishment in 1947 to the present, iconic photographs by Richard Avedon and others, every accessory imaginable (hats, jewelry, bags, shoes, perfume bottles), illustrations and sketches, plus a selection of paintings, furniture and art objects… (Salvador Dali, Buste rétrospectif d’une femme et La Chaise atmosphérique, 1933)
A tribute to high style, tradition, craftsmanship, marketing savvy, and sheer French genius.
For a quick glimpse:
In a palette arranged by color, I fell for these miniatures in B&W
and this classic shape in pale blue:
The bad news: You may not see very much of the show. Even with a “fast pass” ticket bought via internet, you will stand in line outside for at least 30 minutes, again at the cloak room if you have a backpack or large bag, then you will try to climb the stairs against a stream of fleeing attendees (you’ll understand why in a minute) only to shuffle two or three-abreast through a series of dark under-ventilated chambers linked by bottleneck passageways, straining to see the displays over heads and between shoulders. At the end of this ordeal you come to a narrow stairway down to a lower level of less crowded larger rooms, where you can catch your breath. Exiting this wing and crossing the lobby, you access another stairway leading up to a reading room on the left and another series of crowded rooms linked by bottle necks on your right, finally opening into the muslin cathedral mentioned above, and then a vast space called the “Dior Ballroom” where you can move around and admire exquisite gowns, historic portraits, and red carpet film footage of celebrities and royalty in Dior.
I’m sure it cost a fortune to mount this event, so its success is great for Les arts décos and for Paris. It’s unfortunate, however, that the museum staff in charge of ticketing and crowd control have so little respect for their audience. There are actual mathematical formulas to calculate flow in small spaces and set up schedules:
Why isn’t this taken into consideration? Trip advisor comments describe people fainting, disabled visitors who can’t navigate the passageways, long-distance travelers giving up at the entrance and leaving.
TIP: Judging by the graph on the museum FB page, the best time to plan a visit is 11am on weekends. http://www.facebook.com/lesartsdecoratifs/
Potential idea: other sites like the Parc Asterix post notices at the entrance when the crowds are overwhelming: “Complet” (SRO), so you can still enter, but in full knowledge of what to expect.
Courage! xxxxx Aliss
Funny sidewalk face, Place des Vosges, on a recent autumn day…
Blog has been in slomo for several days, busy busy with other writing projects and life…
As promised, thoughts about noticing:
Since the Paris attacks two years ago, I’ve been meditating every day to stay calm and raise my vibes, in various ways. Tibetan compassion mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum:
Also the Oprah/Chopra (W&D) meditation series, which I highly recommend. It’s freeeee (and there are lots of free sample meditations to try out), and you can subscribe if you want to redo, which I do:
Then there’s the On Being site, with (not too shabby!) meditations by Sylvia Boorstein, Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat-Zinn and others:
And last but not least, Krista Tippet’s On Being interview with Ellen Langer, who says we don’t have to meditate to get the same and better results. To be mindful (instead of mindless) all we have to do is NOTICE. Notice 5 new things about our significant other, about our job, about our neighborhood on our daily walks (see above, that’s what photography does for me):
…and question all our assumptions and received ideas… Her outlook reminds me of climate activist David Gershon’s minute-to-minute life question, “What’s possible?”
And Empowerment activist Gail Straub putting on “John Lennon’s glasses”
Noticing noticing noticing…
To be continued… xxxxx Aliss