Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Modern Art on Bastille Day

It is 'le quatorze Juilliet', Bastille day and I decided in honor of the French, I would head down to the mecca of shopping that is the Galleries Lafayette and Printemps. Of course they were open today and since it is also the sale season, the area was pretty packed. I expected the normal tourists and folks from the suburbs to be around, but I was pleasantly surprised by the windows at Galleries Lafayette. It is called Paris Creation, and museums each have a vitrine to express themselves. So while we are in the throes of consumerism, we get glimpses of modern art in action. This twisted Batman and Mickey Mouse comes from Maison Rouge and is the project of Fabien Verschaere. It is an extension of "Vraoum! Tresors de la Bande dessinee et art contemporain" which is on display at the museum. There was a vitrine from Palais de Tokyo, Pompidou Centre, Museum of Decorative Arts, and a few others.
I truly love Paris for its ability to integrate art into our everyday lives. It is inspiring.

Fashion Week-models scattered around

So it was another Fashion Week. I kind of forgot about it since we have been all consumed with the press sales, real sales and then the onslaught of tourists. It wasn't until I noticed, while taking the metro one day, that there seemed to be a higher population of very tall skinny girls, with lots of make-up on, looking lost. They all seem very quiet and a bit disoriented. I noticed this model on the metro one day and noted that her leggings were BAGGY on her. I also spoke to a friend of mine in fashion, and apparently the girls are getting skinnier and skinner and that they eat tissue when they are hungry. They certainly like them young, from an eastern European country and very skinny.

On a happier note, the press sales were good this time around. I chose to only go to the Vanessa Bruno sale and the Antik Batik one. The same chaos ensued where the women are undressing in the middle of the room trying loads of clothes one, while hiding from the security guard. There is definitely a method to the madness and one needs to wear legging and a tank top so one can try on things easily without having to show some skin. I also hit some of the private sales at the boutiques. Since the economic crisis started, more luxury good stores have started 'vente prive' in the store long before the sales begin. This year I fell upon such sale at Bottega Veneta and got a great bag for half-off. Of course they do not really advertise and they reluctantly tell you the price ( it is Paris after all..), but deals were in abundance this year. Even YSL had a special 'prototype' sale at their Faubourg St. Honore store which featured colors of models that never made it into production but were being sold for under 500 euros. I saw a great bow bag in navy blue, a small version of the Besace in a soft baby blue and weird Downtown colors. I witnessed women walking out with five or more bags that morning. By ten o'clock, the stock was virtually finished. Even in these tough times, you can't keep the fashionistas away from their accessories.