Until October 9, 2011, the Grand Trianon at Versailles is host to an interesting exhibit. “Le XVIIIe au goût du jour” juxtaposes 18th century interiors and accessories with modern fashions that reflect the same ethos. From Christian Dior to Vivienne Westwood, the big names are represented in 50 gowns. The dresses are from the Galliera, Musée de la Mode de Ville de Paris, currently closed for extensive renovations. If you can’t get there, there are videos and slide shows of 18th century accessories, the modern gowns on the runway, and then the gowns in place inside the palace. If you feel inspired after viewing all this, a Concours de style, or style contest, invites participants to post photos of themselves in garb or accessories inspired by the 18th century, too.
Today’s expression, avoir un petit goût de revenez-y (avwahr uhn petee goo de revenay-z) means “to have a little taste of coming back there.” It means that something is so good, you’d like to repeat the experience, just the way the fashions of the Enlightenment are still providing lots of present day design enlightenment.