Here’s an exhibit I’ll totally be going to see this summer. The Palais Galliera will be presenting a tribute to French fashion of les années 50 (layz anay sankahnt) or the 50s. I love the couture of this decade: the full skirts, the New Look, the pure feminine elegance of it all. While Christian Dior’s “woman-flower” is the one most identified with the decade, there were competing haute couture looks, including Cristobal Balenciaga’s barrel line, distinguished by a flared back, and the simple, straight suits of Coco Chanel.
But there was another side to fashion during that decade: snug sweaters, pedal pushers, and jeans became the uniform of the post-war generation. Ready-to-wear was the way to keep French couture relevant. Couturiers Associés was born to meet the need.
This exhibit, pulled from the Galliera archives, features 100 garments and accessories, from the biggest couture names to those all but forgotten such as Jean Dessès, Madeleine Vramant, and Lola Prusac. Paris had taken a major hit after the stock market crash and the doldrums lasted for almost 20 years. These innovators – both in haute couture and ready-to-wear – returned Paris to its position as the undisputed capital of the fashion world.
- Palais Galliera
- 10, avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie
- Open Tuesday to Sunday 10 am to 6 pm and until 9 pm on Thursdays
- July 12 to November 16, 2014