An exhibit that I enjoyed when I was in Paris was Les Années 50: La Mode en France 1947 – 1957 at the Palais Galliera. It’s on until November 2, 2014, so there’s still lots of time to see it if you’ll be in Paris. I had written about this exhibit before my trip and it lived up to my expectations. The Galliera is a small museum that only has temporary exhibits. Each of the rooms focused on a different aspect of fashion – from haute couture gowns to swimsuits. I loved being able to ogle this embroidered Dior gown up close. Talk about gorgeous!
Speaking of up close, a criticism that I had of the show was that it was REALLY hard to read the information cards WAY DOWN on the podium. I got lots of practice with deep knee bends as I crouched down to decipher the information. Also, it was only in French. That worked for me, but it would exclude a lot of visitors from around the world from being able to get the most out of the exhibition.
The show focused on the decade that followed the furor that followed Dior’s New Look collection. I learned that just four years after that seminal collection, Dior had captured 49% of the French fashion exports. The Bar suit, that exemplified that look, was one of the outfits on display.
I jotted down a quote that I liked by Lilly Daché, French milliner and fashion designer from the 40s and 50s, “Le glamour est ce qui motive un homme à demander le numéro de téléphone d’une femme” (luh glamoor eh suh key mohteev uhn um ah duh-mahn-day luh noo-mare-owe duh tay-lay-fone doon fam), which means “Glamor is what motivates a man to ask for a woman’s phone number.” I’ve always loved the beautiful, feminine look of this decade, so seeing this exhibit was truly a pleasure.