Loping models on the catwalk and bright spring clothes are nice and all that, but sometimes it’s good to situate “la mode” back in reality. And where better to do so than a capital that constantly merges fashion and art?! If you want to stay in the spirit of Paris Fashion Week, but fancy mixing it up with some other visual distractions, here are five current exhibitions that span photography and fabric, vision, volume, realism, and fantasy.
Swedish Fashion Goes Paris @ Institut Suédois
Showcasing Swedish fashion designers and photographers over the last 15 years, the Institut Suédois in Paris will focus on pertinent contemporary themes such as androgyny and high-concept fashion. With avant-garde designers (Bea Szenfeld, for example), the exhibition examines the use of materials and volume, clever approaches to garments and takes on luxury and craft. Another sector of the exhibition focuses on photography, notably photographs by Johan Sandberg, as a medium that allows fashion to test the boundaries of gender, deconstructing and overturning normative approaches to identity. The expo will borrow from parts of a larger fashion exhibition that happened in Stockholm this past summer, entitled Swedish Fashion 2000-2015.
Begins September 26, 2014.
The 1950s: Fashion in France @ Palais Galiera
Drawn from the Palais Galliera’s exquisite collection, a hundred garments and accessories retrace the evolution of the female silhouette via fashion trends from 1947–1957: from the birth of the New Look to the death of Christian Dior and the advent of Yves Saint Laurent. The fashion labels range from the most famous couturiers (Chanel, Schiaparelli, Balenciaga, Balmain, Dior, Cardin) to those now rather forgotten (Jean Dessès, Madeleine Vramant, Lola Prusac). There are some true gems to uncover: fun shift dresses in printed textiles, exquisite gowns embroidered and embellished with a light hand, gorgeous why-don’t-they-make-it-like-this-anymore lingerie, wonderfully playful swimwear, and funny vintage magazine covers of Elle and Paris Match.
On now thru November 2, 2014.
Peter Lindbergh @ Gagosian Paris
Presenting a selection of images by the venerated fashion photographer, the exhibition showcases his spare styling, and how it allows his female subjects’ to harness their natural beauty. Having shot editorials for international fashion magazines, Lindbergh is known for trading in staged, “deliberate” glamour with a raw approach and a softer eye, all the more enhanced in high-contrast black-and-white.
The exhibition includes his much-admired shot of young Kate Moss (initially published in Harper’s Bazaar in 1994): her eyes penetrating, her shoulder exposed from fallen overall straps, as inspired by Walker Evans’ iconic New Deal photographs. There are also two close-ups of Linda Evangelista, whose face is clouded by her own exhales of smoke, through which the viewer can see her damp brow and sultry face.
On now thru November 22, 2014.
Hedi Slimane’s Sonic @ Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent
“Sonic,” an expo of photographs by Saint Laurent’s in-house wonder Hedi Slimane, comprises 15 years of concert-going and rocker-lifestyling as captured by cool black-and-white portraiture. From Lou Reed’s craggy face to the melancholy eyes of Amy Winehouse, there are recognizable icons aplenty, but there are also a lot of nameless cool kids who give off vibes of creativity, musical dedication, and heavy drug use. A running installation of images is projected on two screens, of musical scenes in London (2003-2007) and California (2007-2014). It’s a mix fandom and stage performance and downtime in between, the gamut of a rock lifestyle.
On now thru January 11, 2015.
Philippe Jarrigeon @ Galerie des Galeries
The exhibition space within French department store Galeries Lafayette—wittily called Galerie des Galeries—is celebrating 25 years of the ANDAM prize by inviting French photographer Philippe Jarrigeon to exhibit his work. The series is entitled “Grand Magasin” (“department store” in French) riffs on this commercial place through portraits of customers and staff that have flat ‘80s colors and a vaguely “stock photo” feel. Jarrigeon reinterprets 15 of the most iconic past laureates of ANDAM, including Maison Martin Margiela, Christophe Lemaire, Jean Touitou of APC, Viktor & Rolf, Jeremy Scott, and Gareth Pugh, amongst others.
On now thru November 15, 2014.