Palais Galleria, also known as the Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris, is located in the 16e arrondisement (district) of Paris. The moment I stepped out of the Franklin D. Roosevelt metro station, I felt I belonged in the area. This particular district seemed more affluent. It was clean and the air really smelled like a freshly cleaned kitchen. I could tell this area was well taken care of and preserved. I would say that the fashion in Paris would hold the same sentiment. Recycled and looked after for many decades, fashion in Paris is always presented in its’ best form.
Upon my arrival to the Palais, I realized and took note of the architecture and tried to make a connection to what we’ve discussed in class. According to the official website of the museum, it is mainly centered around a ‘neo renaissance” style of architecture. Built by Paul-René-Léon Ginain, the structure of the Palais is inspired by Palladianism. Palladian architecture is a European style of architecture derived from the designs of Andrea Palladio, a Venetian architect. His style encompassed Corinthian style columns and scallop shells, which are a typical motif in Greek and Roman art. The building was completed in 1894, 19th century, and is surrounded by beautiful gardens and exquisite landscape.
The museum displays exhibitions of French fashion design and costume from the eighteenth century to the present day. I learned there are about 70,000 items that have been collected over the centuries. Some of those 70,000 items have belonged to people such as Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette. Even the dress that Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is housed inside of this museum. I felt as though I was in a pinnacle of perfection as far as la mode is concerned but la mode is all that matters! I would say the only thing that is missing is Beyonce’s 2003 Crazy in Love white tank top, denim shorts and red patent leather pump outfit. Even better, the yellow dress from Lemonade’s Hold Up but in due time I am sure someone will realize the missing gems.
I was not able to see any of the aforementioned collectables because the museum is currently hosting Belgian fashion designer Martin Margiela’s 1989 – 2009 collections. I have never been that fascinated with Margeila but I do appreciate what he has done for the fashion industry and furthermore pop culture. What I learned and appreciated the most from Martin was the way he reinvented garments. Martin would literally visit thrift marts and he would take from other styles of clothing and other pieces of fabric to create the future.
One photo above was taken at the exhibition and you may think, those look like bed comforters. Well, they are. Martin legitimately took a page out of my lazy day wardrobe and created coats from bed spreads. If that is not fashion, then I don’t know what is. My favorite moment from the exhibition was seeing a pair of waders being used as authentic boots to go along with an ensemble. Margiela literally spray-painted waders gold and told his models to walk. It’s the original thigh high boot I thought.
From the Margiela exhibition I took away many things, but what I admired the most was how Margeila took things away from the fashion graveyard and reinvented them so effortlessly. What he did was truly wearable art. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Palais Galleria but the true gem was around the corner.
Check out my next post for part two of my fashion #ParisianMoment.