Yves Saint Laurent at the Petit Palais

Yves-saint-laurent-_675489cText: Mabli Jones

Next week, the Musée des Beaux Arts at the Petit Palais opens its first ever exhibition dedicated to haute couture; it is fitting then, that it should be a retrospective of the work of a man who embodied the ideal of fashion designer as artist like no other, France’s beloved adopted son and last great couturier: Yves Saint Laurent.

Charting his lifetime’s work through a selection of over 300 original creations, from his beginnings at Dior, through the height of his experimentalism during the 70s, to his later refined exoticism; the exhibition celebrates the astounding range and beauty of his accomplishment, both technical and artistic.

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Ways to Say Black by Swarovski

21542_286638749461_106921954461_4366381_2067440_n Text: Mabli Jones

The little black dress or the LBD: fashion’s favourite cliché. It’s the go-with-everything, easy route to chic...where would we be without it?

Ever since Coco Chanel first freed women from the stuffy, constricting clothes of her era, it became an instant classic and has been tirelessly re-invented by every designer since, in every decade and season, creating a long heritage of iconic versions: Chanel’s simple shifts, Audrey Hepburn breakfasting at Tiffany’s in Givenchy, Alaïa’s electrifying cling in the 80s, to more recently, Balmain’s coveted rock'n'roll glamour. The little black dress, if you will, is fashion’s canvas.

This concept is expressed perfectly in Crystallized Swarovski Elements exhibition ‘Ways To Say Black’.  Swarovski’s latest in a long line of exciting collaborations with the fashion world has given 22 of the current most innovative design talents, both established and emerging, the chance to reinvent the LBD in their own signature styles using Swarovski crystals. The showpieces which have been previewed so far demonstrate the range of possibilities the LBD provides, from Lanvin’s delicate grace, 3.1 Philip Lim’s pretty futuristic version, to Givenchy’s directional use of embellishment. The stunning results of the project will be published in a book and displayed in a touring exhibition, starting this Thursday at the Hotel Pozzo di Borgo in the 7th arrondissement, and culminating in the final auction in New York, with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society and La Ligue contre le Cancer.

Paris Vintage Shopping

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text by ARTIFICE.

Vintage Couture trend started on the red carpet in Hollywood where it was broadcast worldwide: Julia Roberts collected her best actress Oscar wearing Vintage Valentino, and put Couture Vintage on the fashion map. Of course, vintage collectors have always known about the beauty and workmanship of these couture pieces, but the mass market fashion audience was not totally aware of what industry insiders have always known: Vintage, is not just a style, or a piece, its an approach to dressing that has found its place in the fashion spectrum and can work for everyone’s wardrobe budget.

How do you work that Vintage Vibe into your own wardrobe? We like the idea of mixing up vintage pieces to create fashionable looks that are personal and unique. With a chic vintage fur or a little beaded top over your favorite skinny jeans, you can stretch your fashion budget; I enjoy the sheer fun of having something that no one else has making my personal style original. How can you put a price on that?

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Noël en Bio in the Marais

Rubon23-9803cText: Stephanie Wells

With the whole world a-twitter over the Copenhagen summit, get into the spirit with a little organic holiday shopping in the Marais. The Noël de Bio holiday fair convenes Friday, December 11 through Saturday, December 13 in the Espace des Blancs Manteaux. According to experts, the most effective way to climate change is on the citizen level. What better way than finding 100% organic cotton footed pyjamas for your boyfriend?

The cavernous showroom of Blancs Manteaux will be packed to the poutres with clothing and textile designers, beauty and body care products, and artisanal delicacies. Cruising for organic slippers and cruelty free leather totes, you might be able to wrangle a healing crystal realignment or a free ayurvedic massage. The holidays are a time for receiving and giving. This year, give consciously, and with Parisian style.

Espace d’animation des Blancs Manteaux
Friday, Dec. 11 – Saturday, Dec. 13
11h – 20h
48 rue Vieille du Temple, Paris 4e
Metro: St. Paul
Free entry

Cité de la Mode et du Design

Cite Anna Bromwich writing for VINGT Paris

Cité de la mode et du Design,image by Ollografik

Perched on Quai D’Austerlitz on the old industrial banks of the Seine is a 21st century Emerald City. The Cité de la Mode et du Design is a converted storehouse wrapped in a vibrant green, wavy skin that was designed to echo the murky Seine running beside it.

Cité de la Mode is due to open in early 2010 and the public should soon be able to visit the complex of boutiques, restaurants and exhibition spaces all pertaining to the theme of fashion and design.  The building already plays host to the post-graduate fashion design and management school l’Institut de la Mode. However, it is the Cité's adventurous architecture which is the greatest testament to its proposed use. Twenty years ago this part of town was a run down industrial zone. Stretching from Gare d'Austerlitz to Boulevard Général Jean-Simon, a visit to this corner of the 13th arrondissement was easily bypassed unless you happened to be tugging a boatload of merchandise up the Seine.

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Save the Date: VINGT Paris invites you to our Sale Privée

Sarah Moroz writing for VINGT Paris

Showroom_5 Fabien Larchez, creator of accessories brand Meilleur Ami, capitalizes on the idea that your wardrobe should be your best friend, your asset. It's a great concept, to mix friends and fashion. Larchez has done just that: reaching out beyond his accessories line, he’s recruited friends from the fashion community in order to organize ROOMconnection. He's collected clothes from various mode-immersed industry types (buyers, editors, models, etc.) that they no longer wear, be it because they don't have enough space or they're ridding themselves of pieces bought they in a moment of folly (it happens). Lanvin, Pierre Hardy, YSL, Isabel Marant, Chloe, Prada are amongst the names you just might recognize...

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Green in the City: Baba chic

IMG_1104 Stephanie Wells writing for VINGT paris

Take it from a San Franciscan. Hippies do not great fashionistas make. Yet, am I imagining things? Could this be the elusive green-chic boutique that until now has avoided Paris?

While eco style outposts carpet New York and California, Paris has been fashionably late to jump onboard. Green in the City owner Helene Sananikone approaches eco chic with a refreshing Franco-Asian attraction to refined modern elegance. The absence of flawlessly stylish green and fair trade apparel in the capitol of fashion stirred Sananikone to launch her Marais boutique earlier this year.  Without a doubt, she has created something special.

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The Art of Russian Popular Dress

Magic and Wonder at the Pierre Berge/Yves Saint Laurent Fondation Exhibit

ARTIFICE writing for VINGT Paris
Russianfolk The Fondation Pierre Berge - Yves Saint Laurent exhibit on Russian Dress is filled with wonderful details, in a carefully designed space complete with lighting, and scenic elements which evoke the idealized world of the Russian Peasant. I was taken in by the sheer splendor of this beautiful exhibit space: Sheaves of wheat decorated the room, patterns of light were on the walls and the floors were covered with wooden floorboards which felt different under your feet. Music played and a large grouping of white figures dressed in full costume stood silently, as if a performance was about to begin.

The archive of Russian costumes were lovingly assembled by Yves Saint Laurent, an avid collector of all things Russian during his lifetime. He even built a Russian summer home, a “Dacha”, on his property at Normandie. A replica was recreated as part of the exhibition space and cleverly divided the rooms. I was prepared for a series of costumes that were simple in character: regional, homespun, and evocative of the typical Russian peasant that populates a Chekov play. Some of those costumes there, were showing homespun details, embroidery and fabrics mostly red in color. 

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Espace Créateurs at Forum des Halles

Artifice writing for VINGT Paris

Pedro WilB One way for young designers to gather together with a mass audience is to use commercial space left empty by retailers and create a boutique experience. Marie Raflin, the mastermind behind Espace Créateurs,(in the inglorious FORUM DES HALLES has done just that to lure people in from the surrounding shops. Even a unique concept store, just for children, is there to tempt harried mums who are tired of H&M.

I took a walk through their eight design spaces and was glad to see a lot of variety. There is something for everyone, with the boutiques arranged by designer and grouped in a stylistic sort of way, which works well to begin with. But be prepared, it is not for the fashion faint of heart: these are new, young designers who have a vision you may not have seen before. The boutiques themselves reminded me of going to a sample sale - if you’re not an experienced shopper, this will be challenging for you. 

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Architecture of a BIAS CUT GOWN: Vionnet at the Musée D'Arts Decoratif

ARTIFICE writing for VINGT Paris

ARTEFICE1 ARTEFICE2 Vionnet, perhaps one of France's most celebrated couture houses of the early 20th century put her stamp on the look of classic, pure line that was and is, the Art Deco period, in the 1920s and 1930s of Paris.

The art of line, shape, form and Jazz music were all playing together in a harmony with the body that was now freed form corsetry, stays, and other foundations. It was pure women, and pure feminine, and is something we have to search for, in  but found it here at the Musée d'art Decoratif.

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