Discovering a new gem in Paris

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Revelation of the week

IMG_5649Since I have moved to Paris, every week, if not every day, I come across a novelty. This city has an astronomical heritage while in constant evolution. This week, I discovered a museum I had never heard of before: Le Palais de La Porte Dorée.

IMG_5621Ranked among the historic buildings since 1987, Le Palais de la Porte Dorée is a unique building in the panorama of Parisian architecture .

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Albert Laprade designed a synthesis of contemperary Art Deco style of the French classical architecture, and loosely inspired elements of arts from the “colonies” (A group of emigrants or their descendants who settle in a distant territory but remain subject to or closely associated with the parent country).

The reason why I went to this site was because there was an exhibit advertised in Paris for the past month:

Fashion Mix

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A last glimpse of the facade before entering the building

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The bas-relief: Punctuated by allegories , amidst abundant wildlife and lush flora , this ” stone tapestry” of 1,130 square meters exalts colonial wealth. Completed in less than two years by Alfred Auguste Janniot , sculptor specializing in monumental sets (Rockefeller Center, as well) , depicts a picture of the economic contributions of the colonies to the metropolis.

So the question I that haunted me all the way there was : why hold such a posh exhibit in Pétaouchnok-In-the-Middle-of-Nowhere ?!

The name of the exhibit is : “Fashion MIX , Mode d’ici , Créateurs d’ailleurs” at the Museum of History of Immigration. It stated making sense and the least one could do, was to go the extra mile.

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All along the stairwell wall, there is this graphic chronology of immigrants who made the wealth of French culture.

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L’ Arbre à Dons- The tree of donation … of your stories

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IMG_5636Just before walking in the exhibit itself…

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IMG_5655The notions of “savoir-faire français” and the “made if France” are internationally recognized and acknowledged in the fashion industry since the mid-eighteenth century. However, fashion is also elaborated by immigrants.

The Fashion Mix exhibit underlines the fundamental contribution of foreign creators to Haute Couture and the French Ready-to- Wear. It tells another story of immigration, that of men and women from around the world . Drawn by political or artistic reasons, attracted by the capital of culture and elegance but also the country of Freedom, these creators contributed , in turn, and until today, to make the reputation of Paris, the international capital of fashion.

From Charles Frederick Worth to Azzedine Alaïa, from Fortuny to Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto, Elsa Schiaparelli to Martin Margiela or Cristóbal Balenciaga, Paco Rabane and Raf Simons … many foreign designers revolutionized French fashion and developed its story. This exhibits highlights the extend of diversity of the French fashion. As I was not allowed to take any pics in the exposition, please check out the following link :

Beautiful … a view of the Hall on the way out

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Allegories de la justice, de la liberté et de la paix. Fresque du Forum ©

 

IMG_5593 Details of the museum’s ceiling

Statue de Léon Drivier sur les marches du musée permanent des Colonies lors de l’inauguration de l’Exposition coloniale, 1931. Photographie Henri Manuel (c) Droits réservés © Musée national de l’histoire et des cultures de l’immigration, CNHI

Statue de Léon Drivier sur les marches du musée permanent des Colonies lors de l’inauguration de l’Exposition coloniale, 1931. Photographie Henri Manuel (c) Droits réservés © Musée national de l’histoire et des cultures de l’immigration, CNHI

IMG_5616…and finally the statue of Athéna facing the city. Feeling wonderful for having visited this rich site and the exhibit.

This visit came somewhat a propos in light of the events and ongoing debates after the tragedy that happened in Paris. Many people suffered and bled -no doubt about that- yet a culture is forged and shaped by its bounty of diversity.

3 comments

  1. Katia Tólcheff says:

    Une fois de plus, merci Ariane pour cette magnifique et personnelle critique. Maintenant, c’est un peu comme si j’y étais allée moi même. J’espère avoir un jour le plaisir de partager avec toi une visite de ce genre!

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