Saturday, 23 June 2012

Les Docks de Paris

Pierre and I went exploring new areas in Paris this week...and we discovered a beauty.

The Cristobel Balenciaga exhibition at les Docks-Cité de la Mode et du Design, in the 13th arrondissement, showcased designs of the great Spanish Basque couturier.

Opulent, architectural, heavily beaded and mostly in black...the Balenciaga gowns, coats, capes, hats were all 'gobsmacking' gorgeous.

And in the next room, all in white, were the creations of the Japanese designer, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons fame.  In a word, the Comme des Garcons creations were extraordinary!

I liked the way these two exhibitions were shown side by side...they were both architectural in concept, one black, the other white.....and exhibited in a very modern, new architectural space in Paris.

Les Docks certainly looks interesting...and work is continuing to redevelop these old docklands of Paris.  When les Docks is completed....I'm sure it will be a hit with Parisians et al.  Perhaps another one to put on your "To Do" list.
We caught the Metro to Gare d'Austerlitz...then headed for the strange green building (top right corner below).
This is the docks area being redeveloped.
The Balenciaga and Comme des Garcons exhibitions were shown side by side.
Trés chic Balenciaga gown, bolero and chapeau!
The gowns featured heavy guipure lace, rich embroidery and glass beading.
Loved this petal chapeau from the 1950s.
Guipure lace cape and jacket...and you can see how Balenciaga
drew on the historical fashions of his homeland
for inspiration.
All my colours!!!!!!!!!!  And below,
a little orange chapeau
just like a matador's.
Too difficult to choose..le jaune or le bleu!
Now this would look great at L'Opera Garnier.
Spanish lace and pink silk satin.
Sooooo 1960s.  Love it.
Sketches attributed to Balenciaga.
Commes des all its glory!
Lace and cabbage roses....and a gown for a 'quiet' mood
as one couldn't be too animated in this little number.
The creations were displayed in clear plastic bubbles
which seemed to add to their
The simple industrial setting
was a perfect backdrop
for the exhibition.
Graffiti type art painted directly
onto the finished garment.
Just perfect for a 21st century bride, non?
Commes des garçons showed 'cabbage roses' en masse!
After the exhibition
Pierre and I headed up to
the Moonbar on the rooftop.
A fab place to kick back.
The building (and the surrounding area) is an example
of new Parisian architecture.
It was rust...and I loved it.  Just perfect for my garden in Brisbane.
Now.....who can I get to make me one.  My friend Alan is a very good welder... was a fab way to spend the morning.

And in the arvo we headed to Jardin des Plantes just across the way...but I'll tell you about this in another post.

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  1. Fabulous recounting of this area. I was so close but did not venture beyond the Pont de Bercy in April. The designs of Balenciaga are stunning and what a legacy he left through those who studied under him. From what I understand, he was quite the rebel and as a result never given the Haute Couture designation. Bravo for him!

    What a great excursion ending with the Moonbar!

    I am looking forward to Jardin des Plantes. Bon weekend, mes amis!


    1. Merci beaucoup Genie....the exhibition was wonderful and I loved discovering this part of Paris.

  2. Enjoying your Parisian journey from Everton Hills (jealous as ) .... near your old digs..... Somewhere near this museum there are Friday night dance parties in the park along the Seine (possibly near Pont de Sully) ... I visited 6 years ago and they were doing Rock and Roll, the Jive and things unknown to me ... apparently it is most locals that turn up ... looked like good fun .. Lili

    1. Praps I'll give it a go Lili...last week during Féte de la Musiqué we heard a local duo (accordian + drums) doing Elvis and Bill Haley numbers with a French accent....fantastiqué et uniqué as the French would say! Hope you keep enjoying the blog from good ol' Everton Hills (I know it well).

  3. What exquisitely crafted garments! What a fun morning it must have been...

    1. The Balenciaga and Comme des Garcon creations were divine.

  4. as you know robyn we just travelled to italy and it was sensational however... nothing beats the enthusiasm and energy that Paris continues to put into its art. What a wonderful discovery you made. Always worth getting lost in Paris isn't it?

    1. Sure is Soula..getting lost is the best way to really discover a city...that how you see its soul!

  5. Seriously swooning over the photos in the post!
    Toma (aka, The Antiques Diva)

    1. Merci beaucoup Toma...and keep discovering all those fantastic antiques.

  6. Robyn, I do enjoy your little tours. I would love to see the Balenciaga exhibition. The beading is incredible, and the lace cape is exquisitely made, for me this is perfection.

    1. Balenciaga was one of the greats Paul...and you have great taste!

  7. How spectacular are those commes des garcon 'bubbles'?? You must have really enjoyed that exhibition Robyn. Have yet to show Alan your majestic rust chair. No doubt he'll have something to say to you about that. Keep enjoying your rendezvous. Jude

    1. a designer extraordinaire, you would have loved those bubbles. A bientot.

  8. Balenciaga was BASQUE, born in Getaria (where there is also a great museum honoring Balenciaga) in the province of Guipuzkoa, Spain. The Basque Country (or Navarre) was in existence long before the Spanish political borders encompassed it. There are 3 Basque provinces geographically located within the now political borders of France and 4 in Spain. Stating Balenciaga was Spanish is akin to calling an Irishman an Englishman, they are both in the UK, but VERY different :)

    1. Thanks for that labergerebasque....and rectification made. A bientot.