Paris fashion week is as hectic as it gets. Nine days, around sixty shows, seventy presentations, five lunch meetings, six coffee meetings, ten resees, twenty-five cocktail events, seven parties, nine dinners, and many, many inspirations. Wrapping up the Paris fashion week, besides the strong collections and shows this season, these are the things that are still on my mind.
The Bill Viola exhibition at the Grand Palais was a fantastic escape from the fashion shows. I went to see it in between two shows, and it felt very meditative. Well, you need around five hundred hours to watch all the videos in full duration, but of course that’s not the aim or the case for anyone. The show includes a wide-ranging group of his works, including moving paintings and monumental installations from 1977 to today. It’s a magical and super-impressive exhibition, I must say. You lose yourself in thoughts of the brevity of life and the inevitability of death, which are ever-present in his works.
The Proenza Schouler exhibit at Le Bon Marché was a very good one; efficient, to the point, and well-edited. Besides seeing eighty favorite looks edited from their collections to date—even closer than one would at a fashion show—I loved the short commissioned documentary Proenza Schouler Is, which includes the answers of random people on the street when asked the pronunciation of the brand’s name (and none of them can actually say it!). Then the designers themselves appear to provide the answer. The film is super cool, showing the brand’s creative process in a compact, humorous, and very creative way.
Yazbukey‘s Fall 2014 collection, Turkish Delight—and the interactive presentation was quite authentic with its references. When you entered the venue, Le Dôme du Marais, you already felt like you were at a bazaar in a back room, smelling the opium in the air. Creative jewels presented with the designer’s great storytelling ability led us to a decadent fantasyland set back in the Ottoman times, where you can see an undercover Mata Hari who has infiltrated the Topkapi Palace harem to steal the Sultan’s treasure, contemplative hookah smokers playing backgammon, a mystical fortune-teller, and a snake charmer holding a vial filled with vitriol.
The Dries Van Noten exhibition Inspirations, (sponsored by Barneys) at Musée des Arts Décoratifs, was a major inspiration itself; it was very well and coherently curated. To see the designer’s inspirations, the creative process, and the reference points was like following the creative path in Van Noten’s brain. To see the way he absorbs and digests source material from different centuries and mediums, and the twisting of his imagination, was fantastic. And witnessing the paired-up references next to their manifestations in his own designs—like Cecil Beaton’s bunny suit from a 1937 Easter party, or an Elizabeth Peyton painting—was also another great part of the scenography.
Photos: Courtesy of Ece Sukan