Great News: Madame Gres Exhibit Extended in Paris

Great News: Madame Gres Exhibit Extended in Paris
On a normal day, I wouldn’t have placed the Musée Bourdelle high on my list of places to visit in Paris. Truth be known, if it hadn’t been for the Madame Grès exhibit I never would have made the trip in from the Yvelines, driving around the confusing maze of streets that take turns and follow tunnels in the area of Montparnasse I’m not familiar with. Having never heard of Madame Grès, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After all, to me, a foreigner with an outdated interest in fashion, her name meant little. She wasn’t a “Coco,” whose life story made it to the big screen via Audrey Tautou. Nor a YSL, whose retrospective I’d seen the previous year at le Petit Palais. But that was before, and after being invited along by friends for the first visit, I can now claim to be the owner of two entrance tickets to the Musée, having made the trip a second time, so impressed was I. Presented by the Palais Galliera / Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris, the exhibition highlights the works of the striking Madame Grès and is the first Parisian retrospective devoted to the elegant creations of the lady born Germaine Krebs. Set amongst the marble, bronze and plaster sculptures of Bourdelle and in his atelier in the 14th arrondissement, the collection is impressive. One regards in awe at the pleating detail and can imagine Madame Grès sculpting the fabric to the body it was being created for, for sculptures and creations they are truly are. Such is the simplicity and timelessness of many of the creations, that it is easy to imagine some of them making an impact on their entrance into a modern evening affair. Mme Grès commenced on the rue Miromesnil in Paris during the 1930s and established a career that saw her creating for nobles and celebrities of her time with regular appearances of her designs in Vogue France & Harpers Bazaar. Her fortunes took an abrupt turn in 1987 when after two years of unpaid rent at her then-address 1, rue de la Paix, she was evicted and her maison de couture was liquidated. She was left with the feeling that her life had been stolen. What remained of the Maison Grès brand was purchased by a Japanese company, still the owner to this day. (1) Following the turn of events of the previous year, Madame Grès made her final public appearance in 1988 before arriving at the office of her dear friend Hubert de Giverney with a box. Inside the box was a dress to which Mme Grès told M. Giverney, “I don’t know how to thank you. I’m giving to you, the last dress that I’ve made. You know Hubert, of all the dresses I adore, it is the ones that I didn’t sell, but that I gave away.” It was the last time that M Giverney was to see his beloved friend. (2) In 1993 Madame passed away: “Madame Grès est partie comme elle a vécu, silencieuse et seule.”(3) The Madame Grès exhibit has been extended for an additional month, until August 28th. Book references: 1,2,3 ; Madame Grès – La Couture à L’Œuvre (ISBN : 978-2-7596-0157-8) Published by Paris musées – les Musées de la ville de Paris Practical Information Musée Bourdelle Tél: 01 49 54 73 73 18, rue Antoine Bourdelle, Paris 15th Métro: Montparnasse-Bienvenüe (lines 4, 6, 12, 14, place Bienvenüe exit)  Falguière (line 12) Bus: 28, 58, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96 Hours:  Daily 10am to 6pm except Mondays & bank holidays Admission to the Madame Grès temporary exhibition:  7€ adult; 3.50€ for 14-26 years; children younger than 14 are free Accessibility: Lift access to the different levels of the museum; wheelchair available at reception; disabled access to toilets. A list of hands-on exhibits and large-print tour guides available at reception Carina Okula is a photographer and writer who lives in Paris. In her last BonjourParis story she wrote about the secret Paris “pop-up” dinner attended by over 10,000, the Dîner en blanc. Want to read more? Here’s an earlier review of the Madame Grès exhibit by design student Erica Hewins. Not yet subscribed to BonjourParis? Sign up for your free subscription to French travel guides, news from France, French lifestyle articles and more. 50 original stories monthly—your most complete France travel resource. If you can get it from, you can get it at the BonjourParis Boutique. Same unbeatable pricing, same speedy delivery and a few centimes of your purchases support BonjourParis, your most complete online France travel resource. Merci in advance! Search hint: start at the back pages of each category for the most recent stock. Madame Gres: Sphinx of Fashion While the classically inspired “Grecian” gown designed by Madame Alix Grès is widely recognized & admired, little else of the brilliant couturier’s life or work has received close attention. This book, by…

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