Sunday was a very full day! Starting with the local marche. It’s a block away and goes til noon on Sundays. We stocked up on veggies, eggs, and bags – a coin purse for Shivaun, a blue bag for me. And more freesias. I do like fresh flowers in Paris. This time two bunches – yellow and purple. We restocked the fridge and then set out for the Musee Marmottan.
Love this place – it’s hunting lodge from the 17th century that was turned into a museum. Some of the rooms are decorated as it was then – a superb dining room ready for dinner. Claude Monet’s son donated the family collection of Monets to this museum. Awesome. (More on Awesome in a separate blog.) There are many other beautiful Impressionists too. In particular, Berthe Morisot.
Nice break for lunch and then on to the Yves St Laurent exhibit of the Scandalous Fashion of 1971. I have enjoyed previous shows of fashion – the De Young in SF had a fabulous retrospective of Balenciaga. Followed the next year -2012- by a Gauthier – that one was started in Montreal and has made its way around the world. It’s now here in Paris. Why was the 1971 Fashion Show of YSL considered a scandal? He was inspired by the Liberation and/or the Forties and made references to the occupation of Paris. These comments from two websites describes it better than I could.
“Haute couture was a somewhat conventional, very bourgeois industry at the time, with customers who had lived through the war, and young or not-so-young journalists who had either lived through the occupation or felt its repercussions through their parents,” he recalled. “To suddenly see on the catwalk a collection inspired by the slightly outré elegance of the Forties was perceived as a form of irreverence toward those who lived through this period of restriction,” Saillard added.” http://www.fondation-pb-ysl.net
“Saint Laurent was one of the first designers to hearken back to the styles of the 1940s — hardly an innocent reference in the French context. Critics savaged him for making the period of privation that was World War II look kinda fun, with day-glow colored fur chubbies and slinky dresses; part of the censure came because the French women who were able to dress well during the war were mostly either prostitutes or collaborators horizontales (like Saint Laurent’s fashion industry colleague Coco Chanel). One incensed French journalist wrote that it was “arrogant” for Saint Laurent “to think that, like sheep penned in a concentration camp, we would applaud when we saw good taste sent to the slaughter, elegance consigned to a mass grave, glamour dispatched to the ovens.” Because if an oblique reference to the war years is tasteless in a fashion collection, a series of incredibly overt ones to the Holocaust itself in a fashion column is just peachy.” www.jezebel.com
Having just finished the book Is Paris Burning?, I can see why those who lived through it would be upset. There are no words to describe the inhumanity of World War II, but the story of the Liberation of Paris during a week of August in 1944 is amazing. I have a new perspective now as I wander Paris, knowing the fierce street fighting that went on in places I now find peaceful and calm. Soon I plan to walk over to the Marie of Neuilly-sur-Seine – one of the first battles. And Raoul Nordling, the Swedish diplomat, who was instrumental in saving Paris, lived at 1 Montrosier – that’s 2 blocks from me. As I checked the map to be certain – I discovered that the section of Montrosier is now named after him.
While we were getting ready to do the dishes, I went to close the shutters for the evening. I thought I would take a quick peak for the searchlight from the top of the Eiffel Tower – that’s all I can see. But wow. That night there was a full moon staring down at me. I called Shivaun who rushed over. Looked at each other and then hustled our shoes back on for a quick trip to Trocadero to see the moon next to the Eiffel Tower. Trocadero is a very easy two metro train trip from me. We were there in 15 minutes and it was well worth it.
I have marked the next two full moons in my calendar.