The Anatomy of a (Clothing) Collection in Paris
posted by Kendra Lehner
Studying abroad in Paris has been an experience like no other. Our wonderful group on the 2016 summer trip to Paris constantly joke that we are never leaving unless we can take the city back with us to New York!
Whether we are observing the chic locals at the outdoor cafés, drooling over the freshly baked pastries, or learning from experts in the French fashion industry, we truly get the authentic French experience from all angles.
The way the French behave and dress is a perfect reflection of how they approach everyday life and daily challenges. Throughout history, the French have been pioneering and creating the standards for fashion around the globe.
However, nothing quite showed us the history of French fashion like the experience we had visiting the Anatomie D’une Collection exhibition at the Palais Galliera.
Christelle Languillat, one of the most intelligent and chic teachers I have ever met, accompanied us from Mod’Art to translate the descriptions on various items and explain the history behind each piece. And let me tell you…we were all in complete awe of what we were able to see.
After we picked our jaws up off the floor, we proceeded to stand inches from a velvet embroidered jacket Napoleon used to wear, a bodice from Marie Antoinette, hats from Audrey Hepburn, scores of couture clothing, and even clothing worn by the locals from the 18th century until now.
Sadly, the museum did not allow pictures so I cannot explain to you the beauty and detailed craftsmanship we were able to see except through the words of this blog post. (You can go to the Anatomie D’une Collection website to see some of the fashions.)
We were able to relive and understand history through the clothing people wore and how each piece represented a pivotal moment in fashion and culture. Not only did this teach us the importance of tailoring, textiles, and craftsmanship throughout history, but it also showed us the stark difference between what the wealthy had in their clothing arsenal compared to a commoner’s wardrobe.
Without this trip abroad, we would have never been able to visit and see such incredible pieces of history firsthand. Many say that Paris is the city of love, but we have learned that Paris is also the center of culture, art, and innovation in both fashion and all other areas of life.