Not only that autumn is my favorite season weather wise, but also every September takes place my most anticipated weekend of the year; the European Heritage Days (Les Journées du Patrimoine). During these two- or three days most of the monuments, government buildings and cultural sites, even the ones that are usually closed for public, open their doors for free visits.
This time I went to visit the Préfecture des Hauts-de-Seine in Nanterre, which sounds nothing but boring for anyone who lives in Paris. But what an overly 70’s, gorgeous design- and art heaven it was behind closed doors. I especially loved the LC1 chairs by Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand, which were everywhere down the halls and conference rooms.
Alaïa Haute Couture SS2003
Givenchy Haute Couture SS2001 by Alexander McQueen
Once again Palais Galliera succeeded to put together a great exhibition, this time in collaboration with Musée Bourdelle. The expo is called Back Side – Fashion from Behind, and Alexandre Samson‘s curation of the fashion pieces mixed with Antoine Bourdelle’s sculptures is just phenomenal. It’s also such an important subject in the era where we are consuming fashion mainly through a flat, 2-dimensional screen and shot from the front. The exhibition is running until 17th of November.
Summer is approaching and I’ll be spending most of it in the city, which I’m quite excited about. Although, we are doing a longer road trip to the Balkans in the end of the summer but that’s another story, I’ll still have two whole months to enjoy Paris before that.
I completed my wardrobe last summer with some great pieces and I can’t wait to wear them (ald also my mom’s old sandals) while wandering around in vintage markets and museums. I swear on white linen and silk during warmer days, as I need to cover my skin completely from the sun.
I have a bit mixed feelings about outlets, you can definitely find really good deals from them but on the same time, people tend to buy things that they don’t really need just because of the lower price tag.
However, recently I paid a quick visit to La Vallée Village, an outlet mall a bit outside of Paris, in the hope that they would still have Phoebe Philo’s designs at the Céline boutique. And I was right! As they operate 2-3 seasons behind, the store was filled with treasures from previous years and the interior was still untouched. They even had the accent on the top of the É and no Hedi in sight. Such a lovely trip to the past.
There is a small, but very intriguing Ellsworth Kelly -exhibition ongoing at Centre Pompidou definitely worth visiting. It gathers for the first time all Kelly’s window studies together along with photography, which brings so much depth into his works.
Galerie Patrick Seguin
The Row AW2019 / voguerunway.com
Alexander Calder at the Picasso Museum
Gemma Ward shot by Alexandra Nataf and styled by Ilona Hamer for Unconditional Magazine 7
I’ve tried to build a spring moodboard for couple of weeks now, but I’ve felt so disconnected with my thoughts lately. In a good way I mean. I’ve constantly had new ideas for projects I want to start and things I want to create, into the extent that I wasn’t sure anymore where to focus on.
To get my mind together, I took a day off just to visit some of my favorite places in Paris; Galerie Patrick Seguin and the Picasso Museum (The Calder-Picasso -exhibition I wrote about earlier). Over the years I’ve understood the importance of aesthetically satisfying environment to my creativity. I can’t stand mess and clutter, and whenever I feel disconnected, I need to get myself to an environment that calms me.
The same goes for clothes. I might wear the same outfit for a week and I don’t mind. I like to dress up from time to time end get creative with my wardrobe, where I love every single piece I have, but I’m intrigued by the idea of not to start my mornings with a decision of what to wear. Only depending on the weather I might change from all black to all white. Or something in between.
On a side note, do you also think those The Row shoes are a definition of freedom?
After a quiet period, there are finally some interesting exhibitions and events happening in Paris. I heard about the Calder-Picasso exhibition about a year ago and I’ve been waiting for it ever since, so obviously I went to visit the opening day. It was perfect.
I can’t say I know that much about art, but can definitely tell if an exhibition is well organized or not. I get easily bored with too much text to read or too many videos to watch, and very often the curation just feels weird and makes it hard to stay focused. But in the Calder-Picasso one, I could have stayed for hours. The Picasso museum itself is such a beautiful building, and the placement of each Calder piece was extremely well thought to fit in, how it brings out the details of the ceiling and how the natural light hits them. And most importantly, I loved how they matched the artwork from Picasso and Calder together.
Finally I took some time off to visit Villa Savoye near Paris in Poissy. It is a house Le Corbusier designed for the Savoye family in the 30’s and one of the most significant buildings in the modern architecture.
I visited on a weekday and was lucky enough to discover the house all by myself. On a sunny day the sun rays were flooding in and revealed the gorgeous shapes and details. My favorite part of the house is the round entrance with windows from ground to ceiling. I just wished there were some furniture, as everyone knows I’m a huge fan of Le Corbusier’s chairs!
Reformation Pilates, 75003 Paris
I’m usually taking my day-offs on Thursdays and Fridays and having weekend in the middle of the week has been truly life-changing. I’m able to get so many things done and rest on the same time. Not working when everyone else does keeps me away from all the distractions and forces me to focus on myself. Plus weekends in Paris are mostly just stressful as there are way too many people everywhere. Not even mentioning my pilates studio, where the classes are fully booked on weekends already many weeks in advance.
As I mentioned few times earlier, past winter I’ve been paying extra much attention to my daily routines to fight the winter tiredness, and as it happens I developed a bullet proof weekend routine that keeps my energy levels high throughout the weeks. When I was younger, I used to party a lot, but nowadays late nights and one too many glasses of wine puts me so out of focus for way too many days that now I prefer to start my weekends with pampering myself with a face mask, turmeric tea and sleeping early. The first “day-off” I usually dedicate for working from home and finishing up my to-do list for the week ( and preparing a new one for the next week, I’m a sucker for lists..). The second day I’m trying to stay out as much as possible, going to reformer pilates, meeting friends for a matcha latte and going to exhibitions. So simple yet so efficient.
I’m sure anyone who’s been following me knows how much I’m into good old print media and hunting rare pieces of fashion magazines. I might have mentioned this before but my go-to place for second-hand magazines and fashion- and art books is definitely Comptoir de l’Image in Le Marais. The grumpy (but very lovely) old french man owning the store has been collecting the pieces for over 40 years and knows quite impressive people within the industry. He’s not very eager to share his stories and might be even a bit offended if you decide to buy one of his treasures, but from time to time he gets in the mood to share his incredible memories.