Sure, it’s Fashion Week, but there are always plenty of reasons to go to Paris, if only because spring is so beautiful here. Paris is wonderful any time of the year, but spring might just be my favourite season, when the city parks are awash in a sea of flowers and the sidewalk terraces are buzzing as everyone heads outside during the first warm days. One of my favourite places is sitting under the arcades of the Louvre on the terrace of Le Café Marly with a view of the glass pyramid. It’s perfect for people watching, like your own private catwalk.
There is also lots going on, including numerous great exhibitions, from pop culture to contemporary art. IRMA has compiled all the must-sees for a springtime visit to Paris.
Bettina Rheims at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie
Hurry before this amazing exhibition closes! Bettina Rheims is a French photographer known for her iconic portraits of female models, both famous and unknown. For some 40 years she has been exploring the often nude female body in her work. “I love flesh, I am a photographer of the skin,” Rheims once declared. The Maison Européenne de la Photographie showcases some 180 images, from her first photos to her most recent work, a sensual, highly emotional tour de force.
Bettina Rheims, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, through 27 March 2016
The Velvet Underground at the Philharmonie de Paris
In 1967,The Velvet Underground released their first album, its sleeve graced by Andy Warhol’s famous banana. In their days, the band was too far ahead of their time and a commercial failure. It was only after the Velvet Underground had already broken up that it rocketed to fame. For the 50th anniversary of the now legendary album, the Philharmonie de Paris has dedicated an extraordinary exhibition to Lou Reed and his band. Unmissable!
The Velvet Underground, Philharmonie de Paris, 30 March – 21 August 2016
Seydou Keïta at the Grand Palais
Seydou Keïta (1921-2001) is considered one of the greatest photographers of the second half of the twentieth century, but is still relatively little known in Europe. The Malian portraitist created a series of fascinating portraits of the Bamako population, all characterized by his mastery of framing and light and the inventiveness of his compositions. His work constitutes an exceptional testimony to the Malian society of his time.
Seydou Keïta, Grand Palais, 30 March – 11 July 2016
Fashion Forward at Musée des Arts Décoratifs
A must for anyone interested in fashion and fashion history, this exhibition chronicles three centuries of fashion in 300 pieces. It’s the museum’s celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of its fashion collection, an opportunity to showcase the jewels of its enormous collection of more than 150,000 items. The exhibition takes you on a journey through time, highlighting the key moments in fashion history from the 18th century to today.
Fashion Forward, trois siècles de mode, Musée des Arts Decoratifs, 7 April – 14 August 2016
Barbie at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs
Another fun show at this museum is the big Barbie exhibition. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs pays tribute to this iconic doll, exhibiting some 700 Barbie dolls alongside documents (newspapers, photos, video) that contextualize Barbie’s lives. More than just a toy, Barbie has mirrored a culture and its evolution. Many couturiers have dressed Barbie over the years, creating the most extravagant and elegant outfits for her. The exhibition shows Barbie creations by Christian Lacroix, Jean Paul Gaultier, Maison Martin Margiela and Christian Louboutin, among others.
Barbie, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 10 March – 18 September 2016