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Paris Part Deux: Nick Verreos goes to the Vionnet Exhibit and Sees Naty Abascal!!!
The Geometry of Couture: Paris Part TwoTaking The Metro: Nick Verreos arrives at the Rue de Rivoli stop in Paris My Paris visit last ended with my visit to the Louvre for some fashion inspiration and waiting in line during a thunderstorm (sans umbrellas, thank you very much!) for the Eiffel Tower and an eventual elevator ride up to the famed structure. Les Arts Decoratifs Museum After sightseeing, we decided to return to the Louvre area, but this time we were in search of BIAS CUT DRESSES. As we exited our Rue de Rivoli Metro stop, we made our way to the Arts Decoratifs, our favorite Paris Museum (sorry, Louvre). It's the one that holds the Costume and fashion exhibitions and various other more "tangible" arts.Bias Hankerchief Cocktail Dress, Vionnet Exhibit Les Arts DecoratifsRectangular Bias Cut Heaven: One of my Favorite Dresses from the Vionnet Les Arts Decoratifs exhibit They had just unveiled the new Madeleine Vionnet Exhibition. Vionnet was the "creator" of the bias-cut dress and actually one of my greatest inspirations. When people ask me "Who are the greatest Designers and influences?", Vionnet is on my list. The gowns and dresses on display were stunning! I marveled at the construction and all the flowing geometry in front of me. There were so many gowns that could EASILY work for 2009, it was proof that a Vionnet gown is without a doubt, timeless. Shirred Silk Tulle Meets Bias: Gowns at the Vionnet Arts Decoratifs Exhibit The exhibit was sectioned into time periods. Starting with the beginning of her altelier in the early 1900s, through the 1920's and 30's until her retirement in 1939 (she lived until 1975: aged 98!!). There were also great digital videos explaining the technical mastery of Vionnet's dresses and how 3 simple squares somehow (in Vionnet's hands) would be transformed into the definition of an exquisite cocktail dress. I wish young students of fashion were more passionate about fashion and especially the patternmaking and technical aspects of the craft. A Vionnet Gown circa 1933 that could easily be worn in 2009, Les Arts Decoratifs Museum Vionnet also understood the significance of her work and meticulously documented her own career. Upon her retirement in 1939 she donated the majority of her work to the archives of the UFAC (today part of the Musée de la Mode et du Textile in Paris) including 120 dresses from 1921 to 1939 and all of her patterns, lookbooks and photos. Work that tie-neck: Emerald silk plunging-neck silk crepe dress, Vionnet Exhibit Les Arts Decoratifs There weren't too many visitors at this exhibit since it had just opened a week before. However as I was gawking at the dresses--nose-to-the-glass--I spotted the one and only, Spanish socialite and Haute Couture Icon Naty Abascal! Yes, the DIVA herself! She was there, also touring the newly-opened exhibit. I doubt anyone else in the museum recognized her but as a child who has been brought up by HOLA MAGAZINE and having just watched the Valentino Documentary, I sure as heck knew! La Diva: Nick spotted (and followed) Naty Abascal at Les Arts Decoratifs She was in town for Haute Couture Week (I assumed) and was giving "Le Sport", in white skinny denim jeans, driving flats, a printed Pucci blouse with turned up collar and a sweater around her shoulders. Yeah, I have an AMAZING eye for detail. Don't even mess with it! As my heart began to palpitate faster (and David got farther and farther away from me), I wanted to approach her and introduce myself, but I decided against it. I should have. No Should've Would've Could've I like to preach, however, for this instant, I didn't follow my own mantra. Besides being at the unbelievable presence of Vionnet's creations, being near such a style icon as Naty Abascal, was really one of my highlights of my Paris trip. Really. Well, time to bid Paris Adieu and make my way to Italy.... Nick on the TGV, Paris to Florence Italy