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‘Galeries de la Mode’ at MAD opens again

The ‘Galeries de la Mode’ at the Museum for Decorative Arts in Paris (MAD) have been entirely refurbished thanks to the sponsorship of Stephen and Christine Schwarzmann.

The opening show is dedicated to famous American fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar.


20 Février 2020
     

Harper's cover, March 1896 © Illustration William A. Broadly
Harper's cover, March 1896 © Illustration William A. Broadly

On display

60 couture and ready-to-wear creations, from the museum’s own collections, are displayed in chronological order of publication in the magazine, completed by iconic pieces from private collections. The vision of photographers or illustrators who contributed to the fame of Harper’s Bazaar are put into perspective, highlighting 150 years of fashion history. Man Ray, Salvador Dali, Richard Avedon, Andy Warhol or recently deceased Peter Lindbergh contributed to the aesthetic appeal of the magazine. Founded in 1867, the magazine was propelled into modernity and specific graphic approach by three strong personalities in the 1930s : Carmel Snow, editor-in-chief, Alexey Brodovitch, art director and Diana Vreeland, fashion editor (1936 until 1962).

The magazine was, and still is, a literary journal featuring Colette, Simone de Beauvoir, Françoise Sagan, Jean Genet, André Malraux, and English contributors like Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf, Patricia Highsmith, Truman Capote or Carson McCullers. The delicate balance between superb images and acute critical perception of fashion and writing transformed the magazine into a reference in fashion history and graphic design. Fashion greats Charles-Frederick Worth, Paul Poiret, Jeanne Lanvin, Madeleine Vionnet, Elsa Schiaparelli, Christian Dior and Cristobal Balenciaga owe part of their mythical fame to the readership of Harper’s Bazaar.
 

Cover June 1964 © Hiro for Harper's Bazaar
Cover June 1964 © Hiro for Harper's Bazaar

Brief historical description of the evolution of the magazine on display

Adrien Gardère, architect and designer, was in charge of the renovation and layout of the galleries and the scenography of the exhibition. Spread over two levels, the exhibition traces both a chronological and thematic evolution of the magazine. Outfits are positioned in front of enlargened images of the original publications, accompanying changes to fashion shapes. The show also contains sketches, photos and patterns that precede the making of garments.

First visitors are given a brief introduction to the origins of fashion journals. In 1867, Mary L. Booth, first editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, set the tone by introducing Charles-Frederick Worth, Parisian couturier much appreciated by wealthy American clients. Stylistic evolution continued with Art Nouveau, then orientalism of the Ballets Russes and Paul Poiret, who inspired the illustrator Erté in the Roaring Twenties. Afterwards the photographs of baron Adolphe de Meyer documented the new tendency towards photographic aesthetics. Later George Hoyningen-Huene or George Platt-Lynes endowed a touch of surrealism to fashion photography, mirrored by the creations of Elsa Schiaperelli or Madeleine Vionnet who gave fashion a metaphysical dimension.

The ‘holy trinity ’of Carmel Snow, Alexey Brodovitch and Diana Vreeland transformed Harper’s Bazaar into an avant-garde luxury magazine. Diana Vreeland used Louise Dahl-Wolfe’s Kodachrome color images of large-open spaces and sun-burnished bodies to introduce the vision of healthy, outdoor fashion. Carmel Snow introduced Man Ray and Richard Avedon. The latter was perfectly suited to portraying wonderful, flowing ball gowns after the Second World War. Snow baptized Christian Dior’s 1947 collection ‘New Look’ ]contributing to the sense of a renewal of luxury after the meagre war years. However, already detractors were at work because existentialism was around the corner with its stricter approach to fashion. Soon Andy Warhol’s illustrations dominated the public’s attention, heralding the Pop and Op Revolution, reflected in the famous futuristic issue of the magazine in April 1965.
 

Page Nov. 1966 © Peter Lindbergh for Harper's Bazaar
Page Nov. 1966 © Peter Lindbergh for Harper's Bazaar

Further transformation of the magazine

Japanese photographer Hiro experimented with fashion, inspired by cinetic art, combining colorful impressions and flash-photography. Auras, distorsions and irisdescent images of the 1970s were reflected in the colored and brilliant fashion of the Disco, Dallas and Dynasty years of Bazaar directed by Mazolla in the 1980s. Magazine covers were of celebrities taken at very close quarters in ektachrome.

In 1992, editor-in-chief Liz Tilberis, and Fabien Baron, the artistic director, steered the magazine back to its former classical elegance with a change of typography and the choice of well-proven esthetics. Linda Evangelista and Kate Moss, among others, were put back into the lime-light by Patrick Demarchelier or Peter Lindbergh.

Glenda Bailey’s arrival later in 2001 as editor-in-chief, with Stephen Gan and Elisabeth Hummer as artistic directors, introduced more flamboyance with photographers Jean-Paul Goude or Simon Procter. Backstage and behind the scenes dominated fashion reportage, with ambitious and risky poses or huge photographic compositions, now dominating the pages of Harper’s Bazaar.

Cover July 1958 © Gleb Derujunzky for Harper's Bazaar
Cover July 1958 © Gleb Derujunzky for Harper's Bazaar

Where to find the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris

Musée des Arts Décoratifs
107 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris +33 (0) 1 44 55 57 50
Métro : Palais-Royal, Pyramides, Tuileries
Open from Tuesday until Sunday from 11h until 18h
Nocturnal opening Thursdays until 21 h
(Only the temporary exhibitions and Jewelery Gallery are open until 21h)
full entry ticket costs 11€, reduced ticket 8,50€
Temporary exhibition Harper's Bazaar runs from 28 February until 14 June 2020

Kunang Helmi-Picard
Free lance journalism (Indonesia, for The Jakarta Post, Dewi and other Indonesian publications,... En savoir plus sur cet auteur


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