some treats from paris

I'm officially back from vacation and as promised, I've brought back some treats to share with you all! While in the city of lights, I made my way over the the Musée des arts décoratifs (Museum of decorative arts) to catch the extraordinary exhibit on Valentino. To be more specific, the exhibit was a retrospective of the designer's 30 influential years as a world renown taste-maker. It was nothing short of an ode to his genius, showcasing 200 of his couture delicacies for me, and all the others around me, to swoon over.

As an avid lover of fashion, it is truly a rare treat to come so close to a couture gown. As Jillian mentioned in a post over at Trendology a little while back, couture is the ultimate in fashion. It harnesses masterful artisanship and unimaginable creativity and talent into breathtaking and show-stopping works of wearable art. Couture is the most exciting facet of fashion because it gives you insight into the personality and character of a designer; like a painting, each gown tells a story, each collection a mood, or state of mind. You can sense a designer's love of whimsy or taste their flair for drama. And what makes couture the most interesting, for me, is the risk factor. In true couture, there is always an element of danger; in their own way, the designer is daring us- introducing a fantastical idea that eventually coaxes us to accept the avant garde into our daily repetoire. Couture functions as a designer's challenge to the status quo of fashion, and when successful, it is an absolute marvel of creativity and workmanship.

So, now that I've gushed about the many wonders of couture, its only fair that I share the pictures that I snapped along the way! I must warn you though- the pictures are not the best... technically, photography was forbidden in the exhibit, so I had to sneak photos (without flash), which resulted in some shaky/blurry images. The exhibit was also very dark, which unfortunately means that some of the smaller details are lost in my photographs but I still think you can grasp the beauty of each gown. I'm actually surprised at the number of photographs I managed to take, especially after having been yelled at by multiple security guards and feigning that I couldn't understand french or english...

The exhibit was arranged somewhat chronologically, but mostly organized by styles and themes throughout his collections. It spanned from the days of his influential Black and White (Jackie Kennedy) collection all the way to his last collection in Spring 2008. I hope you enjoy the photos!

p.s. after taking a look at my photos, it appears as though most of the gowns in the exhibit were black and white- but don't let my b/w heavy images fool you, Valentino has some exquisite and colorful gowns- I just wasn't able to sneak any pictures!