Tag: Paris

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A Proud and Posturing Great-Grandfather

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Images of Louis XIV played an important role in celebrating, commemorating and promoting his power. Many survive on decorative objects, charting his life from cradle to grave. Almanacs (a type of calendar) were often used to depict the heroic exploits of Louis and his family with illustrations and verses depicting wars, royal weddings and births […]

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Paquin: Parisian Fashion Designs 1897-1954

'Poursuite'. Design for a skirt suit and coat by Lou Claverie for Paquin, Paris, mid-1950.

Over the last few years I have been working through a remarkable collection of over 9,700 fashion designs from the House of Paquin. Covering the period from Winter 1897 to Winter 1953-54, these designs (many bound in impressively hefty volumes) were acquired in 1957 following the 1956 disestablishment of the Paris House of Worth, who […]

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Falbalas and Fanfreluches part 3: Fantasy

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A third instalment of George Barbier’s illustrations from his luxury collector’s magazine Falbalas et Fanfreluches. This time, the theme is theatricality and general over-the-top extravagance. The images will speak for themselves!            

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Born on This Day: The Bridge Builder

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Born this day in 1708,  the French architect and structural engineer Jean-Rodolphe Perronet was admittedly not technically a ‘builder’ but he was the man responsible for the design and construction of many key bridges in 18th-century France. Perronet improved the network of bridges and roads across France, and established the first school for training bridge […]

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Out On Display #2: Eileen Gray, Avant-Garde Designer

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Screen Eileen Gray France (Paris), wood with lacquer, c.1928 W.40-1977 On display in room 135   Born into an aristocratic Irish family, the designer and architect Eileen Gray (1878-1976) lived an unconventional life compared to most women of her time and class. Initially training as a paintre, it was Gray’s visit to the Paris Exposition […]

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Born on this Day: Charles-Louis Clérisseau

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  Today our moment of ‘birthday-prompted’ attention is focused upon the artist, architectural draughtsman and antiquary Charles-Louis Clérisseau (1721-180). Clérisseau has been described as creating a vital link in the chain of architectural excellence that prevailed in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries. He was sent to study at the French Academy in Rome in 1749, where he worked with […]

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“Can I Have a Taste of Your Ice-cream?”

‘Cooling Off’, photograph, John Heywood, 1982 (V&A B.146-2013) © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

With the intermittent bouts of hot sun we’ve been having recently, the sight of children (and some adults!) with ice cream smeared across their faces has become an increasingly frequent sight on the streets outside the museum. Ice-cream and sorbets are now a quintessential part of the summer but it may come as a surprise […]

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Easter Bonnets

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Fancy some last minute inspiration for your Easter Bonnet? These six lithographs come from a series of eighteen of beautiful women in fantastical costumes representing various aspects of Paris. They were created in about 1910 by an artist signing himself simply as ‘Laviny’. We yet don’t know much about him, but he clearly had quite the imagination!

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