Days like this unfold; all I have to do in this visually rich city is look at the "beasts and birds." On the bus, I saw an elegant woman in a mink coat worn super-casually, the snap of her red scarf evoked the neckline of the 1940 Schiaparelli dinner dress that appeared with the quote:
The exhibition, beautifully-mounted, summoned the East, painted at a time (the mid-19th century) when travel there was dangerous and the spectacular richness of the hammam and souk inflamed the painters' imaginations. The show balances its impressions of ethnic "exoticism" with an acknowledgment of the stereotypes, which detract little from the mastery on display.
Adrift in its langorous atmosphere, I noticed that the visitors wore not even a suggestion of the embroideries and silks of the paintings, yet women eternally seek that sensuous shimmer. A simple black jeans/white tee was lit by a fuchsia fur scarf:
With winter still evident, most of the crowd wore black. This woman looked tidily chic, but reminded me how environment plays directly upon fashion.
Afterwards, Marina and I stopped by Ogilvy, where a 70% off sale plus a further 20% off on that day, dictated a look. She's modeling a Black Watch blouse that she could not resist:
On the way to tea in Place des Arts, we passed a display of an Elizabethan gown, a contrast to the unconstricted, diaphanous clothing of the Orientalism show—the essence of containment, yet still conspicuously feminine.
Winter is slowly breaking up. "The Marvels and Mirages" runs till May 31; maybe Susan will hop a train to see it.
|Painting by Marina Malvada|
Marina has her own opening, an exhibition of her mysterious and moving space paintings, at Galerie Luz, from March 11 to April 4.