Last days in Paris 2010
Strikes against the French Government proposal to raise the pension age. The marches in Paris are well organised but just in case anyone gets out of hand the Special Response Police Unit is always on alert down the side streets.
We lived close by and invariably found ourselves caught up in the action. By the way big fashion statement is black tights under shorts or very short skirt.
On the occasion of the release of a new book Louis Vuitton, 100 Legendary Trunks, the Musée Carnavalet traces the history of the founder, the family, and the brand Louis Vuitton. The first shop was opened in 1854 on the Rue des Capucines. The exhibition opened just as we were leaving Paris.
Musee Carnavalet, 23 rue de Sevigne, 3rd. www.carnavalet.paris.fr
Photos are from the Musée Carnavalet website.
The Musée Carnavalet is a must for a first visit to Paris as it is all about the history of Paris and it is free entry but you pay for any special exhibitions like this one. As we expected well curated and tells the journey (sic) of the company founder and family dynasty and final successor. I just did not think about the origin of the popular pattern that made this luggage company so famous. It came from Japanese symbols and all the supporting visuals were there to demonstrate the initial influences and artists who were commissioned to create new patterns.
My favourite pieces in the entire exhibition were the bespoke travel cases for men and women that contained toiletries and brushes etc. The craftsmanship and design were outstanding. It would be rare today if anyone were to commisson one of these as we don’t use the same kind of brushes, combs and glass or silver bottles. Many were covered or topped with carved ebony, ivory, or silver. I have a special mention though for the fold out travel bed that is designed to fit into a suitcase – pure genius. There was less emphasis in this exhibition on handbags. So to summarise, the exhibition was placed on the evolution of original patterns and travel equipment that made the company famous. We also enjoyed the old film footage taken at the World Exposition in Paris, you know the one that Eiffel Tower was specially built for but outlasted its temporary assignment.
At the end of the exhibition a room was set with the travel bed and a travel wardrobe. On the bed was a film projection of a man lying and moving and in the opened travel wardrobe, a woman writhing! Both had the bodies of toned dancers.
Disappointing that we were not allowed to take photos – all the more better to sell catalogues and the new book eh?…
Patissier and Bakers store
G.Detou is the unassuming name of a store that spreads across three shop fronts to sell all luscious ingredients to do with baking, sweet making or pastry. Prices here were better than many places in Paris for nuts, domestic and catering size chocolate, cooking liqueurs and spices. We bought some French chocolate and a test tube full of Madagascan vanilla beans. I could not find a website for them so here are the essential details.
58 rue Tiquetonne, 75002 Paris, France +33 1 42 36 54 67
After buying our chocolate we noticed two women restoring a building’s facade, the moulding above the door in Rue Montogueil. The tools were the size of toothbrushes so I will conject that they are assured a job for life. A good career move as in Paris old buildings cannot be changed or modernised.