For me, as close as I can get to bliss – an entire week dedicated to photography. Paris Photo this week. “All-American” is the beautiful and always surprising collection Bruce Weber has assembled for many years now. Each year a new book of discoveries, explorations, sometimes nostalgia, exquisite. His aesthetic always beautiful, and always his heart, first. This year with Volume XIV his choices, “Affairs of the heart” have been a great surprise. Kris is in there! In the same issue with Marcello Mastroianni.
Perhaps it is in the air this week, even my photo of three
old friends has an aura of timelessness. Here, at Azzedine’s dinner for Bettina, Azzedine, Joe and Bruce, the three together in a moment of friendship.
I received a beautiful gift from Bruce. An original fashion drawing by Jean Marais! Did I really know Jean Marais was a fashion designer? Perhaps I had heard this but much of the beauty and elegance of Marais has come through his incredible acting and his close relationship with Jean Cocteau, who directed him in so many brilliantly remembered roles, his other talents had been shadows to me. There is always so much to discover about the depth of someone’s creativity.
Jean Marais was well known for his elegance, and here, an unusual ad for Jean Marais’ tailor, André Bardot. In 1956 Bardot established with four other tailors a movement called “le groupe des cinq”. They hoped to create couture for men on par with women’s designers. Marais and Cocteau were both clients.
The opportunity to explore the work of new photographers is always one I enjoy so it was with great pleasure we hosted the timeless and poetic work of Korean photographer Bohuchang Koo. Working with a palette of palest tones, the passage of time, so fleeting, is caught in his images. A surprise, Bohuchang gave me a notebook with this photograph he had taken for Bazaar at the just opened 10 Corso Como in Seoul in 2008. Six years ago. How time plays tricks.
The charming and wide ranging show of photographs of Bettina during her career in couture are now on exhibition in Paris at the Azzedine Alaia gallery.
Always chic and surprising; poses both elegant and energetic were unique to her and always enchanting to see. Here, an addition to the exhibition we showed in Milano is this bronze sculpture of Bettina made in the fifties by French artist Jeanne Blanchot.
I am in Paris for Paris photo, but a must for me, before anything else, is to go and see the Sonia Delaunay exhibition now at the Museum of Modern Art. Delaunay’s dresses with words were my favorite, but I was enchanted by this Cleopatra drawing. One of my favorite myths since a young girl, I always enjoyed every second of the story, as well as the fashion side, of course. This costume, worn here by Russian dancer Lubov Tchernicheva in Diaghilev’s Ballet, Cleopatra, was seen in London in the early 20’s and caused a sensation.
In a special section of Paris Photo at the Grand Palais, early photographs from South Asia in the 19th century were on view. A rare collection of one of India’s most important theatre directors Ebrahim Alkazi, was shown for the first time in Paris.
Indian painted photographs, show a mix of artistic and realistic documentation; of traditions and innovations in Indian culture, and not easy to decipher all the elements that make up their beauty.
My favorite photographer of one solo exhibition at Paris Photo was Taiwanese Chen Shun-Chu. His love for home, and memory, hearth, and life touched deeply. For this exhibition he has used family photos, and pictures of friends to create the narrative of a family’s history, so that life becomes eternal through memory.