Galliera, celebrates the Olympics and Paolo Roversi’s photographs

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Gebr. Rodeck Wien, “Hunting Dogs” folding fan, circa 1880, painted leather

La Mode en mouvement” (fashion on the move) is the second exhibition devoted to the permanent collections of the Palais Galliera, on sports and fashion. And what struck me this time is the amount of fans which were used in the XIX th and XX th century as well as the extraordinary swim ware collections developed by Jacques Heim in the 1930’s. From Victorian traveling outfits to fencing clothes and golf shoes, the show enlightens our view of women’s sport life at the beginning of the XX th century. And the collection of bathing suits and beach outfits including Madame Grès‘s is quite fun.

Madame fait du sport, comedy , 1908, Gaumont Pathé archives

The promotional fan for the Olympic Games of 1924 in Paris, made par perfumer L.T. Piver, highlit feminine athleticism across the five figures of a mountaineer, a tennis player, a runner, a fencer and a rugby player. When the Comité International Olympique (CIO)  was created in 1896 by Pierre de Coubertin, women were excluded until 1900 when they were allowed some sports: out of 997 athletes, 22 women competed in tennis, sailing, croquet, equestrian sports and golf. In 1904 they were admitted to archery, skating in 1908, swimming in 1912, fencing in 1924, gymnastics in 1928. In Paris, in 1924, there were 3089 athletes from 44 countries and only 135 women.

L.T. Piver, perfumer, René Préjelan illustrator, promotional folding fan, “Jeux Olympiques 1924”

Riding and hunting is one of the strong sections with an amazons’ hat in silk velvet and a riding dress from 1830, and this amazing fan in wood attached to a crop (cravache). Why would one need a fan on a horse? It could have been just a present to hand to ladies who followed the hunt? A hunting muff with deer feet sewn together dates from 1880 and a hunting dog fan from the same time,  is irresistible.

Crop-fan circa 1800, wood, leather, and mother of pearl pivot pin

Women also loved to drive, first on horse dawn carriages and then automobiles. They wore a motoring hood  (1905) and a motoring cap given by Princesse Murat’s heirs. It is mad of linen and leather in 1900. Like Jacques Heim, Lucien Lelong was a great couturier for women who skied or played tennis. We discover his outfits through Milanese photographer, Egidio Scaioni, whose collection of hundreds of photographs were given to Palais Galliera by his widow.

The exhibition is curated by Marie Laure Gutton  and Miren Arzalluz, director of the museum. (until January 5, 2025)

Marie Laure Gutton îs curator of accessories at Galliera and worked on this show

Upstairs in the main galleries, fashion photographer Paolo Roversi has a retrospective of his work of which the series “Nudi” started with Inès de la Fressange for Vogue Hommes is probably the most extraordinary. Hervé Ollitraut Bernard was the artistic director then and I shared his office…  The gallery where all these “nudi” hang is white, with the pictures of the most famous models of the 1980’s posing naked. And there is nothing shocking about it since the light used by the photographer uniforms every shot in a sort of abstract way.

“Nudi” series, “Inès de la Fressange” for Vogue Hommes, 1983

In the last rooms of the show, superb black and white portraits of Guinevere, Naomi, Kate, Saskia, Audrey, Natalia, Kirsten, Anna…, all the celebrity models of the time, are striking by the way he catches their eyes.

Natalia, Paris, 2003

Paolo Roversi until 14 July.  Palais Galliera

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