On the outside looking in at Fashion Week and on the inside looking out at the Louvre

It's Fashion Week in Paris. The streets in front of all of the ritzy hotels are clogged with sleek chauffeur- driven cars with tinted windows, the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Garden have sprouted massive tents and the Twitter feed is all about the "beautiful" people who have invaded the city. [Side note: there was also a Jimmy Buffett sighting. Apparently, he's still in town after a concert last weekend and was spotted walking his dog down Avenue George V.] Having heard that much of the action takes place near the Tuileries Garden, I headed in that direction with a visit to the Louvre as my Plan B yesterday afternoon.

In case you're looking for an obvious connection between Fashion Week and the Louvre, there isn't one. But here's why I linked the two together in my mind -  when Joseph recently asked if I had written a post about the Louvre because he had just read an interesting article about it in the New York Times, I realized that 30 years is an embarrassingly long time to postpone my trip to the world's most visited art museum and decided to make it a priority...if I didn't get distracted with taking photos of leggy models along the way.

When I arrived at the Tuileries Gardens, it looked as if most of the fashionistas had already left one show and were on their way to the next, so I switched to Plan B and was inside the Louvre within a matter of minutes. No lines, no hassles. Even better, I managed to spot two of the most famous women in the world who have been around for a lot longer than any of the five minute wonders on the runway.

The Devil Wears Prada with Meryl Streep is a fun movie about the world of fashion.
Paris fashion week: Prêt-à-porter schedule Spring/summer 2012

Is this my post about the Louvre? No, there's more to come on that subject!

Venus de Milo has her share of fans
And the throng of admirers around Mona Lisa is so thick that it's hard to get a close look at her,
even on a quiet afternoon.
From the inside of the Louvre looking out...


  1. Such beautiful light in Paris right now--the shot of the Richelieu courtyard is very nice.

    I went to Paris at least a dozen times before making it to the Louvre, and then when we went in it was just a run through. Shame, I know, and especially since reading the NYTimes article. It's simply that it requires so much time and effort to do it properly, it's almost overwhelming. And I have an art history degree!

    Pity that the Mona Lisa is so protected. I really think there are better ways to do it than the massive overload currently deployed, but few other artworks have as great a value and threat to them. Crazy.

  2. Joseph,

    The light is a photographer's delight right now. It's going to be hard going back to taking pictures when the days are grey and miserable.

    I'm estimating that the average person only spends a couple of seconds in front of the Mona Lisa. I stood there and watched for a while and most people arrived, snapped a photo and left. The crowds are the main reason that I've been avoiding the Louvre. Fortunately, other areas were not crowded at all.

    When I get back from Boston, I'm going to get an annual pass for the Louvre. It merits many visits and I have the time. One thing that I really need to do is to take a guided tour since I don't have an art history degree, like you.

  3. Wow, I'm impressed - you finally made it inside! Congrats!

  4. p.s. for a second while I was reading your post I thought you meant you had seen Meryl Streep and I was going to be REALLY JEALOUS!

  5. Sara, Me, too! It was a momentous occasion. I didn't see Meryl Streep but it's hard not to think of her character in The Devil Wears Prada with all of the fashion industry people in town. I saw two women who caught my attention on the subway yesterday and sure enough, they turned up later at the Ritz for the fashion show. I was outside and watched them go inside! ;-) Although I guess that M. Streep's character would have never taken the metro!


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