100 Years Under the Dome at Galeries Lafayette: "Chrysalide" Lights up the Night!


It felt as if Christmas came early to Paris last night when Galeries Lafayette illuminated the facade of their historic flagship store on Boulevard Haussmann to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of their iconic stained-glass Dome. Designed by architect Ferdinand Chanut and glass artist Jacques Gruber in 1912, the Dome is 43 meters (141 ft) high and equipped with a pulley that has been used to elevate the store's Christmas tree and many other objects over the years. It even held an airplane aloft in 1949!

For the centenary of the Dome, French conceptual artist Yann Kersalé has covered Galeries Lafayette in a skin so sensitive that each variation in the store’s activities set off a shimmer of light. Enveloping the building like a cocoon, Chrysalide will change with the seasons and remain illuminated throughout the year.

Why are all of these VIPs, including Yann Kersalé, gazing upwards?

One of my favorite things to do with first time visitors to Paris is to take them inside Galeries Lafayette and tell them to look up. Now it's going to be even more fun to watch their reactions because the Dome echoes the exterior lights and changes color. Craning my neck backwards along with everyone else, I couldn't decide if I preferred the green, blue, red or purple highlights last night. While you're trying to determine which color you like the best, be sure to notice the recently renovated Majorelle balconies.

To commemorate the centenary, the department store has published Les Galeries Lafayette, 100 ans sous la Coupole (100 Years Under the Dome at Galeries Lafayette), a book that recounts the history of the Dome's construction and shows how this legendary site created a stage for fashion in the heart of Paris. Additionally, the current exhibition, "Chronicle of a Creative Itinerary" illustrates how culture and shopping have co-existed at Galeries Lafayette since 1912. Located on the first floor near Angelina's Cafe, the free exhibition runs until January 26, 2013.

If you would like to see additional photos of the Dome, please click here to view the album that I posted on Facebook.

The 100 year old Dome at Galeries Lafayette shimmering in all of its glory!

Comments

  1. Replies
    1. We should go there the next time that you're in Paris, which I hope will be in the very near future!

      Delete
  2. Oh I had no idea! I saw the lights were up and I thought it was a bit early and then saw that Printemps was behind schedule - so this explains it all. You really are one busy woman MK!! Great photos too on FB!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kristen! I just looked at when they put the Christmas lights up at Galeries Lafayette and Printemps last year and it was at the beginning of November. IT's hard to believe but that's coming soon!

      Delete
  3. MK: Your pictures are magnificent, the colors are so vivid! I never tire of looking at the dome every time I'm there: I prefer the original colors of course, but the red highlights are also gorgeous, the green and purple, not so much.

    Patricia H

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're like me Patricia! I never tire of looking at the dome either. When we visited a castle in England a couple of months ago, they gave us mirrors so that we could enjoy the carved ceiling without having to crane our necks backwards. When I watched the dome change colors the other night, I thought that it would be a good idea because it's so beautiful. I hope that you'll be able to see the highlights in the dome the next time that you're in town.

      Delete
  4. I found my niece's beret at GL, but on the street outside, I didn't venture in this time. I've been before and still have a sweater from this store bought many years ago. Funny, the sales clerk failed to remove the security sensor and I set off the alarms as I tried to leave through an obscure but permitted exit. I do remember the dome, really special.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's interesting that we remember purchases made at places like Galeries Lafayette. When I was visiting Paris for the very first time with my brother, he had me help him select some perfume at GL for his girlfriend. I think that he sprayed almost every one of them on me before he found the one that he wanted to get. I'm sure that the people on the metro weren't pleased with the way that I smelled!

      Delete
  5. Very Christmassy! I'm tempted to put some fairly lights up in one of our windows to cheer up the dark mornings especially. Winter seems to have come early this year and we need the fun of Christmas to brighten us all up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like your idea! Cheery lights would definitely brighten these dark grey days.

      Delete
  6. At first this post scared me because I thought GL was already decorating for Christmas! So relieved that they're not. I guess decorating ages before is uniquely American.

    Enjoy London!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Christmas lights will be up before we know it - last year GL had their official ceremony on November 9 and Printemps had theirs a couple of days later. I never decorate until after Thanksgiving but I leave them up longer than most Americans.

      London was lots of fun. I'm thinking about making another trip to see all of the Christmas decorations and to eat some mince pies!

      Delete
  7. Amazing! Again my list of must do's in Paris grows increasingly longer...thanks Mary Kay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whenever I cross one thing off my list, something else comes along. As a result, my list is never ending. I guess that's one of the reasons that Paris is such a special place!

      Delete
  8. Mine would be the blue and purple ones...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The blue and purple highlights in the dome are really beautiful, as is the red. My least favorite is probably the green.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts