'Fashion and Impressionism' Exhibit to Kick Off Paris Fashion Week

Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus Edouard Manet - P 2012
Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus Edouard Manet - P 2012

Monet, Manet, Renoir, Degas and Caillebotte will be in the spotlight in an exhibition at Paris' Musée d'Orsay starting on Sept. 25.

French impressionists will strike a pose when fashion and art collide at a new exhibition at Paris’ Musée d’Orsay that will kick off on Sept. 25. The “Fashion and Impressionism” exhibit is just in time for Paris’ ready-to-wear Fashion Week that also starts on Sept. 25 in the capital city.

More than 60 works of art from Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas and Caillebotte will be on display, many of which haven’t been shown in the city for years including Renoir’s portrait of “Madame Charpentier and her children” and Manet’s “Nana.”

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The impressionist paintings will be shown alongside works from Tissot and Stevens and other contemporaries of the artists plus more than 50 dresses and accessories from the period to show what women’s fashion represented during those years.

Men’s fashion will also be showcased with around 20 pieces from both private and public collections in France. Other highlights include a documentary bringing together fashion designs of the time, fashion magazines like Stephane Mallarme’s ephemeral 1874 publication "La Derniere Mode" plus photos from the Disderi studio.

While the impressionist painters may be more famous for their colorful brushstrokes than fashion forward flair, they painted modern men and women in their everyday, routine activities, both in cities and in the countryside and became a window onto the styles and attitudes of the times. The impressionists weren’t as interested in highlighting the cut of the fabrics or the details of the designs, but their works show the evolution of fashion from 1860 to 1880 and how trends and textiles changed during the period.

The museum will also organize several simultaneous events to complement the exhibition including a special “Evening at the d’Orsay” on Sept. 27, a fashion show organized by students from the Studio Bercot and an ephemeral literary café on Nov. 18 about “Writers in Fashion.” The museum will host a screening of Impressionism and Fashion from producers Anne Andreu and Emerance Dubas, a Cineteve, Musée d’Orsay and ARTE 52-minute co-production and will also host a “Fashion Designers and Film Sets” showcase featuring Schiaparelli and George Cukor, Grès and Robert Bresson, Chistian Dior and Alfred Hitchcock, Hubert de Givenchy and Stanley Donen, Marcel Rochas and Jacques Becker, Gabrielle Chanel and Mervyn Leroy.

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Fashion and Impressionism is an international collaboration between curators Gloria Groom (Art Institute, Chicago), Guy Cogeval (Musee d’Orsay and Musee de l’Orangerie director), Philippe Thiebaut (Musee d’Orsay) and Susan Stein (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) plus scenography from Robert Carson and Nathalie Criniere. The exhibit will move to the MoMa fin Feb. then to Chicago in June. 

The très chic exhibition sponsors include LVMH/Moet Hennessy, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.

"Impressionism and Fashion" will run through Jan. 20, 2013 in Paris.