Art's in the bag!
Summer in Paris is great, but taking in some culture is even better! Five bags to sport while checking out five must-see exhibits
What: Beat Generation
Where: Pompidou Center – Place Georges Pompidou, 75004 Paris
When: Ends October 3
What you’ll see: A sweeping retrospective on the literary and creative movement that defined contemporary expression. The Beat Generation is the product of 1950s New York and its founding fathers William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac extolled the virtues of nature, freedom, creative expression and a pushback against post-war puritanical values. That’s how the Beat Generation came to be known as the spark that fanned the flames of every counterculture movement for decades after.
The bag you need: the Mystery handbag, with its curvy design right out of the 1950s and timeless elegance that never goes out of style like Hepburn, Monroe and other fashion icons of the era
What: Homme blanc, homme noir
Where: Musée du Quai Branly – 37 quai Branly, 75007 Paris
When: Ends October 9
What you’ll see: Record crowds recently showed up to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Musée du Quai Branly, which is putting on a show where most of the works have never been exhibited in France. This so-called “colon” art is work by African artists who gradually started depicting those pale strangers arriving on their shores. The result is a deep, poetic and fascinating experience.
The bag you need: Le Pliage Néo Fantaisie with its urban jungle print as an ode to African wilderness meeting urban life.
What: Olafur Eliasson in Versailles
Where: Château de Versailles – Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles
When: Ends October 30
What you’ll see: Stunning water installations, the brainchild of Danish contemporary artist Olafur Eliasson. They are installed smack dab in the middle of the castle’s legendary gardens. A waterfall, a fountain frozen in space, thick refreshing fog that envelops you… A novel summertime exploration of the grounds.
The bag you need: the Roseau Héritage bag (roseau means “reed” in French) named after both the bronze statues at Versailles depicting old men crowned with reeds as well as the Latone Basin in the middle of the grounds, a tribute to the magnificent sculpture of peasants harvesting reeds.
What: James Bond 007
Where: Grande Halle de la Villette – 211 avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris
When: Ends September 4
What you’ll see: A full retrospective of the legendary world of the world’s most famous spy. In addition to movie stills and sketches, you’ll find exclusive items from the saga’s biggest films: An Aston Martin, Roger Moore’s white tuxedo from Octopussy, Scaramanga’s gold pistol from The Man with the Golden Gun, and the list goes on. Whether you’re just curious or a diehard fan, this is the ultimate collection for plunging into this quintessential mythical movieland universe.
The bag you need: The Pliage Héritage Luxe clutch expertly designed to carry the bare minimum every sexy fearless Bond Girl needs. A great sidekick for an evening dress at a cocktail party where anything can happen, after the fashion of beauties like Jane Seymour (1973), Fiona Fullerton (1985), Halle Berry (2002) and Eva Green (2006).
Where: Musée des Arts Décoratifs – 107 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
When: Ends September 18
What you’ll see: As a kid, you probably adored her. As an adult, maybe it’s love or hate, but no one is indifferent. More than just a doll, Barbie has always been an icon of the social and cultural movements of her time. This show immerses visitors in the Mattel archives for a peek at both sides of this now-cult toy.
The bag you need: The “jewel” version of the Roseau tote: the Roseau Panthère crossbody bag in sheep fur on one side and panther-print satin nylon canvas on the other. Like a little girl’s dream come true, this version can be handheld like a clutch or worn on the shoulder for a more rock ‘n’ roll look.
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