Costume Retrospective at Opéra Garnier

Theater goers and costume lovers, grab your heels and your long gloves, and grab a cab to the Opéra Garnier…in the daytime.

Two exhibits, one in the public space and one in the Opéra library, trace the evolution of this grand venue’s costumes and sets in “L’Etoffe de la Modernité.”

Jean Cocteau, Fernand Léger, Yves St Laurent, and Christian Lacroix are widely known for their contributions to painting and fashion. But their contributions to opera and ballet can best be described as groundbreaking.

In recent years, Yves St Laurent and Christian Lacroix elevated costuming to the level of haut couture. Early in the 20th century, painters employed new techniques and technologies to create sumptuous on-stage worlds for the works of Wagner, Verdi, and Saint-Saëns.

Since the late 1800s, the reputation of the Paris opera has made not just by the performers, but those who create the magical universes they inhabit. If you like looking behind the scenes, don’t miss it!

Until Sept 30

Paris Fashion – Madame Grès Retrospective at Musée Bourdelle

Madame Gres at Musee Bourdelle

While fashion museum Musée Galliera is closed for renovation, part of its collection is on display at Musée Bourdelle. “Madame Grès: Couture at Work” features 80 pieces created by French coutière Alix Grès, as well as fashion photos taken by Richard Avedon and Guy Bourdin, and sketches from Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, displayed among Emile Bourdelle’s plaster busts and bronze figurines.

The result is sublime.

At first glance, the dresses and evening wear, created between the 1930s and the 1980s, bear the sculptural simplicity of togas. The placement of garments among Bourdelle’s work emphasizes the classical beauty of the clothes.

But look more closely , and you’ll see that shapes aren’t cut as much as created by artful use of pleats – complex folds of jersey that one reviewer called “a kind of millefeuille for fashion, an intricate treat of millions of carefully composed folds.”

Until July 24, 2011.

Mate Mon Sac for Designer Bags and Bangles

Dreaming of a designer handbag at a reasonable price? A high end piece of jewelry for a special event?

Check out Mate Mon Sac (Look at My Bag) – an innovative business model, and a treasure trove of new and vintage accessories for sale and for rent.

Owner Maud Fourier-Ruelle, a 35 year old Parisienne, spent the last 12 years working as a buyer for top fashion houses, including YSL and Sonia Rykiel. Her new web-based boutique is brimming with gorgeous wares, and she makes it easy to find what you want.

Search by type of product, shape, event, budget or designer – and if you’re not sure what would go best with your wedding dress or evening gown, email or call Maud and she’ll advise (she speaks fluent English).

Items can be shipped (call to get a price to delivery outre mer). Or pick up your bijoux at Maud’s office in the 7th.

On my wish list? A sparkly pink Sonia Rykiel vintage ring, 100 euros; a silver embossed YSL bag, 495 euros to buy or from 45 euros to rent for the week.