Earlier this year I heard that there was going to be a huge Christian Dior fashion exhibition in Paris. As soon as I found out, I messaged my mum and let her know that we HAD to go. Heading away for the weekend is a big deal for my mum: when we were younger, we rarely went on holiday as time and money were a bit of an issue. This time I knew that ‘no’ wasn’t going to be an acceptable answer and we promptly booked our little getaway.
Last Saturday, we hopped on the tube to St Pancras International early in the morning. We were only going to be away for one night so we packed lightly and dressed for mild autumnal weather. Mum hadn’t been on holiday since we went to San Francisco over two years ago so it felt necessary to whisk her away from home.
After we got into Paris, we dropped our luggage at the hostel and headed off for some lunch. Fuelled up with a delicious tart aux pomme, we walked to the Museum of Decorative Arts. The queue was huge but we were in within ten minutes.
Now when mum and I have been to other exhibitions, we’ve had an allotted time to visit. However, the tickets for the Dior exhibition gave you a window of a few days. Unfortunately, this meant that there was A LOT of crowding. The space was packed with people and it was hot and stuffy – a very claustrophobic atmosphere. Although mum and I got to see everything, we didn’t have much time to read or linger over many exhibits because of the crowd in front of and behind us.
In spite of all that, we did manage to see some stunning exhibits. Mum and I could have quite easily had every one of these pieces in our wardrobes… but sizing and funds said NO. The amazing detail and work put into each garment was mind-boggling.
Something that struck me throughout the entire exhibition (and has also struck me with other fashion exhibitions that I’ve visited) is the lack of model diversity. In the entire exhibit, I found only three photographs including people of colour and no images of models beyond sample size. This was further heightened by the fact that so many of these clothes had obviously been directly influenced or inspired by other cultures. I know the fashion industry is slowly changing but I always find it jarring how the world of fashion rarely reflects the real demographics of the world.
At the end of the exhibition, we found ourselves in a wonderful room filled with glamorous dresses – a fabulous end to the exhibition!
Feeling overheated and exhausted, we headed back to our hostel to put our feet up and have a breather. A little later, we made a B-line for the Rue de Mouffetard which was a six minute walk from our hostel. Rhina had recommended this place as a foodie hot-spot and boy she wasn’t wrong!
It was such a cosy yet lively place, full of stalls, cafes and restaurants. In the end, we settled on a pub called ‘Mouffetard’. Our meal was truly delicious: steak frites and a bottle of Brouilly wine between us. Just what we needed after a long day.
As we’d both taken in the main sights on previous visits to Paris when we were younger, the next day we headed to a flea market. There were tons of knick-knacks and assorted bits-and-bobs. Mum and I love a good bargain but a lot of the stuff on offer was incredibly pricey. We ended up with a brooch each and I grabbed a crepe for my breakfast.
Mooching done, we took the Metro back to Rue de Mouffetard for our final French meal. @notsobasiclondon had recommended a few places to me, one of them being Le Petit Bretonne. This place was crepe heaven (so good, I’d head back to Paris for them). Mum and I each sat down to a plate of buttery, lemony yumminess.
Tummies full, we started our journey back to England. Thanks to everyone who gave me ideas, recommendations and suggestions – it made for a great trip! Mum was a brilliant traveling companion and I hope she’ll be open to me taking her away more often.