The Musée des Arts Décoratifs has 2 current special exhibits that are well worth a visit for fashion and Barbie fans. Fashion Forward, 3 Centuries of Fashion brings together 300 items of men's, women's and children's fashion from the 18th century until today. The exhibit runs through August 14, 2016.
The Barbie exhibit, which runs through September 18, 2016, includes 700 barbie dolls, from the original 1959 Barbie until today.
While I enjoyed the Fashion Forward exhibit more than Barbie, I appreciated the parallels of the two exhibits and was happy that I saw them both.
The clothing in the Fashion Forward exhibit was well-preserved, and well protected. Just leaning in to get a closer look would cause an alarm to go off. At first it was startling, and then it was just funny to hear how often visitors got too close to the exhibits.
The clothing was also beautiful. It was hard to imagine the amount of the work involved to make these dresses by hand. It was also hard to imagine how small the women's waists were 200 years ago.
Another interesting observation was how many current designs were similar to those from the past. I think that I liked the fashions from the last 100 years the best, especially those from my lifetime.
Being a baby-boomer and being of Barbie playing age in the early 60s you would think that I would be super-excited to see some Barbies from my childhood - but for some reason I was lukewarm about seeing this exhibit.
I don't know why. I remember making clothes for my Barbies and I have vivid memories of the pink mohair sweater that my mom knitted for my Barbie. But, I don't even remember which Barbies I had or when I got my first Barbie. Is there something wrong with me?
I was glad that I got to see the original Lili doll from Germany, which was the inspiration for Barbie. And being a huge Formula 1 fan, I was happy to see race car driver Barbie representing scuderia Ferrari.
After spending close to 2 hours on the 2 exhibits, I didn't have the stamina to see any of the permanent collection. I'll have to do that next time.