When I left you yesterday, it was only early afternoon with a full line up of activities still ahead of us. Phew!
Next on our Day of Discovery itinerary was a visit to the Grand Palais (Great Palace) for an exhibition showcasing the designs of John Paul Gaultier. I had missed the exhibition when it was in London last year, so I was happy for the opportunity to see it in the home of fashion.
With section names like Punk Cancan, Skin Deep – X Rated and Urban Jungle, you know you’re going to be in for a treat of the weird and wonderful.
The second section, The Odyssey was completely blue with a mixture of sailors, mermaids and nymph-type mannequins that looked like they had been crossed with characters from Romeo & Juliet (the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes).
I knew there was something not quite right, then we realised the faces around the room were moving. Laster projections of real people’s faces reflected on the mannequins making them look eerily realistic. Gaultier’s own face was even projected onto one of the figures.
Eyeing visitors and smiling, I did a few double takes to check they weren’t actually real!
The next room was one of my favourites.
Set up like a fashion show, dressed figures in an array of designs glided along the catwalk while well known fashion icons sat front row admiring the outfits.
I loved that just from the hairstyles, you could tell who the loyal Jean Paul Gaultier fashionistas were.
Grace Coddington, the Creative Director of American VOGUE with the distinguishable red hair and Suzy Menkes, International VOGUE Editor with her signature quiff.
Amy Winehouse, Conchita Wurst and Dita Von Teese also enjoyed the show.
Punk made an appearance in all it’s glory – studded denim, metal, bright tartans and matching mohawks stood against a graffiti wall.
Spread over 8 sections with over 140 outfits on display, the exhibition is a mixture of theatrical movement, sound, bright colour and humour.
Not surprising, as this is after all the man who created THE conical-bra that Madonna is famously associated with.
I didn’t have to wait long to come across the “Queen of Pop” herself. Madonna had her own display in the Muses section, complete with a photograph of the original conical-bra corset itself.
Sketches of other outfits designed for Madonna hung framed on the wall showing a glimpse behind the scenes of the concept stages for his designs.
Alongside the outfits and sketches on display throughout the exhibition were video footage, photography and the well-known shaped fragrance bottles. It was interesting to get an up-close look and a peek behind the scenes of the world that is Jean Paul Gaultier.
The show is on in Paris until 3 August 2015. For more information, see the Grand Palais website.
Back out into the hot Paris heat and busy traffic, it was time to check in to our hotel for the evening, the five-star Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe.
We were greeted with a warm welcome and taken into the foyer where we were allocated our room cards. The hotel is slick and contemporary with elegant furnishings and modern decor. I instantly liked the bright reception area with it’s large mirrors and tall floral display.
The location is great for a bit of local wandering and sightseeing by foot being just down the road from the world-famous Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysées Avenue.
My Architectural room was tastefully decorated in neutral tones of crisp whites and granite greys with a hint of red for a pop of colour. The furnishings were all clean, in great condition and felt new. I would quite happily move in – it’s much tidier than my bedroom at home!
For the coffee lovers/addicts – there is also an in-room Nespresso machine for a daily caffeine fix.
The bathroom was also clean and stylish with a mixture of marble and glass fixtures. It had everything guests needed to feel comfortable during their stay, including nice squishy robes and soft white towels.
The toiletries were a delicious smelling range by Tokyo Milk that smelt good enough to eat!
It’s the first time I’ve ever had an in-room mocktail awaiting my arrival, which was a nice welcome touch. Instructions with a shaker, glass of ice, tongs and skewered strawberries sat on the table ready to refresh.
The hotel also gave us a beautiful coffee table book filled with stunning black and white photographs of Paris and a handwritten note. Luckily I had brought one of my reusable Envirosax shopping bags with me on the trip as I had already overpacked my suitcase! Standard.
The bed looked super comfortable and I could tell it was going to be another good night’s sleep *stretch*…
Of course, one has to test these things out though, so I closed my blinds and snuggled in for a quick nap before the evening’s experiences.
I was a guest of Renaissance Hotels, experiencing Paris for their annual Global Day of Discovery. All excursions were planned by the hotels’ Navigators who are experts in suggesting different local activities and booking exclusive events for guests.