Chanel’s 2020 Spring Collection, presented at Paris Fashion Week

Paris is renowned for many things, including art and fashion. In 2017, Vanessa Rothe lead a group of 12 artists to Paris to experience the kind of life that the renowned painters of the late 1800s knew so well. They painted together, studied the masters at the museums, and discussed the influence of art, literature, architecture, and fashion in their work.

In 2021, Vanessa and 4 of the Americans in Paris group will be coming to France again, this time to paint in the sunlight of Provence with Workshops in France. Find out more here.

Paris Fashion Week

You’ve probably heard of the week-long affair known as Paris Fashion Week. What started off as a series of luxurious balls in the late 19th century has evolved into iconic presentations of the latest in fashion. Couture designers and the fashion houses introduce their seasonal pieces against dramatic backdrops for their shows. These spectacular debuts have ranged from Chanel replicating merry-go-rounds in 2008 to Louis Vuitton’s train stations in 2012. Perhaps one of the most memorable was Dior’s 2009 collection (pictured right) where the catwalk threaded through an entire house where every wall was covered in a thick and opulent carpet of fresh flowers. A sight to behold.

Art Meets Fashion

Artists of all kinds continue to be inspired by the illustrious creations of Paris fashion. Vanessa Rothe has curated a new art show titled “Fine Art & Fashion” which includes works definitely influenced by Paris and its houses of fashion. This is not surprising as the original artists of the Americans in Paris group of painters were taken to the City of Lights by Rothe who created the multifaceted artistic experience to expose these artists to the atmosphere, culture, and influence of Paris.

Dior Spring Collection 2009
Runway dress inspired by Gustav Klimt

Image: Gustav Klimt’s mosaics reimagined by Zuhair Murad 2016 Fall Collection

Paris Fashion

Why Paris Fashion?

Fashion essentially is the art of draping the body in ways that accentuate the beauty of the human form, give it poise and stature, and brings to light something of the personality and activity of the wearer. Painters and sculptors have painted figures to reveal these same characteristics.

When we talk of the Parisian influence, we have to include art and fashion. Renowned for being the cradle of en vogue fashion, highly revered designers such as Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, and Louis Vuitton all used Paris as a base for their couture houses. Here, revolutionary designs have emerged and notably influenced the fashion industry forever. 

Paris Fashion

The Sun King 

High-end fashion in Paris goes back to the 17th century when King Louis the XIV, the Sun King, utilized fashion to establish France’s cultural prestige. With the growth of trade in textiles and clothing, the French government recognized the stature and economic power that came from being a world fashion leader. Even today, Parisian fashion goes beyond just economic interests. Designers have developed this industry into a fine art. With each bolt of fabric that enters their couture house, creations come to life that inspire and awe the world. 

Fashion Today

What’s au courant these days? Since fashion is ever-changing, it certainly keeps us on our toes as to what is “in”. Earlier this year, Paris Fashion Week presented a mix of power-looks with futuristic metallics, shoulder-pads and the return of the suit. But there are also colorful graphic prints, flowing fabrics, and flounces. We are ever-curious to see 2021 designs – there are hints of full-body capes making a comeback next year. We won’t have to wait long as Paris Fashion Week starts on September 28.

Fine Art and Fashion

The artistic runway will be brought to life at Vanessa Rothe Fine Art Gallery in the 2nd annual exhibition, Fine Art and Fashion, with paintings of beautiful kimonos, scarves, tutus, vintage fashion art, the Eiffel tower, and iconic scenes of Paris at night. It’s the fine art version of Paris fashion and we can’t wait!  The show opens at the gallery in Laguna Beach, CA on Oct 24th and runs through the end of November. It features paintings by the artists of The Americans in Paris Paint Provence, Casey Childs, Michelle Dunaway, David Gray, Olga Krimon, Vanessa Rothe, and other guest artists including Julie Snyder.

The entire show will be online here.

Vanessa Rothe_Painting of a Block Dress

“Snow Leopard Vintage Parisian Coat”  30”x18” Oil by Vanessa Rothe, artist and co-creator of the Americans in Paris workshop.

Alina, Blogger

Blogger: Alina Alvarez

Alina is one of our team members here at Workshops in France and loves all things art! From writing, to ballet, choreographing, and cinematography, she's studied all these subjects and strives to continue helping artists from all around the world.

Check out more blogs about art workshops, tips and hacks for artists traveling in France and Scotland.

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