Victoria Frank, Inc.

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Paris – Costume Embellishment:
Sublime to Couture

February 2 - 7, 2015 or February 9 - 14, 2015

Optional Embroidery Class: Sunday, February 8

Palais Galliera

Paris is an amazing city that attracts us for many different reasons but on this program we will see it with a focus on the extraordinary costume embellishment that has complimented the city's acclaimed fashion design for centuries. The trip will include the usual on a VCF, Inc agenda (very special museum visits, lovely hotels, fine dining, chartered transportation) along with the extraordinary knowledge of an expert in the field (more information on Caroline Goldthorpe below) and the very special experience of a morning embroidery class at École Lesage, the lengendary, historic embroidery house now owned by Chanel.

The groups will not exceed 13 persons per week and because of the popularity of the destination, the trip is offered two sequential weeks. There is no difference in the agenda of the weeks so feel free to choose the dates that best fit your calendar. For those who want to hone their embroidery skills, there is an optional opportunity to take a day-long embroidery class at École Lesage, offered on the Sunday between the programs.

Paris in Winter

Paris in February? I chose the month for multiple reasons:

The Itinerary:

Bateau Parisienne

Day 1 –

You will be met at the airport (Charles de Gaulle or Orly) or one of the Parisian train stations after you exit immigration/customs and driven to our hotel in a private car, chartered to accommodate your itinerary.
The program will officially begin with a late afternoon lecture on the history of French costume embellishment given by Ms. Goldthorpe. Shortly after the meeting adjourns, we will board a chartered vehicle that will take us to the "Quai" to board a bateau that will cruise the Seine as we dine in the first class section of the boat. After dinner, we will return to the hotel.

YSL Reception Rooms

Day 2 –

We will begin the day at the Palais Galliera (the museum of fashion) which has a special exhibition Fashion Mix, a look at how Parisian designers have been influenced by designs of other cultures.

Then on to lunch at the legendary George V Hotel (where I bet plenty of fashionistas have dined over the years).

In the afternoon we will stop at the Yves St. Laurent Foundation where we will visit the legendary designer’s personal studio and the reception rooms where his clients met with the designer to see the most recent collections and chose their selections.

Bayeux Tapestry Bayeux Museum, Quemener

Day 3 –

Today we are headed up to Normandy, to Bayeux where we will visit the extraordinary tapestry in the morning. After a visit to the museum to learn about the history of the piece and a visit to the amazing embroidery, the museum curator will join our group to answer questions. Then on to an intimate restaurant for lunch with a Norman flair. There are a few options available after lunch:

We plan to return to Paris in the early evening/late afternoon.

A Charming Passage

Day 4 –

This morning we will head to École Lesage (the embroidery house founded in the late 19th century) for an embroidery class, private to our small group. After class we will walk to a nearby enclosed "passage" for a sinful luncheon at a patisserie where you will be free to choose your pastry for dessert. We will stay in the charming "passage" for an hour after lunch so you have time to explore the unique shops (there is a great little embroidery shop amongst other tempting and unique boutiques). In the afternoon we will visit one of my favorite little museums in Paris, Musée Marmottan Monet. The galleries in the lower level are filled with some of the masterpieces of Monet's late period; vast canvases of extraordinary color given to the museum by Monet's son. The month of February isn't good for a visit to the gardens at Giverney but these paintings bring you there, without the excursion.

Musée Cluny in the Latin Quarter

Day 5 –

There are many treasures at Musée Cluny, the medieval museum in the Latin Quarter, but our focus will be on the recently conserved and extraordinary Lady with a Unicorn tapestries considered by many to be the “Mona Lisa of woven art.” I am working directly with the curator to be sure that our visit is more than ordinary.

A lovely lunch in the Latin Quarter will brace us for our afternoon visit to the Musée des Art decoratifs. This museum (located at the end of one of the long arms of the Louvre) holds many temptations but our focus will be a visit to the Fashion and Textile galleries to see the special exhibition on Buttons. This is The Louvre, after all, and I have to assume that the buttons in this special exhibition won’t be anything like those in your great aunt’s button box.

Embroidered panel, Musée d'Ecouen French Ribbon

Day 6 –

We head out of town again this morning (13 miles north of the city), to another museum often missed by visitors, the Renaissance Museum or Chateau d’Ecouen. Housed in a magnificent 16th century chateau the collection includes some remarkable textiles, notably a series of ten Belgian tapestries commissioned by Henry VIII and a group of magnificent silk-embroidered tapestries. Ms. Goldthorpe will be with us, as always, to tell us about the costumes worn by the subjects in the textile artwork. One of the very neatest objects at the Renaissance Museum outside of Paris is an elaborate machine that was used to extrude metal wire. It was not only beautiful but it was an amazing mechanical wonder that could extrude different metals in different circumferences; I am told that it was used for relatively large wires all the way down to very fine gold and silver wire that was used in tapestries. The museum has a wonderful webpage on the machine, available here (make sure to click the British flag on the left side of the page for English). After lunch within the chateau, we head back to Paris for an afternoon on your own. The week will conclude with a memorable Farewell Dinner.

Day 7 –

Airport transfers based on your personal itinerary are provided for flights from CDG or Orly or to the Parisian train station of your choice. As always, arrival airport transfers based on your personal itinerary, luxury hotels and delicious (and healthy) meals are included.

The Expert

Caroline Goldthorpe

Caroline Goldthorpe

Ms. Goldthorpe brings extraordinary knowledge to the subject of study. Born and trained in England, she began her career in the Department of Textiles and Dress at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She moved to be Keeper of Costume and Textiles in Hampshire County Museum Service, followed by Deputy Head of the Costume Department at the Museum of London. Moving to New York, she was a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for six years, curating the exhibition From Queen to Empress; Victorian Dress 1837-1877.

All this and a delightful lady!

Attendee Feedback

Trip Includes:

Cost: $7,250 (based on single occupancy, contact me for double occupancy pricing)

Optional Sunday Embroidery Class includes:

Cost: TBA

You won't have to lift a finger...