Armed with pre-purchased tickets that are supposed to guarantee that the bearer will be admitted at a given timeslot (Leeloo multipass) but which really entitle said bearer to stand in a line that is not marked with signs that state (in French) that the wait time from this point is approximately two hours, we went, via a bouncy bus that took us down a street with even more eye-wateringly expensive shops than even the Champs-Élysées proper, to the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit that we had decided not to stand in line for in the wake of our trip to the sewer museum, which is, in my mind, still a front-runner for museum we’re most likely to remember some arbitrary number of years hence, if only for the reason that said reminiscence will be presaged by the Purrito asking “remember when you dragged me through that Paris sewer museum?”
I should note (actually, there’s no “should” here; the last time I checked, there was no mandatory disclosure requirement for stream-of-consciousness-style trip reports) that I didn’t really know what to expect; my knowledge of Jean Paul Gaultier was limited to the following facts:
- he’s a fashion designer
- he was the costume designer for The Fifth Element
- as a corollary to the first point, he has a line of men’s cologne, a bottle of which the Purrito purchased for me and which I use
- as a corollary to the third point, a purchase of his men’s cologne is promotionally accompanied by a duffel-style sack (the military-style cylindrical ones that sailors in John Wayne movies sling around before dying in a presumably noble, but in reality flaming fashion)
- corollary the next (yes, I know): promotional duffel bags are useful from a laundry standpoint, which is why I have a laundry basket emblazoned with jaunty sailor stripes and a JPG anchor-style logo.
Unlike the Petit Palais (the place so boring I neglected to post about it; how exactly does one turn the Dutch Bacchanalia movement into something so boring?), the exhibits featured at the Grand Palais have been very well curated, with interesting selections and non-bullshitty explanatory text (Rodin/Mapplethorpe, I’m [still] looking at you), and this one was not an exception; featuring seemingly innumerable runaway pieces, clothes that were produced for a myriad of specific people, photo shoots of people in said clothes (Kurt Cobain in what looked vaguely like a garbage bag as photographed by Annie Leibovitz), strangely disconcerting mannequins, and, as always, an interesting gift shop (I bought a handkerchief), it was well worth our fitful journey to get there.
Our day was rounded out with a trip to Laudurée and the consumption of what is now known as the best macarron known to man (the Marie-Antoinette Thé flavour, if anybody gives a damn, though that could change back to the mint chocolate variety if they would simply deign to make the damn things again), but that is a story for another time.