Barbie: exhibition dedicated to the iconic doll at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris

The venerable Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris is mounting a breathtaking exhibition dedicated to Barbie. 700 dolls in 1,500 square meters along with objects from the museum and art works from contemporary artists that try and present the various aspects of "Barbie's lives". The show opens today and will be on display until the 18th of September. The opening fits right in with the Paris Fashion Doll Festival opening this Friday. The curator  is Anne Monier, conservator at the  department of toys in the museum and the set designer is Nathalie Crinière, who also designed the incredible Le Petit Théâtre Dior exhibition in 2014.

Catwalk set up with Silkstone dolls, evoking both similar set ups from Barbie Collector photo sets and old couture runway shows in France.

The exhibition is geared towards children and adults alike: it showcases both the iconic toy that spans so many generations and also the historical and sociological context of the various incarnations of Barbie. I think a trip to Paris is needed pronto. Check out the gorgeous set ups of the exhibition.

The atmosphere of a private atelier showing is next to the catwalk space above

And the seamstresses of the atelier are also shown on their sewing machines - brilliant!

Modern style display - the flying catwalk

Another aspect of the modern display

Various aspects of Barbie and Ken's incarnations through the years

Glass domes showcasing collectible Barbies. I bet the girl wants to take them all home!

The wall of clothes showcases various Barbie outfits in doll size...

...while life-sized versions of them are also on display

The design process is also displayed in a very interesting way

The boxes that Barbies come in are also given their own space

A display showing the variety of molds, skin tones and hair styles and colours

The much sought after queen incarnations of Barbie - I'm surprised Empress Josephine is missing.

And something more plebeian - a table football with Barbies!

Exhibition photos courtesy of Getty Images

Christmas came early in Paris: Dior dolls for Printemps department store

Each Christmas season, the Printemps department store in Paris sets up a magnificent display on its windows. In an atypical contest between the major Parisian department stores, locals are lucky to experience the best that artist collaborating with these stores have to offer, often setting up elaborate displays that attract crowds every day to them. This year, they did something special for us doll collectors: the windows are full of dolls dressed in Dior historical outfits (72 dolls and replicas of 12 iconic outfits), even down to the miniature accessories (oh those Di bags!) that are actually moving like marionettes. Let's read the article about this display from the Dior magazine:

Jean-Claude Dehix, the most famous of puppet masters, has been creating window displays for Paris department stores for over thirty years. He tells DiorMag about his work, and what it was like to collaborate with the house of Dior.

"In a setting of silk and tulle, sequins and ribbons, they're getting ready, making themselves up, impatient to go waltzing or ice-skating in a decor drawn straight from a fairytale. These distinctly Dior dolls are the stars of the Printemps department store's windows. 

Under the Eiffel Tower's steel arches, they twirl and glide, beyond elegant in Bar jacket and full, flaring skirt. On the ice rink, they slice through the air, gracious skaters graced with the most Parisian of silhouettes. A little further on, under a band stand, they waltz and dance to the strains of a gramophone, bedecked in vaporous ball gowns. Look closely, for isn't that also them clutching to a huge bunch of balloons floating over the Opéra Garnier, Printemps and the Eiffel Tower, and again at the fairground, dancing between the carrousel and the big wheel? Yes, it's definitely them, no one else - the dolls!"

"In the Printemps windows, brought to life by the puppeteer Jean-Claude Dehix and dressed by Dior, they play the starring roles in a story of magic and enchantment, elegance and couture. For the holidays, the Paris department store places Dior center-stage with its codes and its many stories, from Avenue Montaigne and the gardens, to the banquet and the opera and the grand voyage. Over nine windows, Printemps tells a fairytale in the heart of the French capital. It's a story of joy and of celebration: the very tale of the house of Dior itself."

French film actress and Dior icon Marion Cotillard was the star of the opening event for Printemps Christmas windows.

More photos of the dolls: