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Chic store celebrates centenary

Exhibition charts the history of a landmark, writes Bernice Chan

 

For the festive season, fashionable Paris department store Galeries Lafayette is pulling out all the stops to celebrate 100 years of its famed stained-glass dome, which is an excellent example of art nouveau architecture. The store has teamed up with architect Rem Koolhaas of design studio OMA, which went through the store's archives and compiled a chronological exhibition that takes visitors on a journey from the store's establishment to today.

Held at Galerie des Galeries on the store's first floor, the exhibition runs until January 26.

To coincide with the centenary event, Galeries Lafayette has revamped the store's monogram on various accessories. In 1912, Louis Majorelle designed the iron scrolls of the store's balconies and, a century later, Galeries Lafayette and design studio On Aura Tout Vu have reinterpreted the store's initials into a stylish logo that is used in a limited-edition monogram collection.

The accessories include iPad cases, purses, clutches, cardholders and other leather goods in matte red, black, chocolate, grey and black, with prices ranging from €50 (HK$500) to €350.

And under the dome is the largest Christmas tree in Paris that is decorated with Swarovski ornaments and a fantastic chandelier below by the Austrian crystal maker. Meanwhile, Louis Vuitton presents 12 animated window displays on the theme of "The Ball of the Century". A menagerie of animals, including bears, penguins, pandas and pink flamingos, pose with the eponymous Louis Vuitton check pattern and monogram.

Disney also makes Christmas special for all little princesses with a roof terrace display, featuring a fairy-tale setting of Cinderella's garden. Visitors can go through a forest filled with illuminated Christmas trees and a pumpkin carriage - and on some days are able to meet Cinderella herself.

Galeries Lafayette carries the biggest names in fashion and will help shoppers find the perfect Christmas gift or a fashionable outfit for the holidays. There are names such as Valentino, Vivienne Westwood, Alessi, Church and Baccarat, but also edgier ones such as Mary Katrantzou, Repetto, Coming B and Degrenne.

And to prepare for the upcoming Christmas dinners, on the second floor of the department store is a large food hall that has practically every gourmet item, from artisanal cheeses to top wines, macarons, cured meats, pastries and foie gras.

 

 

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