C'est chic! Impressionism taken down the runway, as exhibit kick-starts Paris fashion week

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PARIS - Paris Fashion Week will open up with an exhibit that puts impressionist art down the runway.

The exhibit, called "Impressionism and Fashion," which opens Tuesday at the Musee d'Orsay, explores how the late 19th century Impressionists made fashion one of the great painting themes.

In a spectacular touch, two of the exhibit's nine rooms are presented as modern runways, with seating assignments for 19th century figures such as poet Charles Baudelaire.

Instead of models on the mirrored catwalks, oil paintings by masters such as Manet and Monet are hanging.

Co-curator Philippe Thiebaut said "strict crinoline had just been banished, liberating the woman's silhouette." He said the impressionists "used these new flowing fashions to capture the fleeting impressions of modern life."

The show travels to New York's Metropolitan Museum in February.

Organizations: Metropolitan Museum

Geographic location: Paris, New York

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