Parisian Point of View; Presidential Libraries, too
With yesterday's conclusion of the Tour de France came the end of 3 weeks of magnificent aerial views of France. But before the yellow jersey was presented to the 100th Tour's deserving but visually arresting winner—Chris Froome's exceptional height for a cyclist makes him appear remarkably awkward on a bike—we were treated to a final camera sweep across the City of Lights.
Receiving special attention was IM Pei's controversial glass pyramid, built in 1989 at the insistence of French President Francois Mitterand to relieve the small, unaccomadting entrance to the original Louvre Museum. The single-storied structure, standing 72 feet tall and comprised of 793 triangular- and diamond-shaped transparent glass panes.
Such irony that this geometric monument to light and transparency, now embraced by many of the French who initially loathed it, was first conceived in 1964 as the original design for Pei's John F. Kennedy Library to symbolize the president's truncated life. In the end, Pei gave Boston a soaring structure symbolizing hope...
Across the country in Little Rock... design successfully coupled with another presidential library when Vogue's Anna Wintour herself was on hand for the recent opening of a new fashion exhibit celebrating Hillary Clinton's close sartorial relationship with Oscar de la Renta.
Curated by Andre Leon Talley the display of 30+ designs includes 6 worn by Clinton, most notably the dress she donned on the cover of Vogue in 1998, the 1st such privilege given to a sitting first lady. Even though Michelle Obama has yet to wear any Oscar creations at state events, it's heartening to see this master of art and commerce receiving such deserving recognition. And I'd like to say a special Happy Birthday, no not to 'Mr. President', but to Mr. de la Renta, who is celebrating 81 years today!
... And from a great man immortalizing women to an exceptional woman reminding us great men are mere mortals, I must acknowledge a fearless 50 years of journalism from Helen Thomas, who passed away this weekend.
Her tenure as the first female in the White House press corps. began under President Kennedy, who said he would not attend the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner unless women were allowed. Kennedy's request was honored... Just one of many panes of the glass ceiling shattered by the indomitable Ms. Thomas.
- Roxie Mae Lackman