October 9th, 2021

voice of the city

Alexander Rodchenko’s impressions of Paris (1925)



Women cut their hair short – like you – and wear brown coats, mostly, fitted in the back and rather short; also – short skirts, almost up the knees, dark stockings and shoes. They are rather girly. Men dress differently, but not like I used to.
The car traffic is so intense that you have to wait on the sidewalk, mustering your courage, then run to the middle of the street, wait again, and finally run to the other side. My companion has to chase me. It turns out, I am quite good at this navigation, although he’s the one who had been abroad before. I crack jokes at him.
Buses are huge and run in large numbers, ten at a time; I call them rhinoceros. There are virtually no horses. A taxi ride from, say, the Head Post Office to Prechistenka costs 65 franks, which is 40–50 kopeks. There are many Russian drivers.
The fashions are really interesting. The advertising is, however, very bad. Some billboards have good ideas, but poorly executed. In the evening, everything is flooded with lights.


A. Rodchenko, Letters From Paris (in Russian), 1927.

Also curious: https://typejournal.ru/en/articles/Alexander-Lavrentiev-Interview

Image: Rodchenko by the en­trance of the So­viet pa­vil­ion, de­signed by ar­chi­tect K. S. Mel­nikov, in Paris, 1925.