Christian Lacroix celebrates the twentieth birthday of his fashion design house in a fascinating exhibition at Paris Musée des Arts Décoratifs, which is located in a west wing of the Louvre. Of course, it’s mostly a girl and lady thing, but everyone interested in fashion and design would enjoy it.
The title – fashion stories, or fashion histories as well – is quite accurate, for on two levels we have a large selection of “Haute Couture” pieces by Christian Lacroix throughout this last twenty years, shown with many samples of ancient or modern clothes which have inspired him.
On the ground floor, you can sit and watch a video of Christian Lacroix last fashion show.
The exhibition starts with white :
This 1990 white embroidered dress is shown in front of white dresses of the past, and is a tribute to the very talented Callot sisters who managed one of the leading fashion design houses during the 1920s.
And facing white, color :
This long rose evening coat of the 2004/2005 collection goes with a 1870/1875 bronze green dress.
This 1995 purple dress is shown next to a 2006/2007 black one with the emblematic Lacroix heart on the chest.
Then come dots :
A mixed spring dress with a 1900 blouse, a 1989 Lacroix skirt, and a 1865 hat.
This 1999 spotted dress faces a 1939 suit by the great Elsa Schiaparelli, and between these is hanged a 1969 dress by Guy Laroche.
Then come stripes :
Japanese and Hispanic inspirations are mixed on this two figures facing each other, and behind black and white stripes by Lacroix, red and white stripes on 1895 hanged clothes.
Or the art of mixing motifs that don’t match.
The bride is hanged between the two floors. And upstairs, many other themes like flowers :
You will find informations on the clothes shown in each section printed on large sheets that you pick up on the wall. If you read French, I strongly recommend the texts that Christian Lacroix wrote about each theme of the exhibition : they are witty and show his conception of fashion like a never ending recollection and cyclical returns, his tribute to other fashion designers, and the way he uses both biographical and literary influences.
And as it starts with white, it ends with black.
And this black figure is so fuzzy that you could almost think it moves.
But before leaving, have a look at the catalogue.
Musée des Arts Décoratifs 107 rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris, Metro Palais-Royal, tel 33(0)1 44 55 57 50. Open Tuesday to Friday 11-18, up to 21 on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 10-18. Entrance 8 euros.
Exhibition Christian Lacroix, Histoires de Mode up to April 6. Catalog 49 euros also available on the museum website : http://www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr/fr/02museemode/index.html