By  on March 29, 2011

PARIS — The Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture inaugurated its new digs on Monday at 119 Rue Reaumur in the historic garment district here.

Couturier and designer Maurizio Galante conceived the decor for the 24,000-square-foot building, which includes 100,000 pencils in rainbow colors suspended from the hallway’s ceiling, colorful sofas and cacti-inspired poufs.

The new site is double the size of the old school, which was founded in 1927 on Rue Saint Roch and was the place of study for designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Issey Miyake and, more recently, Alexis Mabille and Anne Valérie Hash.

The move and expansion of the school, which now accommodates 400 students, was due to the growth and addition of a fourth-year program meant to reinforce the study of design.

“The point is to have well-rounded students who can tackle anything from styling, patternmaking to the more business side of companies,” said Chambre Syndicale president Didier Grumbach.

The initiative was implemented by the Cercle Saint Roch, chaired by Christian Dior chief executive officer Sidney Toledano and under the direction of Grumbach plus directors of the fourth year studies, Céline Toledano and Stephane Wargnier.

François Broca, director of the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, is keen to emphasize the importance of multimedia in fashion. In that vein, the new space integrates new technologies alongside traditional patternmaking and production methods. The school uses, for instance, patternmaking software systems developed by Lectra.

“This is very important and has become the cutting-edge technology in design,” said Grumbach.

The building on Rue Reaumur housed Jean Patou’s ateliers at the turn of the 20th century.

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