DOUBLE ACT: Jean-Paul Lespagnard is going back to his roots. The Belgian fashion designer with a degree in visual arts is presenting his first solo exhibition in Paris at Galeries Lafayette’s art space, Galerie des Galeries, which runs through April 5.
Lespagnard said the exhibition, called “Till We Drop,” is directly inspired by his current women’s wear collection of the same name, which he conceived on a journey to Mexico. “I worked on both at the same time, in a way it’s like telling the same story through a different medium,” he explained at the opening on Wednesday night.
In lieu of clothes, he’s displaying quirky sugar sculptures, image-based 3D stereograms and photographs of himself visiting the Mayan temples, dressed like a bee. “When you go to Disneyland you wear Mickey Mouse ears; in Mexico, of course, you dress like Maya the bee,” he offered.
There is also a souvenir shop offering objects designed by Lespagnard, including a bee poster and a beach towel. “When I go to an exhibition, I immediately want to own something from it, but it’s impossible, and I leave frustrated. So I really like the idea of a shop, because I like to give,” he explained.
“It’s like an attraction park, at the end you go home with a souvenir,” said Elsa Janssen, director of cultural events at Galeries Lafayette, announcing more fashion fusions to come. “We usually work with fine artists or furniture designers, but we would like to invite more fashion designers to share their universe with a wider public and to show how they conceive the collection.”
Lespagnard said his next collection would be “trans-seasonal” and unveiled in June, instead of March, and delivered the following month. “This way it’s more direct. I want to change the system and have this immediate communication with my clients,” he explained.