WE HEART PARIS: Left Bank department store Le Bon Marché is planning a storewide exhibition this fall devoted to the City of Light named “Paris!” — with around 250 new labels and Christian Louboutin as a guest of honor.
Slated to run from Sept. 2 to Oct. 15, the showcase is to span men’s and women’s fashions, accessories, beauty products, kids’ wear, home and gift items and specialty foods (at La Grande Epicerie de Paris gourmet food hall) from all neighborhoods of Paris including Château Rouge, Barbès and Montorgueil. Among new labels are Maison Château Rouge, Sézane and Pigalle, the 2015 ANDAM Fashion Award winner.
“We took a trip in Paris the same way we explored Brazil, Japan and Brooklyn [for previous exhibitions]. What stood out through this immersion is the dynamism of Paris manufacturing, the ‘made in Paris,'” said Jennifer Cuvillier, director of the retailer’s style office.
“What struck us is the number of people coming from different fields who transformed themselves into artisans. They resurrect old machinery and know-how, with an atelier spirit. There’s an effervescent, creative and collaborative aspect to it,” she said, noting that some of the brands collaborated specifically for the exhibit.
Draft Ateliers, a workshop on the Northern edge of Paris, will have a dedicated space in the exhibition equipped with its machinery, allowing the customization of products.
In addition, most of the existing brands at Le Bon Marché including Christian Louboutin, Chloé, Moynat, Jérôme Dreyfuss, Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten, Stella McCartney, Kitsuné and Baccarat have created exclusive items — or capsules — for the exhibition. Think of a Balenciaga little black dress that pays tribute to Édith Piaf, a Dries Van Noten top inspired by Paris by night and a Baccarat crystal glass engraved with an image of Paris.
Other new brands include leather-goods makers Aurélie Chadaine and RSVP Paris as well as organic beauty line Nüssa. In addition, there will be a pop-up café of hip coffee roaster Café Lomi and tastings of beers from local brewer La Brasserie La Goutte d’Or. Street artist Fred Le Chevalier sketched whimsical characters that will mark out the exhibition.