PARIS — Paris museum Les Arts Décoratifs, marking its 30th anniversary in 2016, is to bite off a big chunk of fashion history — 300 years, to be exact — for its next exhibition, WWD has learned.
Disclosing details of the vast showcase exclusively to WWD, Pamela Golbin, chief curator of fashion and textiles at Les Arts Décoratifs, said it would mark the first time clothes are displayed in the museum’s grand nave, which has hosted displays of Ralph Lauren’s vintage car collection and a Berluti fashion show.
Usually, fashion exhibitions are held in a dedicated space with fixed vitrines, with a Barbie showcase to run concurrent with “Fashion Forward — Three Centuries of Fashion,” slated to open April 7 and run through Aug. 14.
The exhibition is to decrypt fashions from 1715 to 2015 and exalt “masterpieces” from the national collection of costume housed at the museum, according to Golbin, the mind behind last year’s hit Dries Van Noten exhibition and a roving Valentino retrospective that kicked off in 2008, as well as exhibitions devoted to Louis Vuitton and Hussein Chalayan.
Golbin said about 300 pieces are to go on display “to give the public a first view on the evolution of fashion.” Fashions for men, women and children are to be reflected along with other items from the museum’s collections such as 18th-century boiserie, 19th-century wallpaper and antique objects “to put fashion in context at a given period and to show the overview of all the decorative arts,” Golbin said.
What’s more, Golbin enlisted choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, who won a Tony Award for “An American in Paris,” to do the artistic direction of the exhibition and “work around movement and the body.”
Jérôme Kaplan has been entrusted with the scenography while art director Marc Ascoli is creative director.
Swedish fashion giant H&M has signed on as the exclusive sponsor of the exhibition, which will also include selected styles from the H&M archives, including one look from the first H&M designer collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld in 2004.
In a unique side project, H&M has partnered with Les Arts Décoratifs for the latest edition of its Conscious Exclusive line of red-carpet looks made from more sustainable materials.
The collection of clothes and accessories for women is inspired by the archives of the museum and will be launched on April 7 in around 180 stores worldwide and online. Golbin is to select one look to include in the exhibition.
Julia Restoin Roitfeld has been picked as the face of the campaign, succeeding Olivia Wilde.
“I am honored to be the ambassador of such a unique project. I think that the idea of creating a collection inspired by the history of art and fashion is brilliant. Especially since it is made with innovative, sustainable materials which are the future of fashion,” Restoin Roitfeld said.
H&M said its design team drew inspiration from the museum’s collections of fashion spanning several centuries, as well as the work of artists such as Gustave Moreau. “With this collection we brought the idea of sustainability to new levels,” said Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative adviser at H&M.
“Working with new innovative materials such as beads and rhinestones of recycled glass and Denimite, a material made out of recycled worn-out denim, we have created contemporary styles imbued with a sophisticated charm,” she added.
The museum’s fashion collection spans more than 150,000 items ranging from ancient textiles and outfits to couture and ready-to-wear creations, accessories, drawings, photographs and archives of designers such as Elsa Schiaparelli and Madeleine Vionnet.
Launched in 2011, the Conscious Collection uses sustainable materials such as organic cotton, organic linen, Tencel and recycled polyester. H&M has since expanded the initiative to include a Conscious Denim line and a garment collection initiative that allows customers to drop off their used clothing at its stores.