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BUTTONED DOWN: Losing one is a pain. You might press one in a panic. Undoing one telegraphs relaxation — or seduction.

And now the button is getting its own Paris exhibition. The showcase next year at Les Arts Décoratifs — titled “Déboutonnez la Mode” or “Unbuttoning Fashion,” — will exalt a collection of 3,000 rare, antique buttons the museum acquired in 2012. The exceptional cache, amassed by collector Loïc Allio, spans buttons crafted over more than two centuries by various artisans and jewelers as well as artists such as Jean Arp and Alberto Giacometti, commissioned by Elsa Schiaparelli.

This story first appeared in the November 6, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The chronological exhibition, curated by fashion historian Véronique Belloir, traces buttons from the 13th century through to the present day via displays of clothing, accessories, drawings and photographs, in addition to the fancy fasteners themselves. It is to run from Feb. 12 to July 19, 2015.

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