VINTAGE VAULT: Stylist, designer and collector Olivier Châtenet is hoping to share his passion for vintage fashion with the world. With his latest exhibition, “Recreation,” Châtenet has compiled 40 different looks from his extensive collection of fashion from the second half of the 20th century. He owns more than 3,000 pieces from Yves Saint Laurent, for example, and has spent the past two years creating a catalog to keep track of them.
Considered a specialist on Yves Saint Laurent, he has already created two exhibitions of the designer’s work and worked as a consultant on Bertrand Bonello’s “Saint Laurent” biopic, but said he wanted to move away from that image and show off his collection differently.
The exhibition mixes pieces from designers including Saint Laurent, Kenzo, Chloé in the Lagerfeld era and Sonia Rykiel, juxtaposing eras and styles and usurping items from their original function.
“I wanted to show how they could be worn now, without an academic approach,” he explained of the exhibition, which is showing at the Joyce Gallery until March 21. “I started with the idea that now is the first period where we can wear vintage from head to toe and still look contemporary.”
Pieces on show include a bright knitted Kenzo tank top picked up in a vintage store. Since it had no label when he bought it, he trawled through magazine editorials until he found a photo identifying its origin. Another look features an Hermès sweater from the Thirties knitted entirely from metal, and a third pairs a long Chloé dress from the Seventies that is totally painted by hand with a knitted Cacharel waistcoat.