NIGHT WRITER: Pascal Morand, executive president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, was wearing a different hat on Thursday night in Paris: author of a book on the Vienna Secession movement.
The 216-page, French-language tome, published by Éditions Eyrolles, has chapters dedicated to the likes of painter Gustav Klimt and architect Adolf Loos, who famously contended that ornamentation on buildings verged on crime.
Fashion executives Gianfranco Gianangeli, Catherine Jacquet and Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye; public-relations gurus Lucien Pagès and Angelo Sensini; Lionel Vermeil, luxury prospective director at Kering; and Chris Dercon, president of the Grand Palais, were among those who queued up at the Lardanchet bookstore to have their copies signed.
It’s actually the third book for Morand, whose previous titles delved into monetary policy, and the rapport between religion and luxury.
“Part of my career has been in academia, so it’s part of my identity — and this book was a pleasure to write,” he related.
Before joining the Fédération in 2015, Morand was deputy director general of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Paris region. Prior to that, he was director general of the Institut Français de la Mode and former dean of business school ESCP Europe.
“The genesis of this book was to understand the origins of modernity,” Morand explained, sounding every bit the professor. “While it didn’t have a monopoly on it, many things happened in Vienna.”
And fashion is hardly estranged from the movement, which continues to inspire designers. Morand noted that modern fashion shows — with their elaborate sets, live performers and other collaborators — approach Klimt’s idea of “gesamtkunstwerk” or “total artwork,” while architect and designer Josef Hoffmann, who also gets his own chapter, was adamant about the links between creativity and the workshop.
“This is very important for haute couture and creative ready-to-wear,” Morand noted.