Saturday, January 5, 2008
Lacroix hangs history out to show.
PARIS: The skirt is black-and-white striped like a Regency awning. The lacy sleeves might belong to a social dandy. And the red satin shawl is haute folklore from Arles. But even before you get the past/present game in a Christian Lacroix couture outfit from two decades ago, your eyes switch to the background, where more striped dresses dangle from rails as if hung out to dry.
"What I love is Dorothée Bis in there," says Lacroix, referring to Op Art stripes from the 1960s, alongside a Claire McCardell dress from the 1950s and a Louis XV shepherdess costume that might have inspired the couturier's own 1987 creation.
"Christian Lacroix, Histoires de Mode" (at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs until April 20) is an exhilarating take on fashion history that mixes decades, centuries and designers - yet makes sense of each section from "cobwebs" through "flowers," "graphics," "patchwork" or "stripes."
In the different showcases are 400 historic pieces, many never before displayed. The earliest is an asparagus-green gilded jacket from the 16th century that fits with a miniature religious robe that once clothed a tiny saint's statue and with a 1987 couture jacket with religious embroidery.
This inventive history lesson, with 80 Lacroix pieces on show, is both a celebration of 20 years of the couture house and an homage to the designer's student dream of becoming a museum curator. His idea for a scholarly thesis was to show how fashion history was a carrousel in which the same themes kept spinning around.
Via International Herald Tribune.