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Dec 5, 2014
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"Fashion Mix, French fashion, foreign designers", the new exhibition by Olivier Saillard 

Dec 5, 2014

Conceived by Olivier Saillard, Director of Palais Galliera (since September 2013), the exhibition is being held at an unusual site, the Paris Museum of History and Immigration. An exhibition with an original angle - a tribute to the monumental contribution of foreign designers to French Haute-Couture and ready-to-wear - telling another history of immigration, a history of artisans and designers "attracted by the capital of elegance and freedoms" and whose talents contributed to making Paris a fashion capital.

Through a hundred or so emblematic pieces essentially conserved at the Palais Galliera (dresses, coats, hats, accessories, etc.) and archive documents relative to migration patterns, the exhibition's first section offers a look into the period from 1850-1960. A period of arrival in France of foreign designers, encased in a sometimes very particular political context and seen through the eyes of several founding personalities in the world of creation.

Among them, Charles Frederick Worth and the English School, Mariano Fortuny and his research on fabrics, Elsa Schiaparelli and the Italians, Cristobal Balenciaga and the Spanish School... personalities whose work can be seen today in the most contemporary designs from the likes of John Galliano, Phoebe Philo, Alexander McQueen, Sybilla, Popy Moreni and Riccardo Tisci.

The second section is dedicated to the period from the end of the 1920s to today. A profusion of clothing, filmed interviews and press articles reveal the creativity of successive decades.

The exhibition alternately presents designers and leading figures who made a mark on French creation. First the "Japanese School" which arrived at the end of 70s/early 80s, with Kenzo, Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto, Tokio Kumagaï and Junya Watanabe.

A return to the 80s marked by the ascent of the Belgian "school", with Martin Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester, Raf Simons, Dries Van Noten, A.F. Vandevorst, Olivier Theyskens and Jurgi Persoons; and the emergence of icons like Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton and Azzedine Alaïa for his own label.

A final, more recent period looks at current creative proliferation, by grouping together talents from all backgrounds: Austrian Helmut Lang, German Kostas Murkudis, Dutch Viktor & Rolf and Iris van Herpen, Belgian Bernard Willhelm, Israeli-American Alber Elbaz, American Patrick Kelly, Lebenese Rabih Kayrouz, Indian Manish Arora, and more.

The exhibition, being held from 9 December to 31 May 2015 takes place at 293, avenue Daumesnil, Paris 12ème, at the Musée de l’histoire de l’immigration. Opening hours are Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 5:30pm.

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