Fashion Forward in Paris

‟Fashion Forward, 3 Centuries of Fashion (1715-2016)” at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs brings together 300 items of men’s, women’s and children’s fashion from the 18th century to today, selected from the museum’s collections to provide a  chronological overview (to August 14, 2016).

France has long been associated with fashion and style.  It is widely credited as beginning during the reign of Louis XVI when the luxury goods industries in France came increasingly under royal control and the French royal court became the arbiter of taste and style in Europe. At the close of the 18th century, Paris contained 262 embroiderers, 1824 shoemakers, 1702 dressmakers and 128 fan-makers.

“Fashion Forward” celebrates the 30th anniversary of the museum’s fashion collection, which comprises more than 150,000 works, ranging from antique textiles to haute couture creations to ready-to-wear fashion, along with accessories, collections of drawings and photographs and the archives of iconic creators such as Elsa Schiaparelli, Madeleine Vionnet and Cristobal Balenciaga.

The exhibition recreates French ‟fashion moments” in their artistic and social context, via ellipses illustrating fashion’s affinities with the decorative arts. Eighteenth-century wood paneling, scenic wallpapers by Zuber, Paul Iribe’s drawings for the ‟Robes de Paul Poiret” and the straw marquetry doors created by Jean-Michel Frank for the writer François Mauriac, provide settings for fashion’s stylistic clothing expressions. The exhibition culminates with the post-war effervescence of the global contemporary fashion scene with dresses by Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Lacrox, Jacobs and many other designers with a French connection.

‟Fashion Forward, 3 Centuries of Fashion (1715-2016)” Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 107, rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris