FASHION MIX // Cultural origins of fashion

FASHION MIX, the unexpected exhibition of the moment, takes a different look at fashion, especially now that we are at the end of our Paris Fashion Week. A surprise awaits you at the end of this article.

So, here is a temporary exhibition at the Musée de l’histoire de l’immigration de Paris (Museum of Immigration History) that shows foreign designers who have chosen to settle in the French capital for political or creative reasons. But it also shows more contemporary foreign designers who made Paris their city of choice to present their collections.

Antonio Castillo, real name Canovas del Castillo del Rey (1908-1984), Fashion Designer. Illustrator at Chanel, R. Piguet and Paquin then art director for the Jeanne Lanvin House in Paris, up to 1962. Opened his own fashion house in 1964. Full length, in a doorway, at Lanvin’s.

FASHION MIX was conceived by Olivier Saillard, director of the Galliera Palace, Paris museum of Fashion in collaboration with the Museum of Immigration History.

If you have the chance to go admire the 120 pieces and 150 archive documents gathered around the FASHION MIX exhibition, you’ll probably notice it’s a two-part visit.

The first part is about the foreign fashion designers who settled in France between the middle of the 19th century and the 1960s. A true mirror happens through the discovery or re-discovery of some models. And so, we notice the sources of inspiration for designers such as John Galliano, Issey Myake or Popy Moreni.

5 essential themes for this period: Charles Frederick Worth and the British school // Research on fabrics // Elsa Schiaparelli and the Italians // Balenciaga and the Spanish school // cosmopolitan haute couture of the 1950s.

Robe de ville selon Charles Frederick Worth, vers 1869

Robe Fragonard par Vivienne Westood, 1991 ©Eric Emmo / Galliera / Roger-Viollet

Velours de soie imprimé d’or Tea-Gown, Mariano Fortuny, 1912 ©R.Briant et L.Degrâces / Galliera / Roger-Viollet

Manteau Schiaparelli © Spassky Fischer HD

Ensemble Balenciaga pois © Spassky Fischer

Titre d’identité et de voyage de Catherine Karolyi, créatrice hongroise à l’origine de la fameuse boucle H de la maison Hermès, 1953 ©Archives familiales

Second highlight of the FASHION MIX exhibition: the one dedicated to the end of the 1970s until today. Two countries reveal some especially creative talents: Japan and Belgium. And so, Issey Myake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto shake up the establishment. Asymmetry and the unstructured are the game of the day. Today’s generation has the succession assured with designers such as Junya Watanabe.

Robe longue, Issey Miyake.  Soie artificielle multicolore. 1986. Galliera, musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris.

Robe longue, Issey Miyake. Soie artificielle multicolore. 1986. Galliera, musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris.

The Belgian school propels seven big inevitable talents, amongst which Dries Van Noten and Martin Margiela. The FASHION MIX exhibition is taking a closer look at these big names in Fashion with Raf Simons as one of the established leading heirs.

Margiela © Spassky Fischer

Here we are now in the 1990s and 2000s, a period of contemporary profusion. Decades marked by Karl Lagerfeld’s success at Chanel, Marc Jacob at Louis Vuitton or Alber Elbaz at Lanvin.

Let’s not forget Azzedine Alaïa, a fashion designer of Tunisian origin, who continues to shine on the international stage and who considers his French naturalization his biggest award.

WARNING! This exhibition at the Museum of Immigration History runs until next May 31st.

All the practical info this way.