February 10 – April 15, 2017
The Museum at FIT, New York, invites you to explore the world of mid-century Parisian fashion this Spring. An often overlooked time period for French design, as all eye's dwelled on London's loud and booming influence, the Paris Refashioned exhibition is a celebration of ready-to-wear, couture and popular culture from the city of love. The exhibition sheds light on a highly creative time for design in the French capital and pays particular attention to how it was perceived and promoted within the American press.
The introductory gallery space will be fashioned to resemble a 1950s couture salon, with more than 30 haute couture garments and accessories dating from 1957 to 1960. Amongst those shown will be work from a then 21-year-old Yves Saint Laurent, who, in 1957, was promoted to the role of creative director at Dior. His first solo exhibition included his now infamous his A-line “trapeze” dresses, as the decade saw a movement away from it's more formal structure and aesthetic to more youthful and relaxed designs. This is particularly reflected in the shrinking length of the collection's hemlines.
Saint Laurent is not the only name that exhibition-goers are likely to recognise, with many household (fashion) names coming up through this period. Also included are Pierre Cardin, Hubert de Givenchy, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld among others. The 1950s era makes up the lesser half of the exhibition space, giving an essential introduction to Parisian Haute Couture before making way for the more dynamic designs of the 1960s. A larger secondary space is arranged to mimic a 1960s boutique, including 80 pieces of clothing and accessories from 1961 to 1968. This was a highly experimental and exciting time for French fashion, and indeed globally. The use of materials, as well as the different cuts and technical skills shown within this time period, show a time of great transition as the world moved into the 'space age'. The influence of a group of young French ready-to-wear designers known as the stylistes can be seen not only in Paris but globally. One such designer was Paco Rabanne, who sprung to fame after his "12 Unwearable Dresses in Contemporary Materials” collection in 1966, also featured in the exhibition, that has become somewhat symbolic of the 1960s future-forward ideals.
Other featured designers include Queen of Knits Sonia Rykiel, Gaby Aghion, Gérard Pipart and André Courrèges. The exhibition is also set to have a corresponding book to be published in the Spring.
For more information, visit FIT's website and be sure to visit if you're in NYC.
Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
Seventh Avenue at 27 Street
New York City 10001-5992