Le Nef of L’Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs, the vast central hall of a museum dedicated to the applied arts within the Palais du Louvre, in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. The museum is closed to the public for refurbishment. For the show the areas of the space that usually act as backstage for fashion shows host the invited public. The existing formation of the space lends itself to the creation of eleven intimate ‘salons’. Each salon is host to eighty invited guests. Forty-four white chairs form a U shape around a circle of white rose petals within each salon. Other invitees stand along the walls to look on. A cotton curtain hangs across the entrance of each salon. Twenty-four women, their eyes obscured by horizontal band of opaque black or red plastic, each wear an outfit of the collection. The women pass quickly, one by one, from behind the curtain of each salon to stand on the circle of rose petals and turn before all of the invited guests. The show lights fall on the departure of each woman from the salons to be re-lit on the entry of the next model. A soundtrack of Julie London singing hits popular in the 1950’s is played loud during the show.
A colour scheme for knit and woven garments of stark white, electric red, blacks with traditional man’s suiting fabrics in light grey and brown Prince of Wales check as well as blue and dark grey pinstripe.
Oversized Men’s garments to be worn by women: This season many garments are of Men’s Italian size 78 and 80. There are two main themes of these garments: those with a ‘Double inside’ whose exterior, in light weight suiting wool and cottons, mirrors the construct of their interior, and these same garments who’s fronts have been either folded back and stitched flat into their inside or onto their outside. This series includes a coat, trench coat, caban, sleeveless leather biker jacket, and tailored jacket.
Various enlarged skirts, all in one size, 78, are presented in their actual size and held up by the model’s arms within the waistband of each skirt. When worn in day-to-day life these garments are sized down to fit women of varying sizes by a system of folding and tacking their waistband. Other garments, skirts, dresses and trousers are formed of either identical fronts or backs. Enlarged men’s sweaters and cardigan’s in extra fine cotton knit are in white, bright red and black.
Within the ‘Artisan’ production, sections of vintage pleated skirts, of various materials and pleat widths, are reassembled into long dresses, skirts and tops. Old leather gloves or new cotton gloves are patched together to form back less tops. The detached brand labels of used garments are sewn together to form the fabric of waistcoats and halter-tops.
Accessories are vintage sterling silver and plate forks moulded into bracelets and black or beige cotton Tulle scarves and collars applied heavy metal sequins. ‘Tabi’ boots in two heel heights in beige and black leather. The ‘ Aids’ benefit T-shirt this season is in white cotton with white text.
Artisanal Skirt, Summer 2001, Martin Margiela