“The 18th century back in fashion” currently at the Grand Trianon

Versailles, 5 September 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Chateau de Versailles and Galliera museum (museum of Fashion of Paris) are currently juxtaposing costumes from the 18th century with masterpieces by recognised fashion designers of the 20th and 21st centuries. The event, entitled “The 18th century back in fashion” is on show at the Grand Trianon until 9 October.

The 18th century is well–known for having inspired dress–making. Since 1800, fashion continues to refer back to this period, both for female and male dress, textiles and accessories. It reincarnates the spirits of Madame de Pompadour, Madame du Barry and Marie Antoinette, all of whom were figures of fascination and frivolity.

Through the exhibition, the public can admire how designer appropriate the era to current trends. Some almost entirely copy the 18th century silhouettes, whilst others deconstruct them or change their sizes, using silks, embroideries and lace.

Amongst the outfits presented, Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain propose evening gowns with typical 18th century embroidery; Vivienne Westwood breathes life into her smart concubines; Karl Lagerfield evokes Watteau with his French dresses; and Christian Lacroix exhibits drapes decorated with precious stones. Other designers include Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Yohji Yamamoto, Jean Paul Gaultier, amongst others.

The pieces presented come from the archives of fashion houses and the Galliera’s own collection. The exhibition has been organised by three members of the Galliera museum: Olivier Saillard (director), Pascale Gorguet–Ballestero (chief curator) and Laurent Cotta (in charge of contemporary creation within the institution).