A Fashion Storytelling Salon Pops Up in Paris-------
Last Saturday, Guillaume Houzé, the contemporary art champion and an heir to the Parisian department store Galeries Lafayette, hosted the first installment of a program called Lafayette Anticipation. Held in a partially renovated, four-floor 19th-century industrial building in the Marais (the future site of an art and design foundation created by Galeries Lafayette), Houzé turned the space over to Anja Aronowsky Cronberg, founder of the review Vestoj, for a storytelling salon.
Guests filled intimate spaces to hear tales from fashion notables, including Michele Lamy, who wistfully recounted a beloved “ghost” dress, once lent and never recovered (or replicated). Simon Costin, wearing a phenomenal folkloric “museum in a hat” by Stephen Jones, recounted the symbolism of each decorative flourish and its tie to the Museum of British Folklore he is currently planning.
But it was Jean-Charles de Castelbajac who brought down the house with the tale of dressing crowds, 5,500 clergy, and even Pope John Paul II for World Youth Day in 1997. Noting that his Lesage-embroidered chasuble is now on permanent display next to the Crown of Thorns in the Notre Dame cathedral treasury, Castelbajac quipped, “I’ve never been in many hip stores, but I have the best window in the world!”
Cronberg, who has just released the fourth issue of her publication, on Fashion and Power, harkened back to her very first issue for this event. “I wanted to explore the relationship between garments and identity—why we wear what we wear and when,” she explained.
At the luncheon that followed, Houzé allowed that further fashion projects were in the pipeline for later this year. Cronberg says she has no plans to replicate the event (yet). But, she said, “I’m just hoping that people will open their closet and really think about what they have. We all have so much stuff!”