12 posts tagged "Olivier Saillard"
If Paris has an answer to Williamsburg, it would be the area around the Rue Lucien Sampaix in the 10th arrondissement. The neighborhood’s epicenter is the Tuck Shop, the retro-chic vegetarian eatery and gourmet coffee bar opened last year by a trio of hip Australian girls: Anna Rice, Stella Rice, and Rain Laurent. Last night they added “art gallery” to their roster as they feted an impromptu first show by a fellow Aussie, Leo Greenfield, who’s been hanging around Paris since fashion week and working on what he calls “observational illustration.”
“I’m interested in the language of drawing. I look at [my work] as social portraits combined with journalism,” the artist said, surveying walls lined with breezy drawings of Haider Ackermann, Diane Pernet, and Alber Elbaz. Greenfield sketched these from memory after Olivier Saillard and Tilda Swinton’s recent Eternity Dress performance. Pretty good access for someone who showed up in Paris cold a couple of years back and just happened to benefit from the kindness of strangers, like Damir Doma and Joel Arthur Rosenthal.
Asked what impressed him the most about the Spring shows, Greenfield replied, “Comme des Garçons for its graphic impact. And at Haider Ackermann I saw colors I had never seen before, and it was all so fast I couldn’t draw it!” In any case, all indications point to Greenfield closing in on his dream life as an artist in residence: He has just wrapped a weeklong stint in Martin Grant’s atelier. “It was amazing,” the artist said. “He’s all about minimalism without losing luxury.”
Olivier Saillard—author, poet, star fashion curator—tends to prefer a contemplative moment over a grand event. He is also fond of saying that, had he ever studied fashion design, he would have done “just one dress” and then retired his tape measure.
Last night in Paris, he offered both. Eternity Dress, a fifty-one-minute performance starring Tilda Swinton, sponsored by Chloé, and staged at the École des Beaux-Arts this week as part of the city’s fall festival, has been sold out for months. In it, Saillard and Swinton explore the art of dressmaking, starting with lines and measurements (waist: 28 inches, and so forth) working up through flat patterns and the beginnings of a dress, which Swinton took a moment to sew on herself. As the dress took form, Swinton recited a litany of collar styles in French and released a world of emotion in the turn of a sleeve, finally draping herself in rich-hued chiffon and velvet unfurled from bolts lined up on the floor.
Ultimately, The Dress—a black sheath with long sleeves and an open back—was a stand-in for a century of fashion history, from Paul Poiret to Comme des Garçons. One of the show’s high points, as well as its biggest laugh, showed Swinton striking a series of emblematic poses for houses from Poiret to Yohji Yamamoto, by way of Chanel, Dior, Mugler, YSL, and Jean Paul Gaultier. Among a roomful of designers including Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, Bouchra Jarrar, Martine Sitbon, and Clare Waight Keller, Haider Ackermann was first on his feet for the ovation. “It’s absolutely a piece of my life,” said Waight Keller. “They’ve taken everyday materials like tape and chalk and elevated them to an art form about designing a dress from scratch. It’s about craft, measuring, and a considered approach. It’s poetry.”
“One of the things about Tilda is that she can do anything,” noted Saillard after the performance. “She’s not a ‘fashion girl,’ so she can be a sculpture, an actress, a woman, a man, she can be 18 or 75 years old. It was like we were in a bubble, and the experience gave us lots of new ideas. Fashion has to be surprising.”
At the small cocktail party held afterward at Lapérouse, Swinton added, “Olivier is a playmate. We work and play together and come up with crackers ideas for some other time—it’s wonderful to be able to play off of someone like that.” Asked whether she realizes that she would be any designer’s dream to work with, Swinton let loose a small bombshell: “Maybe it’s because I know nothing about fashion!”
Kering—the French fashion corporation that recently invested in Joseph Altuzarra and serves as the parent company to Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent, Gucci, Christopher Kane, and Stella McCartney—has branched out into publishing with a new weekly online magazine that’s aptly dubbed K. Having debuted on Tuesday, the first issue offers everything from an in-depth story on Palais Galliera director Olivier Saillard, to an interview with Boucheron president Pierre Bouissou, to a write-up by skateboarder Remy Stratton about growing up in California and his unorthodox career, to industry news. WWD reports that the next issue will feature an article on Vogue Italia‘s editor in chief, Franca Sozzani. But considering Kering’s roster, we’re rooting for some interviews with its star designers. Share the wealth!—editorially speaking.
For the past four years, Paris’ famed Musée Galliera has been closed for renovations. This week, the historic fashion museum reopens with Alaïa—the first Parisian retrospective dedicated to Azzedine Alaïa’s work. “For me, Alaïa was the obvious choice—he stands alone,” offered the Galliera’s director, Olivier Saillard, who has curated the museum’s roving shows since 2010. (The 2011 Madame Grès show—hosted by the Musée Bourdelle—as well as Tilda Swinton’s mesmerizing Spring ’13 performance, The Impossible Wardrobe, were both Saillard’s work.) Here, in an exclusive preview, the curator speaks to Style.com about bringing a “new-old” museum back to life, what sets Alaïa apart, and how Swinton has inspired him to take up sewing.
How did your vision for the Musée Galliera take shape?
It was a funny situation because I was named the museum’s director after it closed for renovations, so I started doing outside shows. In my mind, the “new-old” Galliera—I call it that because we’ve restored it to its nineteenth-century appearance—really began to take shape with the 2011 Madame Grès exhibit at the Musée Bourdelle. We did it on a shoestring budget. You could say that Madame Grès changed my idea of what the Galliera should be. Ever since then, I’ve been convinced that an exhibition’s power comes solely from how you see the clothes. When you look at a dress by Alaïa, you don’t need anything else.
How did you approach Alaïa about the exhibition?
I first mentioned it to him years ago. Two years later, he invited me to dinner. I don’t really remember when he said yes, because he never says no, even if that’s what he means. Then, a year ago, he put his collection on hold because this exhibition was coming up. I’ve never met another designer who would do that. What’s interesting about Alaïa is that he takes the time to understand and see things. He approaches his clothes like a sculptor or an architect or a writer, and he often says, “I make clothes; women make fashion.” Continue Reading “Sculpting Fashion: Olivier Saillard Talks Alaïa at the Musée Galliera” »
Count on Paris fashion week to end on a high note with a retrospective exhibition dedicated to the inventor of the stiletto heel: Roger Vivier. Set to open at the Palais de Tokyo on October 2, the show, dubbed Virgule, etc… in the Footsteps of Roger Vivier , will give viewers the chance to examine a comprehensive range of the late designer’s fancy footwork. Curated by the Musée Galliera’s Olivier Saillard, the exhibit will display 140 pairs of Vivier shoes—including his famous comma heel (or virgule in French, hence the title).
Vivier, who was once Dior’s star shoemaker, died in 1997, but his legacy lives on. Diego Della Valle revived the brand in 2000, and Bruno Frisoni has been creating dreamy, feminine wares for the house since 2002. His work, too, will be celebrated in the show.