“As you know our national museum of modern art has a great collection, which did not include fashion until now. But we have decided to open our collection to fashion designers. It’s a statement. As we consider that fashion designers are closer than we think to the greatest inventors and experimenters,” the museum’s director Bernard Blistène announced Sunday night at a high-level gathering of industry leaders and designers.
“We will open our collection to the greatest names in fashion. The link between design, architect, visual arts and fashion has always been stronger than we think. Before we did not consider fashion as part of creativity, now we do. So, welcome fashion designers to the Pompidou collection,” said Blistène, speaking at the annual soirée of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, French fashion’s governing body, staged this year in Georges, the top-floor restaurant and terrace of the museum.
The director indicated to FashionNetwork.com that the Centre Pompidou would tend to concentrate on more avant-garde, experimental designers – mentioning names like “my great friend Azzedine Alaïa” and Rick Owens, just as Owens’ partner Michèle Lamy appeared.
Sylvie Ebel, Hamish Bowles, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Sidney Toledano, Pascal Morand and Bernard Blistène- Photo: FHCM – François Goize
The famed museum did not reveal an exact time table for its first exhibition, though it is expected to begin early next year. The welcome news is the latest action ushered in by the Fédération under its hard-charging executive president Pascal Morand.
The announcement was greeted by cheers and wild clapping at the cocktail party attended by designers Maria Grazia Chiuri, Julie de Libran, Guillaume Henry and Rahul Mishra.
“I am so happy after so many years in this industry that we keep on developing the real creativity, the real craftsmanship and the real story telling,” said Sidney Toledano, the LVMH honcho who sits on the board of the Fédération, stressing that all the “big names” — Dior, Saint Laurent, Chanel and Hermès — have long been active in promoting and cooperating with museums.
“Vive la haute couture à Paris,” concluded Toledano, to much applause.