The 18th Century Back in Fashion

Le Grand Trianon Versailles France

1st August 2011 Fashion exhibitions in museums span the globe.  Yojhi Yamamoto was a big success at The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Madame Grès has crowds flocking to Musée Bourdelle in Paris, and Sporting Life is a hit in New York City at The Museum at FIT. As Suzy Menkes wrote in The International Herald Tribune: “Fashion has developed from being a passion for a few to a facination – and an entertainment – for everybody”.  A beautifully appointed show has recently opened in the glorious setting of The Grand Trianon at Versailles  – The 18th Century Back in Fashion. In the luxurious château, the clothes are displayed in the splendid settings of The Grand Trianon rooms, where Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI, and friends once lived. The elegantly curated exhibition, by Olivier Saillard, includes designs from Vivienne Westwood, Azzedine Alaïa, Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Lacroix,(featured above, photo by Marcio Madeira) Givenchy by Alexander McQueen, and Thierry Mugler among others. The opulence of clothes worn by Marie Antoinette and the grand ladies of that period, are skillfully interpreted in 20th and 21st century versions with superb embroidery, variations on  hoop skirts, and luscious fabrics. In addition, there are accessories from the period on display – shoes, bags, fans and belt buckles.  The 18th Century Back in Fashion is a historical voyage that illustrates how fashion is a vital part of cultural heritage, social history and design. Marie Antoinette would probably relish the fact that the style setting influences of her time still inspire creativity two centuries later. Until 9 Octobre 2011 at The Grand Trianon at Versailles. www.chateauversailles.fr JG

LINDBERG