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Histoire Idéale de la Mode Contemporaine, Pt. 2

The Louvre’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs recently launched the second volume of their two-part series on the history of contemporary fashion, focusing on design luminaries of the 1990s and 2000s. While the exhibit begins with the clever conceptual stylings of Belgian heavyweights [Maison] Martin Margiela, Veronique Branquinho (shuttered during the recession) and Ann Demeulemeester, it’s the seminal Japanese labels Comme des Garçons, Junya Watanabe, Issey Miyake, and Yohji Yamamoto that steal the show on the first floor, with an astounding selection of pieces that demonstrate a break with traditional form and fabric treatment. Helmut Lang, Dolce and Gabbana, and a brief appearance by Gucci by Tom Ford help round out the 90s on the first floor, while the work of Hussein Chalayan, Viktor & Rolf, John Galliano and Jean-Paul Gaultier propels the show forward before ending with the darlings of Paris fashion today, Nicolas Ghesquière’s Balenciaga and Alber Elbaz’s reign at Lanvin. The disparate stylings of each unique label share a common theme of innovative materials– ranging from holiday tinsel fashioned into a jacket by Margiela, to upholstery batting sculpted into biomorphic dresses by Rei Kawakubo– and offer a fascinating glimpse of the vintage of tomorrow.

The exhibit runs through May 8th, 2011; more information can be found on the museum site here.

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