Histoire Idéale de la Mode Contemporaine


The Louvre’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs is currently host to an excellent exhibition, “An Ideal History of Contemporary Fashion, Vol 1: 1970s-80s,” which captures the work of several 20th century masters, ranging from the early designs of Kenzo and Sonia Rykiel to Karl Lagerfeld’s stint at Chloé and pieces from his debut collection as creative director of Chanel in 1983.  Save for the extreme 80s-era designs of showmen Claude Montana and Thierry Mugler, what is perhaps most striking about the show is the modernity and wearability of many of the garments on display.  The solid-colored draped jersey dresses of British favorite Jean Muir, for example, or the recently-in-vogue-again Liberty prints of Cacharel are just a few stand-out examples.  Azzedine Alaïa’s slinky knitwear looks as contemporary as ever, while the pleated 70s-era jersey dresses of Madame Grès are a reminder of the timelessness of her aesthetic and the adaptability of her techniques to modern fabrics.  The early-cone bra stylings of Jean-Paul Gaultier and pop-art aesthetic of Jean-Charles de Castelbajac lend a fun, lighthearted element to the show, which is a must-see for anyone visiting Paris through October 10th.

Vol. 2, the next exhibition in the series, will focus on the fashion of the 90s and early 00s and go from November 25 – May 11, 2011.


Above: Karl Lagerfeld’s debut for Chanel, circa 1983.


Above: Thierry Mugler’s pleated gold lamé wing dress; early Jean-Paul Gaultier, right.


Above: Christian Lacroix, left, and Azzedine Alaïa, right.

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