ADR News :
palais de tokyo, paris
29 september – 18 november 2012
Chloé. Attitudes is the very first exhibition dedicated to Chloé, a celebration of the Maison’s 60-year contribution to fashion culture. Since 1952, its legacy of luxury prêt-à-porter clothing has consistently defined how modern women live. This spectacular and groundbreaking exhibition offers a playful interpretation of the Chloé spirit that spans seven decades.
Featuring signature pieces from each of Chloé’s nine key designers – from the Maison’s progressive founder Gaby Aghion, to its present creative director Clare Waight Keller – the show is neither nostalgic nor chronological. It takes a thematic path through the very best of Chloé’s creativity, pausing at key moments within its history.
This approach paints a picture of Chloé that is both familiar and yet unexpected. Iconic looks are presented alongside lesser-known yet equally influential designs. Many of these were rediscovered during the creation of the new archive developed since Waight Keller’s arrival. Most importantly, these are on display to the public for the very first time.
The exhibition is curated and designed by renowned exhibition-maker Judith Clark and staged in the newly refurbished galleries of Le Palais de Tokyo. The centre’s exhibition space was expanded from 8,000 to 22,000 square metres in 2012, making it one of the largest cultural institutions devoted to contemporary culture in Europe. Chloé. Attitudes has been invited by the president of the palais, Jean de Loisy, to inaugurate a cycle of exhibitions entitled “Fashion Program”. organised by esteemed curators, it celebrates key moments or outstanding figures in fashion history. The Chloé exhibition is presented as part of the autumn 2012 season of the Palais de Tokyo, “imagine the imaginary”, which explores the artist’s creative process from thought to creation. This theme is at the very heart of the Chloé. Attitudes concept. The exhibition presents the way in which the Maison Chloé has created an identifiable aesthetic and allure that has influenced women’s fashion. It is this ceaseless renewal of the imaginary that transforms the sensibility of an era. The programme is a fitting context for a 60th anniversary of Chloé that pays tribute to modern femininity. The gallery’s rough, concrete walls are the perfect foil for the sensual showcase inside.
Focusing equally on Chloé’s key designers and the Maison’s enduring themes, garment groupings serve to underscore Gaby Aghion’s original vision for the brand. The show encapsulates Aghion’s ambition to create an informal, stylish wardrobe for women who were no longer constrained by haute couture and its indoor lifestyle. This philosophy culminated in her first informal fashion show at the Café de Flore on Paris’s Left Bank in 1956.
Visitors to the exhibition are also invited to consider these radical ideas from the perspectives of the celebrated designers under Aghion’s art direction: Gérard Pipart, Maxime de La Falaise, Karl Lagerfeld, Martine Sitbon, Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo, Hannah MacGibbon and Clare Waight Keller.
Seventy pieces drawn from the Maison’s newly formed archive introduce surprising new chapters to the brand’s traditional narrative. While Chloé’s beloved chiffon daywear prompts fond memories of the brand in the 1970s, this association is challenged by the inclusion of bright, graphic prints from the 1960s, references to the Bauhaus and details that echo the work of Aubrey Beardsley; vibrant and tongue-in-cheek surrealist elements mark the 1980s.
Never-before-published drawings dating from 1958–85 and iconic fashion photography by image-makers including Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Jeanloup Sieff, David Bailey and Deborah Turbeville offer additional contexts for the clothing and suggest alternative interpretations of the classic Chloé woman.
Chloé. Attitudes has proved inspirational for Clare Waight Keller, Creative Director of Chloé: “The process of researching this anniversary show has been enlightening for me as it contradicted my preconceptions of Chloé’s design history completely. Whereas I’d imagined something very Bohemian in spirit, in reality, it’s much, much more than that. What we found is quite provocative and powerful – clothes at the intersection of couture “savoir- faire” and youth “savoir-être”. They speak to an independent woman who embraces the challenges of modern life. You might associate the Maison with a rather dreamy, hippy girl but in fact, at the heart of Chloé THERE has always been that free-spirited attitude that defies the status quo in fashion.”
The exhibition space has been designed to reflect these core themes by its curator, Judith Clark. A series of magnificent vitrines of differing heights dominate the hall, all created to echo the style and proportions of the grand windows that illuminate the show. With layered glass backs that filter light into the spaces within, the cases are clad in precious materials such as wood and leather. Each features a spectacular marquetry floor pattern based on motifs derived from the clothing on show. The mannequins inside are grouped thematically according to different aspects of the Chloé woman. The title of each is drawn from the personal alphabet Gaby Aghion devised to name the garments in her collections.
“Though Chloé. Attitudes coincides with the 60th anniversary of Chloé, this is a forward-looking show that maps the continuities running through the entire history of the Maison,” says Clark. “The themes may be old but the outlook is new and this is invested into the fabric of the exhibition.”
To mark the 60th anniversary celebrations, Chloé is re-issuing 16 of the archive’s most iconic pieces. Both present in the exhibition and available in Chloé boutiques from February 2013, the édition Anniversaire includes items such as Karl Lagerfeld’s Violin Dress of Spring/Summer 1983, Stella McCartney’s pineapple T-shirt of Spring/Summer 2001, the Paddington Bag introduced by Phoebe Philo in Spring/Summer 2005 and the cape and leather shorts by Hannah MacGibbon of Autumn/Winter 2009. Spanning from 1960 –2009, this anniversary collection incorporates seven accessory pieces and two limited editions of just 60 copies.
The earliest re-edition holds special significance in the context of the exhibition. Taking its enigmatic name from Gaby Aghion’s simple jersey dress of Autumn/Winter 1960, “Embrun” not only means sea spray, it also typifies the independent spirit of the modern Chloé woman.
Palais de Tokyo
13, Avenue du Président Wilson, 75 116 Paris
29 september – 18 november 2012