Fashion historian and curator, Olivier Saillard debuted his newest fashion performance piece, Couture Essentielle, last night at the Centre National de la Dance in Pantin, France.
During a 25 year career in fashion curating with 145 shows under his stylish belt, Saillard began creating and directing performance art shows in recent years. His exhibition in 2011, ‘Madame Grès’, received critical acclaim and his performance art piece The Impossible Wardrobe at the Palais de Tokyo in collaboration with Tilda Swinton included pieces worn by Marie Antoinette, Napoleon and Elsa Schiaperelli. Currently, he works as the Director of the Musée Galliera Paris.
Saillard created a beautiful homage to the simplicity of fashion and fabric with Couture Essentielle. His four performers: Christine Bergstrom, Axelle Doué, Claudia Huidobro, and Anne Rohart, former models who came back to the fashion world for the chance to perform this piece.
The 35-minute piece of art included few movie parts. Props included a catwalk, a few mirrors, and different fabric samples. The models wore a simple black leotard, stockings, Roger Vivier Stilettos and a classic red lip. Much of the show involved improvisation as the models manipulated the fabric into different looks on each woman; producing a bustier dress, evening jacket, asymmetrical skirt and mini skirt held in place by the hands of the other models.
Much of the show involved improvisation as the models manipulated the fabric into different looks on each woman; producing a bustier dress, evening jacket, asymmetrical skirt and mini skirt held in place by the hands of the other models.
A simple and cheap production, the floral and lace sourced from Porto, Portugal and the wools and tweeds from Paris cost a mere 850 euro, Couture Essentielle portrayed a deceptive ease of design that could be reproduced. “Whole exercise was to make fashion look easy, even though it’s not,” Saillard told Vogue.
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