Unexpected Fashion Pairings Fill the Galleries of the Centre Pompidou

Amidst the myriad runway shows currently playing out in Paris, there’s only one place where people can go and find Comme des Garçons, Chanel, Marine Serre, Thebe Magugu, Yohji Yamamoto, Coco Chanel and Kevin Germanier plus 10 other visionary designers as a single experience. Sensitively staged by the revered French fashion journalist and author Laurence Benaïm, La traverse des apparences (Bridging Appearances) at the Centre Pompidou proposes captivating fashion juxtapositions throughout the museum’s fifth floor permanent collections.

Her carte blanche curation begins with what looks like a blank canvas crumpled into a sculpture. Except that it is actually look 7 from Viktor & Rolf’s fall 2015 haute couture collection, which they called “Wearable Art.” This is Benaïm introducing the double notion of the canvas (a toile in French refers to both the artist’s canvas and the original pattern for making a garment): “In art and in fashion, the idea of the blank page,” she said during a recent walkthrough. “The idea is to show that, at a time when artists are becoming brands, and at a time when fashion brands are being reduced to logos, I wanted to show that you can express an identity without a logo.”

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