It's not a coincidence that Paris was named a Fashion Capital. Throughout its history it has welcomed designers from around the globe who have contributed in its fame. Fashion Mix exhibition, French fashion, Foreign designers (Mode d'ici, créateurs d'ailleurs) held in Immigration history museum until May 31, 2015 aims to highlight the contribution of these designers to making Paris the radiant fashion capaital it is now.
From Charles Frederick Worth to Azzedine Alaïa, Mariano Fortuny Issey Miyake, Elsa Schiaparelli Martin Margiela, a hundred dresses, accessories, hats, coats, haute couture iconic pieces and archival records tell the story of foreign artists living in Paris since 19th century and how they have helped to make Paris the international fashion capital. Their specific expertise, silhouettes and new materials they imported participated in our "made in France".
In a chronological order, Fashion Mix exhibition evokes for instance the work of Worth, the godfather of haute couture, who landed in Paris at the age of 20 and launched his own house at the age of 53. He influenced the not only the Parisian haute couture industry but the whole world.
A part of the exhibition is also dedicated to the works of designers from a Spanish origin who left their country after the civil war of 1936, among whom Cristobal Balenciaga and Paco Rabanne.
Not all these foreign designers are refugee or has fled wars,Azzedine Alaia, for instance, migrated to Paris in the late 50's and became known for sculptural dresses.
Driven by political or artistic reasons, these designers have often had to be recognized by the French government to continue to practice their art.
In a ntshell, Fashion Mix exhibition is displaying not only iconic haute couture pieces, it tells as well the history of nations, mainly of wars and immigration and highlights at the same time the will and personality of these figures in French fashion.
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