Carine Roitfeld organizes her first fashion exhibition

HONG KONG – In what must be a sign of the times, famous editor Carine Roitfeld’s first fashion exhibition has been held in France, will open with an online gala and will be presented at a luxury shopping center and a cultural center on Hong Kong’s neon-lit waterfront.

On Friday, Ms Roitfeld’s celebration at the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris will be connected live to the party at the K11 Musea shopping center that its owner, Adrian Cheng, has planned.

Their collaboration, “Savoir-Faire: mastering craftsmanship in fashion”, which is scheduled to open on Monday, is to present around 30 examples of contemporary fashion design, depending on the arrival of the expeditions; 12 Chinese artifacts; and a multimedia exhibition of craft techniques. (Until February 14; tickets start at 60 Hong Kong dollars, or $ 7.70.)

“This exhibition is not a history lesson, but a showcase of craftsmanship in its many forms,” ​​said Ms Roitfeld, founder of CR Fashion Book and former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, in a video interview since. the French capital.

She noted that she wanted to avoid the kind of fashion retrospective that traditional European brands typically create. “I didn’t choose the most extraordinary pieces but pieces which, when you look at them, will make you understand the craftsmanship,” Ms. Roitfeld said. “Curing an exhibition is a first for me. But I organize it the same way I would for a fashion shoot or an editorial. I can’t change myself.

Among her choices was a wedding dress from Chanel’s Fall 2017 couture collection, with rough-edged rosettes anchoring the veil, sleeves and hem of a voluminous high-waisted skirt. Another was a mini dress, with hand-sewn sequined pastel fringes on the bodice, from Dior’s Spring 2019 couture collection. Balenciaga, Givenchy, Loewe, Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford and Valentino will also be represented.

“I want people to feel like they’re part of the show, part of the dream,” Ms. Roitfeld said. “When you look at the track, you don’t feel the details. But in this exhibit you will feel the embroidery, the way the fabric drapes over the back of a dress. I want to show the audience what is going on behind the scenes, as if they were at a photoshoot.

Her selection also included independent designers in their 30s and 40s such as Iris Van Herpen from the Netherlands, Tom Van Der Borght from Belgium and Richard Quinn from Great Britain, whose fall 2020 ready-to-wear show was designed by Mrs. Roitfeld.

“Know-how is not just sewing, it’s also ready-to-wear. It’s a new idea that I wanted to express in this exhibition, ”she said. “It is imperative that he sends the message that know-how is alive and well. It is still celebrated, even by young fashion houses. It is not dead.

Ms Roitfeld praised Ms Van Herpen, whom she called “one of the best in the world for the use of silicone and laser cutting techniques,” displayed in sheer Swarovski crystal dresses and futuristic 3D silhouettes.

“She always surprises me,” Ms. Roitfeld said. “She started her couture brand at the age of 23. It takes courage and determination.”

“Savoir-Faire” is a continuation of Ms. Roitfeld’s collaboration with Mr. Cheng, who is Managing Director of Hong Kong Real Estate Company New World Development and founder of the K11 brand. Earlier this year, they co-produced a three-part video series called “Original masters K11”, who explored artisanal techniques like feather sewing and quilting leather bags.

“We realized that craftsmanship was the common link between European fashion and Chinese artisans,” she said. “The works are beautiful, special, powerful – and some contain important messages. “

Mr. Cheng’s contribution to the exhibition will be the loan of a dozen Chinese artifacts from the K11 Craft and Guild Foundation, a non-profit organization he founded to preserve the skills used to create objects like Cantonese ceramics. In the exhibition, multimedia devices will juxtapose the Asian techniques used to create the pieces with those used in European sewing.

For Mr. Cheng, it was important that the exhibition be what he calls a “fusion of Europe and Asia” that pays homage to the history of craftsmanship.

“We can create these connections and relationships through objects that may look different, but involve the same shared passion,” he said. “For example, the way French couturiers used feathers was inspired by the Qing dynasty.”

He said he also hoped to introduce the idea of ​​the craft to a younger audience, who often come to the Seven-Level Mall on weekends.

“Today everything is fast and about instant gratification,” Mr. Cheng said. “But the craft is meditative and methodical. It symbolizes perseverance, patience and perseverance.

“Everything is human made, and that’s the beauty of it.”

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