Institut du Monde Arabe welcomes Renaissance – a way to revolutionize creation, art and clothing

Dear Shaded Viewers,

A few nights ago I had the great pleasure to assist at the action of the association Renaissance. Renaissance puts social and ecological concerns at its heart by giving a second life to magnificent couture pieces loved or neglected or even forgotten and donated by their owners.

Jack Lange, President of the Institut du Monde Arabe articulated this initiative:

“Cut and reworked, ruffles, ribbons, flamboyant skirts and breathtaking dresses are magically reborn from revisited fabrics. Renaissance, they are threads and needles awake and philosophers who mix materials, colours, aesthetics and times. From this telluric chaos, unique dressing rooms emerge, like the mythical Phoenix rising from its ashes. Decomposing and recreating, this Odyssean art questions our relationship to clothes and their production.

Les doigts de fées à l’ouvrage are talents found among people far from the job, daring and creative, coming from many horizons, who are thus approaching the world of Haute Couture. These geniuses of cross stitching and pleating assemble and enjoy with passion these confetti of fabrics. Then begins an incredible human adventure. The association draws a new horizon to those who make these works. Here, these apprentice designers build or rebuild themselves because fashion belongs to no one, it is transmitted and shared, beyond structural and social borders.

Far from the dusty cupboards or the “cemeteries of art”, Renaissance transports us and makes us dream. Their luxury is green, their works generous and radiant. They sew an inspiring and colourful future, a true rainbow in our society, deeply innovative, a new way of creating clothing. On a daily basis, the Arab World Institute promotes creative and modern youth. It is therefore with strength and enthusiasm that I support them by offering them a showcase as spectacular as it is warm, in the image of this artistic and human project that is so precious.”

This was the first catwalk of the Renaissance Association was the result of five months of work carried out by a team of twenty men and women recruited on three integration projects, fashion school interns and small volunteers fromthe Vercors district of Villejuif.  Behind this great effort is the French couture designer, Philippe Guilet who was warmly welcomed to the Institut du Monde Arabe by Jack Lang and his good friend, Philippe Castro and the entire JAl team. The ambassadors of this beautiful event offered the Renaissance one of their personal outfits, and agreed to have them deconstructed by the workshop and rebuilt to create this first collection. Philippe Guilet art directed with one main theme relating to the last project he carried out in Romania to save endangered crafts .  The main element of this collection are the chains, which accentuate the disenchantment, the fact of breaking the chains to use them on the clothes in a feeling of freedom. As a witness to this event I was overwhelmed with the powerful emotion behind this great project.

“The second element that I have applied to almost all the rebirths of deconstructed clothing is the construction by strips assembled to each other by a skilful work of marquetry that hugs the undulating curves of women’s bodies.
Renaissance militates for the reuse of designer clothes, luxury ready-to-wear and couture, in a perspective of sustainable development, and for the reintegration of people far from employment, which it helps to train by relying on the intelligence of the hand.
We are all entitled to a second chance, you too can be Renaissance.” Philippe Guilet.

RENAISSANCE is a project carried by a non-profit association. It has two objectives:
it wants to prove that the luxury industry can also make its contribution to sustainable development, that it is possible to put an end to the waste and destruction of value represented by clothes forgotten in the dressing rooms ;
it wants to promote reintegration through know-how and the intelligence of the hand. Their style office runs social reintegration workshops, which it helps to train, by entrusting them with the deconstruction and reconstruction of pieces of luxury clothing that are no longer worn; it gives these women and men a second chance.

You can support this project by going on the site: 

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Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.