Dear Shaded Viewers,
I am happy to announce the upcoming exhibition at the Palais Galliera “1997, Fashion Big Bang” and to have lived through it, I’m happy to be able to re-look that decisive year in the history of contemporary fashion. “1997” was marked by the emblematic collections: the deformed bodies of Comme des Garçons with the “Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body” collection. I remember sitting at the show and the audible gasp when the collection took to the floor. Martin Margiela presented his conceptualised “Stockman” collection and Raf Simons redefined male beauty with his “Black Palms” collection. Vogue Paris magazine defined the spring-summer 1997 haute couture season as the “Big Bang” that Paris needed to regain its position as the international capital of fashion at a time of economic crisis and strong global competition. The year was also when Jean Paul Gaultier and Thierry Mugler entered couture and a new generation of British designers took over the iconic French houses with Alexander McQueen at Givenchy and John Galliano at Christian Dior. I am so happy that I witnessed this epic year. Artistic directors headed major houses: Hedi Slimane, Stella McCartney, Nicolas Ghesquière, Olivier Theyskens.. There was the inauguration of the Colette concept store, which was the epicentre of fashion for 20 years. There was the tragic death of Gianni Versace. The chronological tour brings together 50 silhouettes from the collections of the Palais Galliera, loans from museums, international collectors and fashion houses. In addition there will be many videos and unpublished archive documents. On a personal note, at the time I was the fashion editor for JOYCE, Hong Kong and it was the year that Hong Kong got handed back to China. For those of us that lived through 1997 and those that were just entering the world, this is a year that needs to be seen and experienced.
Palais Galliera, musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris 10, avenue Pierre Ier de Serbie, Paris 16e