PRINT October 2010


“An Ideal History of Contemporary Fashion”

HISTOIRE IDÉALE DE LA MODE CONTEMPORAINE (An Ideal History of Contemporary Fashion), a two-part show at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, in its first installment traced the twenty-year history of fashion’s democratization. Beginning with Yves Saint Laurent’s “Libération” of summer 1971 and running through nearly 150 fashion collections up to Jean Paul Gaultier’s irreverent cusp-of-the-’90s “Les Rap-pieuses” (The Religious Rappers), “Ideal History” marked the rise of prêt-à-porter, a moment when affordable designer clothes fit the moods and attitudes of a new consumer age before embracing the pure theater of ’80s excess—electronic hardware, deregulated financing, and postmodern art.

The first floor showcased the reinventive impulses of the ’70s, and in one darkly lit room after another créateurs (style makers, as opposed to high-fashion couturiers) reimagined and revisited the

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