After the success of the A feast for the eyes! and Iris van Herpen exhibitions in 2013, the International Centre for Lace and Fashion returns to the theme of extravagance for the 2014 season, with Paris fashion house on aura tout vu.
The new exhibition offers visitors a fascinating insight into a unique, poetical creative world, one which explores and experiments using an array of artisanal techniques and new technologies. It is neither a chronological retrospective nor a showcase for the big themes running through the work of on aura tout vu, still less an artistic installation. It is designed as an opportunity to develop new dialogues and interactions with the public, taking visitors into a virtually unchartered yet fundamental territory in the world of fashion discourse.
Above all, the aim is to examine the pleasure that fashion items arouse in us. Organized in close collaboration with Livia Stoianova and Yassen Samouilov, the founders of on aura tout vu, the project seeks to bring a fresh approach to fashion creation, understood here as the "manufacture of sensations". After the A feast for the eyes! exhibition with its emphasis on the visual, this new show embraces all senses in a poetic evocation of a rich array of emotions and sensations. It is the fruit of the unbridled imagination of this pair of iconoclasts.
For more about the exposition folow the link SensationS on aura tout vu
by Anne-Claire Laronde
Museum curator, Director of the International Centre for Lace and Fashion
The choice of on aura tout vu for an exhibition is certainly an exciting one. This Paris fashion house has concocted a deliberately bold creative universe, and in it the International Centre for of Lace and Fashion has discovered numerous propositions surrounding both art and clothing that clearly echo one of the museum’s fundamental roles: to broaden the visitor’s perspective and offer alternative aesthetic and cultural viewpoints. Against a backdrop of fragile creative and industrial output due to the economic crisis and a rebalancing of cultural influences worldwide, on aura tout vu is a fashion house that has truly found its own niche, a poetical, spectacular collective casting its critical, ironic gaze on contemporary society. Aesthetically speaking, on aura tout vu always walks the thinnest of tightropes between a solid grounding in the traditional know-how that they master to perfection and their aesthetic choices that border on the outrageous. They have cultivated the art of subverting the codes of good taste. In this respect they resonate somewhat with the aesthetic popularity of Dentelle de Calais®*, for which the age-old cycle of success alternating with disenchantment has resulted in a permanent balancing act between abundance and circumspection. The love that on aura tout vu harbours for lace has always been manifest. From their earliest collections, this material has been given pride of place, using it as a fabric to structure garments, lending shape to jackets, leggings and delicate camisoles.
This loyalty to lace is uncommon, although admittedly the fabric has been used more extensively since its recent return to favour. While lace itself is prominent in on aura tout vu’s creations, the fashion house also attempts to exploit all the most complex technical gestures in the art of couture. Their technical inquisitiveness, generosity and virtuoso skills underpin the artistic liberties they take, the profusion of forms and techniques that so characterizes this fashion house. The identity on aura tout vu has successfully forged appealed not only to the International Centre for Fashion and Lace, but also to the Calais lacemakers. Throughout the 2014-2015 Autumn-Winter couture collection, collaboration was the name of the game and everyone concerned made a strong contribution to the partnership between the couturiers, our museum and the lace producers. In the exhibition, fashion historian Lydia Kamitsis offers up the work of on aura tout vu (Livia Stoianova, Yassen Samouilov and André de Sà Pessoa, who passed away in 2005), with the emphasis firmly on pleasure and sensations. Delectation and sensory indulgence have rarely been addressed with such ardour. Lydia Kamitsis shows just how daring fashion can be in the hands of these creators; a fashion that often disturbs, a fashion that injects the energy of primary creativity into the universe of luxury and haute couture. They always offer an idiosyncratic insight and, perhaps, an ironic take on our contemporary world, inviting us to savour creations that may have a bitter, sweet or salty flavour. Taste them and see.
An offbeat world
by Lydia Kamitsis Exhibition curator
In French the name is an exclamation of surprise, bordering on annoyance: “on aura tout vu”, which roughly translates as “you think you’ve seen it all”, neatly sums up the project of Livia Stoianova, Yassen Samouilov and André de Sà Pessoa. An association of three iconoclasts trained in the fine and applied arts in Sofia, Lisbon, New York, Versailles and Paris, two of them Bulgarian and the other Portuguese, but Parisians through and through, the on aura tout vu collective has carved out a unique niche in the fashion world. Installed in the Palais Royal since 1998, their couture house is a multiform creative adventure that deliberately eschews labels, in both senses of the word : on aura tout vu resists the downward drag of conformism, freely exploring a variety of artistic expressions. Embroidery, painting, sculpture, welding and sewing all play a part in the creation of original textures that are made out of mixtures, juxtaposition, superposition and hybridization. Their method applies just as well to jewellery and accessories as it does to clothing, technological artefacts, textile sculptures, cases, bottles and furniture, and comes across as a jubilant exploration, a permanent challenge to the dogma of good taste. Offbeat in every respect, their work overwhelms by the ambiguity of its messages, the sheer extent of its productions, the eclecticism of its frames of reference. Their inspiration is not drawn from the history of styles. Instead their collections are built on metaphors, poetical evocations of the world, critical yet amused observations of contemporary society.
Fashion according to on aura tout vu is never a re-creation of bygone modes, as the momentum inherent to their work is not driven by nostalgia. A dash of surrealism, an undertow of humour, a hint of derision, a taste for wordplay and wit, and an unconditional love of the artisanal, the handmade: these are the ingredients that spice the message sent out by each of their collections. Poetry is omnipresent, a frame of reference clearly asserted by on aura tout vu: shaping their fairytale world as much through objects as through words, poetry is a leitmotif that runs through their communication of ideas, intentions and emotions.
The presence of “poetic messages” integrated into their collections in one way or another contributes to their transformation into unique performances. It is not insignificant, for example, that each model in the Summer 2006 collection, presented after the sudden death of André de Sà Pessoa, borrows verses from Paul Eluard’s Poésie ininterrompue (Unbroken poetry) as an ode to the departed: “naked and retiring in sleep”, “barred, guarded and contradictory” or “surprise revealed and broken”… Later there are instances of Anna Akhmatova, Roland Barthes, Balzac (A message from beings and light collection, Summer 2007) and, in striking juxtaposition, Baudelaire, Verlaine, Barbara Cartland, the Countess of Ségur, Desiderius Erasmus, Fernando Pessoa, Le Journal officiel, the Unknown Blog, Lewis Carroll, Figaro économie and Charles Gounod, during a truly memorable “one-woman fashion show” by Emmanuelle Rivière for the Me, myself & I collection (Summer 2008). The actress and model-for-a-day acted out various facets of the contemporary woman, each in suitable attire, each introduced by the appropriate text.
Caron is a name that has been inseparable from French high-end perfumes since 1904. In association with on aura tout vu, since 2009 this venerable perfume house has offered fantasy creations that are at once bold and luxurious, in particular a line of luxury bottles, as well as accessories. In the Sensation exhibition, visitors can experience new olfactory sensations thanks to the unique scents created by Caron with the dresses on display in mind.
The Dentelle de Calais
The Dentelle de Calais® appellation is a registered and protected trademark, exclusively reserved for lace made on Leavers looms by master lacemakers of Calais and Caudry using a unique method of knotting between the warp and the weft, which dates back to the beginning of the 19th century. This brand, property of the Fédération Française des Dentelles et Broderies (French Federation of Lace and Embroidery), was created in 1958 to distinguish this authentic 100% Made in France lace, and to avoid any confusion with the inferior quality lace knitted using a mesh method, which has recently made an appearance. Dentelle de Calais® is a lace whose specific features are a result of both an original and unique technique developed on the Leavers machine, and the know-how of French lacemakers who are heirs to a more than 200- year old tradition which has bestowed them with a perfect mastery of the lace and provided them with knowledge of all of its possibilities. It is this which enables them, in keeping with tradition, to develop both aesthetic and technical innovations to respond to changes in customer requirements and a fashion which is constantly moving, while preserving the codes of elegance and charm.
For practical information to visit the exposition follow this link: SensationS on aura tout vu