Guy Bourdin, Vogue Paris 1975, Chloé-Kollektion Frühjahr/Sommer 1975
© Guy BourdThe Guy Bourdin Estate, 20The Guy Bourdin Estate, 2017 / Courtesy A + C

VERSATILE FEMININITY: MAISON CHLOÉ OPENS IN PARIS

From July 2017 there will be a new cultural highlight in Paris: French luxury fashion-design house Chloé is set to open a five-story art temple, which is dedicated to the brand’s history but will also serve as an exhibition space focusing on work by artists who were closely connected to the brand. The multifunctional Maison Chloé houses an archive, as well as showrooms and a photo studio. Its magnificent building from the Haussman era is situated in Paris’s posh 8th arrondissement, not far from the brand’s headquarters at Avenue Percier.

Accompanied by changing exhibitions, the permanent show will examine various aspects of Chloé’s past. Among the attractions for fashion aficionados are the original drawings by former head designer Karl Lagerfeld. The fifth floor houses the archive of the brand, which was founded by Gaby Aghion in 1952. In that conservative decade, Aghion was considered the feminist of fashion. With Chloé she tried to develop a modern image of womanhood, that is rooted in femininity and takes many diverse expressions. Countless travels and encounters with foreign cultures provided important inspiration for Aghion.

“MAKING THE BRAND ACCESSIBLE FOR THE PUBLIC”

In recent years, there has been a trend among luxury brands to become active culturally and to curate exhibitions in their own museums. Famous examples are Louis Vuitton with Fondation Louis Vuitton or Prada with Fondazione Prada. A new touch in the case of Maison Chloé is the exhibitions direct connection to the history of the brand.
The opening exhibition – curated by Judith Clark – is devoted to Guy Bourdin. Under the title “Femininities – Guy Bourdin”, Maison Chloé shows the many facets of womanhood in Bourdin’s photographic oeuvre. Bourdin is considered one of the grand masters of his trade and defined the image of female sexuality and femininity more than almost anyone else. He was also the photographer who worked the most for Chloé.

It seems more pressing than ever to define the course of Chloé as a brand: The new creative director Natacha Ramsay-Levi is working on her first collection but nobody knows which direction she will take. The project Maison Chloé is supposed to give a clearer picture of what Chloé aspires to be and what type of woman it addresses. Gaby Anghions answer would of course be: Many different types of women! Maison Chloé will open on June 2nd and is coinciding with the haute couture shows in Paris.

The exhibition “Femininities – Guy Bourdin” will be open from July 3rd until September 3rd at Maison Chloé (28 Rue de la Baume, Paris).