Musée Carnavalet, Paris,
17 October 2013-16 March 2014.
Continuing it’s adventurous programme of extra-mural activities, Olivier Saillard and Palais Galliera present the exhibition Roman d’une Garde-robe at the Musée Carnavalet – Histoire de Paris, Paris. Drawing on a recent donation of hundreds of items that range from the 1830s to the 1930s, Roman d’une Garde-robe uncovers the stories of three women at the heart of the world of couture at the end of the nineteenth century.
The central protagonists are couturière Adèle Dumas (1829-1909) and her two daughters, Hortense Dumas-Baudron (1867-1932), première vendeuse at Worth and Alice Alleaume (1881-1969), première vendeuse at Chéruit from 1912-1923. Focussing on Alice, the exhibition delves into her private and professional life, illustrating the story with luxurious items from her personal wardrobe (alongside photographs and documents from the family archive) and ephemera from her tenure at Chéruit including notebooks that contain captivating details of sales, clients, couture fittings and alterations. The extraordinary work of Maison Chéruit is represented through Alice’s own garments and a collection of photographs taken to record models for copyright, each accompanied by samples of elaborate fabrics and exquisite embroidery.
Including over 70 outfits, 140 accessories and hundreds of photographs, documents and manuscripts, the exhibition documents the life of a woman who experienced, first hand, some of the most dramatic changes in fashion – from the corset-structured gowns of the Belle Epoque to the drop-waist shifts of Les Années folles. And, as depicted through a mass of fascinating background material, Roman d’une Garde-robe is not only Alice’s life-story, but also the biography of a city embracing modernity, an industry at the height of its creative power, and a once renowned couture house now long forgotten.
Curated by Sophie Grossiord and Charlotte Lacour-Veyranne and designed by STUDIO TOVAR.
Roman d’une Garde-robe is published by Les Editions Paris Musées.
Woman with Scarf, 1900. Photograph © Musée Carnavalet/Roger-Viollet.
Chéruit, ensemble, 1921-1922. Photograph © Stéphane Piera/Galliera/Roger-Viollet.
Jeanne Lanvin, robe du soir, 1935 © Patrimoine Lanvin. Photograph © Stéphane Piera/Galliera/Roger-Viollet.
G. Agié, Les mannequins, 1910 © G. Agié/Editions du Figaro/Gérard Leyris.
Jean Béraud, Workers Leaving Maison Paquin, rue de la Paix, c1902 © Musée Carnavalet/Roger-Viollet.