Beaton's Wallis at Cande
Garouste and Bonetti decor
for Christian Lacroix, 1987
for Christian Lacroix, 1987
In 2008 Christian Lacroix celebrated 20 glorious years of LACROIX Haute Couture with a retrospective at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (article here) Just 2 years ago- 20 years of the genius of Lacroix-celebrated. This month Sotheby's Paris is auctioning some of the most stylish objects that decorated the lavish 1980's designed Lacroix Salon. The house suffered major losses in 2009 and Lacroix sent his last Haute Couture collection down the runway. His eponymous salon decorated by the French designers Garouste and Bonetti, Lacroix Maison de Haute Couture was Glamorous. Baroque. Reflecting the fantasy of the designer Lacroix, their interiors were a perfect setting for his joyous concoctions, his brilliant mix of high and low.
Maison de Haute Couture
from the Sotheby's catalogue:
"In 1987 the French fashion designer Christian Lacroix had the opportunity to open his own Maison de Haute Couture. He immediately turned to the French designers Elizabeth Garouste and Mattia Bonetti to decorate the interior of the eighteenth century pavilion he had found, located on the famous Parisian Faubourg Saint Honoré.The team imagined an interior that fit perfectly with the universe of Lacroix, with references to the South: Spain, bullfighting, bright colours illuminated by the sun, the use of wrought iron, terracotta, wood, etc. This theatrical and avant-garde universe and atmosphere was in total opposition to the post modernist geometric black and white tendency of the decoration of the 80's."
Since its first publication many years ago-the Paris apartment of Christian Lacroix remained one of the most creative, bohemian, youthful and eclectic of the Paris fashion elite. The chic Lacroix Marais apartment was listed for sale early in 2009 and was sold in December of 2009.
Christian Lacroix's apartment as it was prior to its sale,
Every bit as sophisticated, beautiful and unique as the designer's fashions.
Located in a 17th century building near the Place de Vosges, Lacroix's apartment consisted of two floors–and mezzanine library, four bedrooms on the lower floor with public rooms on the upper floor. The apartment was surprisingly restrained, with 13 foot ceilings, parquet de Versailles floors, and elaborate moldings of gilt. Lacroix moved from the space as the apartment was listed for 2.6 million into another apartment in the same neighborhood.
Just before her wedding to the once King, Prince, etc., Mrs. Simpson was photographed by Cecil Beaton. wearing the baroque scrolls of a silk jersey jacket embroidered in a gold gilt by Elsa Schiaparelli. The two pieces of carbon blue jersey dress and jacket are strikingly beautiful. Compositionally, Beaton posed the soon to be Duchess by a Louis XV commode-its elaborate chasing echoes the Schiap jacket details. Beaton chronicled the nuptials at the Chateau de Conde in the Loire.
Though the Duchess' severity of dress strengthened as her jewelry became more stunning, the Beaton photograph is evidence that Wallis Simpson had a taste for the baroque. At one point in her wardrobe choices-Christian Lacroix would have been highly suitable, perhaps right until she stopped appearing in public prior to 1980.
Hard to imagine?
I don't think so.
LACROIX Duchess Couture
The Duchess of Windsor died just short of her 100th birthday. Of the many images fashion pages etched in my mind- Wallis occupies at least 100. She wore clothes well - Not just the severe,
but the Chic,
if only she had worn LACROIX.
No efforts to revive LACROIX succeeded, and the House of Lacroix collapsed as 2009 closed. (read more here)
"I didn't want to cry, I want to continue,
maybe in a different way, with a small atelier.
What I really care about is the women who do this work."
(-Lacroix-about his work and future, 2009)
all the Christian Lacroix Haute Couture images from style.com
more about the Lacroix apartment here
more about the collapse of Lacroix hereabout Wallis here
the Duke and Duchess of Windsor Society here
read about Madonna's movie W.E. here