Calais museum explores the work of fashion designer Anne Valérie Hash

The Museum of Lace and Fashion (La Cité de la dentelle et de la mode) in Calais, France, has invited the French designer -- and her fashion house -- to exhibit emblematic garments and showcase the creative process. The exhibition, "Anne Valérie Hash. Décrayonner," opens April 1 and runs until November 13, 2016.


The "Anne Valérie Hash. Décrayonner" exhibition runs April 1 to November 13, 2016, at La Cité de la dentelle et de la mode, Calais - ©Fabrice Laroche

This first French exhibition dedicated to the work of Anne Valérie Hash will look back over her first 13 years of designs. As a famous name of the fashion world, the French designer is particularly known for deconstructing menswear pieces to transform them into womenswear creations, and, more generally, for bringing harmony to contrasts and contradictions, whether in terms of colors, styles, fabrics or eras. Her knowledge and passion for lace will also be explored, with a whole host of pieces made using this luxurious material.

Four major themes

Although the exhibition has something of a retrospective, it isn't arranged in chronological order. Instead, it works its way through colors, moving from black to lighter hues, and is organized around four key themes exploring the designer's approach to functions, symmetries, trouser suits and light (Diverting the function, Unbalancing the symmetries, Shifting the tuxedo, Evading the light).

On entering the exhibition, visitors step into the light-filled atmosphere of a fashion studio, where a dozen sample garments are displayed on dressmaker's dummies. Rarely shown to the public, these raw cotton mock-ups are effectively prototype designs, three-dimensional working documents featuring the designer's various marks for adjustments and modifications.

The exhibition then reveals the signature style of Anne Valérie Hash, a style that shaped and affirmed itself year after year, leading visitors from the first piece, a dress made from a pair of men's trousers, to the last, a trouser suit in lace and reflective fabric.

The exhibition puts around 100 items ondisplay, including garments, videos and exclusive documents. While certain pieces are on loan from the Palais Galliera fashion museum in Paris, most come from the private archives of Anne Valérie Hash's fashion house.

"Anne Valérie Hash. Décrayonner" at the Cité de la dentelle et de la mode, Calais, France runs April 1 to November 13, 2016.

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