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Designers Turn Out for Fifties Fashion Exhibit

Claude Montana, Guillaume Henry and Bruno Frisoni were among guests attending the event at Paris’ Palais Galliera on Thursday.

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ROARING FIFTIES: Claude Montana, Guillaume Henry and Bruno Frisoni turned out on Thursday evening to see “The Fifties: Fashion in France, 1947-1957” exhibition dedicated to the golden age of French couture. It opened Saturday at Paris’ Palais Galliera fashion museum.

“It is great show,” said Montana. “It is nice to see pieces from the good old days.”

His favorite works from the exhibition were Schiaparelli’s reversible pink skirt dating between 1951 and 1953.

“Schiap has always been inspiring [to me]: the colors, shapes, the sense of humor…,” said Montana, adding his other favorites were Christian Dior’s fitted Bernique ensemble, which owes its name to its shell shape; Jacques Fath’s dress using trompe l’oeil, and Dior’s Cotillon cocktail dress in silk faille from 1956.

“It is very modern,” he said.

Some 100 models and accessories retrace the evolution of women’s fashion from the birth of the New Look to the death of the designer Christian Dior and the advent of Yves Saint Laurent.

“I feel like I am seeing old friends. We know them by heart,” said Carven creative director Henry, musing about the dresses on display. Pieces from Carven archives are also showcased in the exhibition.

“The Fifties were magic years for the house,” said Henry, who, while looking at the famous Esperanto day suit from 1951 exclaimed: “This is a legendary piece. It is splendid. The waist is so narrow and the construction is amazing.” He added that some elements like the oversize shoulders were inspiring for his collection for fall.

Olivier Saillard, curator and director of the fashion museum, highlighted another key piece: Pierre Cardin’s day suit from 1958 with its cape collar, absence of frills and single rolled-fabric rose that foreshadowed the Sixties.

The exhibit runs through Nov. 2.

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