“We think we know who the Chloé girls are but, in fact, there’s a kind of enigmatic quality to Guy Bourdin’s work that makes you think again” explained curator Judith Clark on Maison Chloé’s-, the newly-opened space set to host a year-round programme of exhibitions and events- show “Femininities – Guy Bourdin”.
The show explores the way the iconic Fronench fashion photographer shot the world of the fashion house founded by Gaby Aghion back in 1952.
“Beloved for its carefree spirit and bohemianism, the show pushes the boundaries of our perception of a woman with style through Bourdin’s seminal imagery. Between 1956 and 1986 Bourdin shot images of its collections for campaigns and for magazines, most notably Vogue Paris.
“It was incredible how Bourdin outnumbered any other photographer – by a mile,” says Judith Clark.
The show, at the new five-storey Maison Chloé, adjacent to the brand’s headquarters, marks this collaboration with more than 100 photographs featuring Chloé garments shot through Bourdin’s cinematic, often surreal, sometimes sinister filter.
“It’s not about the dress, it’s about his story,” says Clark of his cinematic fashion kaleidoscope.
“There’s a kind of drama about his work, there’s a sexuality about his work and there’s an element of his work which is always considered difficult. It’s an exhibition about provocation, it is an exhibition about interpretation – about taking an archive and giving it a completely different cultural context” she adds.
A permanent exhibition in the space will feature an A to Z of Chloé, tracing the history of the brand’s heritage and its famous designers – including a run of four British women: Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo, Hannah MacGibbon and Clare Waight Keller, who left earlier this year, to be replaced by the French designer Natacha Ramsay-Levi.
Catch ‘Feminities – Guy Bourdin’ until 3 September at Maison Chloé. Tickets available from chloe.com