The performance/ When Tilda Swinton requests our clothes

She is a lady of anything so why not be the lady of the locker room for a change? In the performance “Cloakroom-Vestiaire Obligatoire” (“Cloakroom Required”) French fashion curator Olivier Saillard collaborated with Tilda Swinton to explore the inner lives of clothing. For their third joint work devoted to fashion to date, the duo chose the Palais Galliera (Fashion Museum of Paris), to tell the story of the clothes when they are left behind. Their collaboration began back in 2012 and since then the series has become an annual highlight of the Parisian cultural program, Festival d’Automne. “It is the holy grail of fashion performance” Le Monde adds.


As the name suggests, guests are encouraged to check their coats, bags, and scarves upon arrival, and leave them to come alive through the hour-long Swinton’s unique performance. By the end of the eight-night program, Swinton will have costar with over 300 garments.


Olivier Saillard directs the Scottish actress under the high ceilings of a room with ocher walls, her silhouette a sphinx that is destined to make acquaintance with the coats, scarves and jackets. She is tender as she wraps them in a round.


A performance both schizophrenic and poetic, “Cloakroom” is surreal in a very David Lynch way. “The idea was to work on how intimacy can be a kind of claw, beyond the logo on the collar of a jacket” said Olivier Saillard. To be able to create fashion is one thing. To make art out of it is a task Tilda Swinton and her partnerships will see it through.


The Musée Galliera also commissioned British photographer Katerina Jebb to immortalize these performances. In December, the collected footage will debut as an art film.


Images via Interview and Le Monde