Olivier Saillard, the former head of the Musée de la Mode et du Costume at the Palais Galliera is a supremely gifted artist and storyteller. His canvas is women's clothes and for each garment, he creates beautiful and poetic stories. In the past, he has presented, for instance, breathtakingly original performances with former top models from great Maisons - Saint-Laurent, Chanel, etc. Recently, Olivier Saillard staged “Embodying Pasolini,” with actress Tilda Swinton modeling clothes designed by Danilo Donati for Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini.
On January 24, at the elegant 17th Century Hôtel de Soubise, the site of the French National Archives, in the heart of the Marais, Olivier Saillard staged "Moda Povera V: Les vêtements de Renée" (Renée's clothes). Renée was Saillard's mother, an unconventional woman who drove a cab in Paris - a world far from the elegant Salon of the Princess and from the fashion world. After his mother passed away 2 years ago, her very modest clothes were hanging forlornly in her closet. “In the attic lay generations of skirts, of coats that she had not worn for a long time,” explains Olivier Saillard. Olivier Saillard had an idea: why not transform these inexpensive garments purchased in the modest department stores of blue collar neighborhoods on the outskirts of Paris, into exquisite haute couture ? Three T.-shirts assembled and draped and sweatpants became tuxedo pants. Handkerchiefs were transformed into evening gloves. A robe with garish flowers became a beautiful evening jacket. “Coats became evening capes or formal jackets. Other coats have become suits. Colorful T.-shirt are assembled to become evening gowns. “From her bed sheets that she embroidered herself with her initials, a draped shirt appeared,”” explains Saillard, “ A new and elegant collection was born. Jean-Sébastien Stehli