The Coolest Part of Paris Fashion Week Had Nothing to Do With Clothing
It was actually an art exhibition, launched by The Peninsula Hotels.
Sure, we could spend hours daydreaming about the dresses we'd like to steal off the runway, or wondering which accessories trend will actually take off. But this year, Paris Fashion Week managed to give us another aesthetic treat that we'll still be thinking about months from now — and, weirdly enough, it didn't even involve clothing.
Rather, it was the launch of The Peninsula Hotels' latest Art in Resonance exhibit, which was set up at The Peninsula Paris and features breathtaking installations from three artists on the rise. It's just one part of an overall initiative by the hotel, which supports new and mid-career creators in the art world, rather than purchasing any old decor.
"We’re essentially taking the concept of the hotel as a patron of the arts to the next level by making a deep financial, logistical, and emotional investment in supporting mid-career and emerging artists — commissioning original art pieces from them, giving them the resources and platform they need to make their projects a reality," Carson Glover, VP of Brand Marketing and Communications, told InStyle via email. "This, in turn, ensures the health of the cultural ecosystem within each of the hotels’ local communities, and our visitors and guests alike benefit from these inspiring, thought-provoking art experiences.”
According to Glover, the artists — who were selected by curators Bettina Prentice and Isolde Brielmaier — have the freedom to create whatever they wanted, and are given both financial and logistical support. Elise Morin, Saya Woolfalk, and Iván Navarro were all chosen this time around, and each brought something different with their installation.
Morin opted to create a dune where the "skin" was made of pulverized CDs. While it's sparkly and interesting to look at, it's meant to show the life-cycle of man-made items, and communicate the burden they put on the planet. Woolfalk chose to comment on cultural diversity with a "maximalist, sci-fi art piece inspired by the stained-glass windows of Paris cathedrals." Navarro’s installation — which was originally seen at Hong Kong's Art in Resonance — was an optical illusion that used light, and encouraged people to "re-imagine the concept of home."
The plan, said Glover, is to bring exhibits like this to all of The Peninsula Hotels, and grow the program each year. So far, there are hotel locations in 10 different cities, with Hong Kong being the flagship, and three more are currently under development.
Of course, since the The Peninsula Paris chose to launch its exhibit during Paris Fashion Week, it tied into that as well. Right before the art was unveiled, the hotel hosted its first-ever fashion presentation from Brother Vellies designer Aurora James — someone who, Glover said, "shares the vision that sustainability and luxury can exist hand-in-hand."
The exhibition is taking place now through November 15.