The city of light, croissants, and untouchably cool style is finally getting the permanent fashion museum it deserves. Thanks to the support of the House of Chanel, the Palais Galliera will become the first permanent fashion museum in France.
“The city of Paris is proud to be able to open this exceptional space to Parisians and visitors from all over the world,” said Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, in a statement released during Paris Fashion Week. “I would like to thank the House of Chanel for proving once again that Paris is the home of fashion.”
Chanel, the official backer of the project, contributed 5.7 million Euros (about $6 million at the current exchange rate) to help turn French fashion dreams into a permanent reality. “This initiative represents a lasting commitment to creation and to the strength of Paris, which are at the heart of Chanel’s business,” stated Chanel Fashion President Bruno Pavlovsky.
France is already home to some of the world’s top fashion-backed museums, including the Christian Dior Museum and Garde and the Fondation Pierre Bergé–Yves Saint Laurent. Meanwhile, the Palais Galliera has been long considered the city’s “fashion” museum, though they’ve only displayed temporary exhibits—until now. When the Gabrielle Chanel Rooms open in 2019, it will host the first ever permanent fashion exhibit in the city’s history.
The Palais Galliera was built in 1894 and owns over 200,000 articles from fashion history. The museum’s collection spans from the 18th century to today, including clothing, accessories, photographs, and graphic art. It's past exhibits includes explorations of the work of Jeanne Lanvin and the French wardrobe staples previously owned by icons like Audrey Hepburn. A retrospective of the work of Cristobal Balenciaga will open later this week. Meanwhile, the museum recently announced its planning a Martin Margiela retrospective with input from the mysterious designer himself.
The new exhibit room will be located in the museum’s 7,211-square-foot basement and will become a permanent home to the sartorial showcase in 2019.
As the fashion capital of the world, and a place where the industry is so inextricably linked to history, it’s hard to believe it took this long for a permanent fashion museum to take shape. Needless to say, it may be time to start planning a spring 2019 trip to Paris.
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