When Paris designer and costume creator extraordinaire Anne Valerie hash offered some of her collection for an exhibition to the renowned museum of lace in Calais, they accepted with enthusiasm.
Cité Dentelle Mode as it is known, (dentelle means lace) has long been showcasing the greats of French couture, in 2015 the fabulous Balenciaga exhibited and in 2017 a certain Monsieur Givenchy is to present some of his masterpieces. Their permanent collection includes haut couture pieces, lingerie, working looms and ancient pieces of fabric – it is a great visit any day of the week and the temporary exhibitions are the icing on the cake.
The designs of Anne Valerie Hash may not be so well-known outside of France and Japan where her collections have found great success, but her clothes are certainly eye catching.
As a young designer in the late 1990s, Anne Valerie Hash made a name for herself in fashion circles in Paris by buying men’s suits at flea markets and brocantes, picking the stitching apart and using the pieces to create clothes for women.
Fashionistas loved her deconstructed, reconstructed interpretations, magazines featured her fun and flirty pieces and she found success with her ready to wear range, particularly with Japanese buyers.
At the exhibition in Calais is a video of a fashion show, models sashaying the catwalk in Anne Valerie Hash designs and you can’t fail to be impressed by how fluid the creations are, how the fabric moves as the models move. Eclectic certainly, not every day wear but very clever.
Anne Valerie Hash has a personal archive of 2,500 of her pieces and for exhibition curator Sylvie Marot it was a real challenge to select 88 pieces for the exhibition.
The outfits are shown against a minimalist background, white walls, black display cases and unusually no glass between the visitor and the clothes. Feminine outfits with a masculine touch, adult outfits with a childish, fun aspect, sensuous materials and clever layering make the clothes memorable. Her haute couture designs recreated from clothes “donated” by celebrities like Charlotte Rampling, Vivien Westwood and Tilda Swinton have been converted to a small haute couture collection which can be seen on permanent display at the Palais Galliera, Museum of Fashion, Paris. You will also be able to see Anne Valerie Hash pieces going forward at Calais Dentelle since the designer has offered a permanent collection.
Exhibition “Anne Valerie Hash. Décrayonner “until November 13, 2016. International City of lace and fashion 135, quai du Commerce 62100 Calais. Every day except Tuesday. From 10am to 18pm.