SCAD FASH Lacoste Presents
Christian Lacroix Habille Peer Gynt pour la Comédie-Française
LACOSTE, FRANCE — The Savannah College of Art and Design is pleased to announce the exhibition Christian Lacroix Habille Peer Gynt pour la Comédie-Française at SCAD FASH Lacoste museum, July 1–Nov. 1, 2023. The exhibition features 50 spectacular costumes brought to life by famed French fashion designer Christian Lacroix for the Comédie-Française’s acclaimed production of Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt. Curated by fashion historian and curator Olivier Saillard and organized by Rafael Gomes, creative director of SCAD FASH museums, the exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Comédie-Française.
Lacroix’s passion for folklore, art, and costume history is illuminated in this exclusive exhibition of ensembles for Peer Gynt. From the titular ne’er-do-well adventurer to brides, Scandinavian villagers, a troll princess and her troll king father, and a Bedouin tribe, Ibsen’s fantastical characters are elaborately reimagined in garments evincing the designer’s bona fide flair, combining the principles of high fashion with the technical precision of stage costuming. Lacroix’s longstanding collaboration with the Comédie- Française began more than 25 years ago with the famed theater company’s production of Phèdre, followed by productions of Cyrano, Lucrèce, Roméo et Juliette, and the spring 2012 production of Peer Gynt, among many others.
“This summer, students and visitors to SCAD FASH Lacoste will fall in love with Christian Lacroix Habille Peer Gynt pour la Comédie-Française, an exhibition of the wondrous costume designs of couturier Christian Lacroix," said SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace. "In this exquisite show, Lacroix weaves the history of continental drama with the future of fashion in exquisite costumes that transport the viewer into Ibsen’s timeless tale. This never-before-seen exhibition demonstrates how SCAD FASH Lacoste embraces the exuberant multi- plicity of contemporary design, merging the disciplines of couture and costume, fashion and fantasy.”
A native of Arles in Provence, Lacroix was mes- merized at a young age by the theater, constantly sketching creations for his own fanciful characters. His love of world cultures led him to study art history in Paris, where he enrolled at institutions including the Sorbonne and École du Louvre. After honing his craft at various fashion houses, assisting Guy Paulin, and designing for Jean Patou, Lacroix debuted his own eponymous house in the mid-1980s. Bold, luxurious collections full of color, pattern, and rich embellishment would become signatures of his work, conveying a sense of gaiety and decadence. In the decades since, Lacroix has earned critical acclaim for his designs, including creations for illustrious venues and performance companies like the Comédie- Française, Opéra Garnier, American Ballet Theater, and The Metropolitan Opera.
“The work of Christian Lacroix is expansive — of all the couturiers of his time and of the past, he is the only one to have bent a discipline, to imagine theater costumes according to his haute couture expertise," said fashion historian and curator Olivier Saillard. "His own haute couture is not uncompromising. It accepts all hierarchies, the unfinished and excellence that can be found in flowery fields. The costumes Lacroix invented for the Comédie-Française as part of Peer Gynt speak to this haute couture freedom — their beauty is appreciated because it is in flight.”
The exhibition also inaugurates the museum’s new space, once the Galerie Centre owned by designer Pierre Cardin, a longtime Lacoste resident and cultural ambassador for the region. Cardin enjoyed a treasured friendship with SCAD, and for more than two decades, he embraced the role of mentor, engaging with hundreds of SCAD students studying in Lacoste across the university’s degree programs, from fashion to architecture. In this spirit of shared dedication to the region, SCAD is committed to stewarding Cardin’s legacy and continuing to bestow inspiration to young artists and visitors in the museum’s new home.
“It is a remarkable opportunity to present the work of Christian Lacroix, native son of Provence, at SCAD FASH Lacoste," said SCAD FASH Creative Director Rafael Gomes. "Lacroix’s contributions to fashion know no bounds, and his theatrical work should be equally celebrated for its elegance. Lacroix’s special longstanding collaboration with the Comédie-Française is important to honor, as both are bastions of French culture, and we are thrilled to present Lacroix’s imaginative Peer Gynt designs to our students and visitors this summer.”
On the occasion of the exhibition opening, SCAD FASH Lacoste and SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace hosted an intimate celebratory reception honoring the designer with Saillard, representatives from Comédie-Française, and special guests of the region in attendance. SCAD students from an array of top-ranked degree programs — including fashion, art history, film and television, production design, and illustration — had the exclusive opportunity to engage with the curator and collaborators through special engagements and programming.
Christian Lacroix Habille Peer Gynt pour la Comédie-Française is on view at SCAD FASH Lacoste museum, through Nov. 1, 2023. For more information, visit scadfash.org.
About SCAD Lacoste
SCAD Lacoste is a residential study-abroad location in France, offering immersion in the history and culture of Provence. Course offerings each quarter are varied to apply to all SCAD areas of study and are taught by SCAD professors. Lacoste is a beautifully preserved medieval village and historic destination for artists, known for its extraordinary light and exquisite pastoral setting. SCAD Lacoste structures dating from the ninth to the 19th centuries feature cutting-edge contemporary amenities. SCAD Lacoste resources include a library, a gallery, a dining hall, and housing, as well as teaching studios dedicated to painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and digital imaging. Students interact with visiting artists, take field trips to museums and historic sites in the area, and have an opportunity to exhibit their work at a local vernissage. Celebrated artists and designers visit with SCAD Lacoste students throughout the year. Notable guests have included actor and designer John Malkovich; designer Bibhu Mohapatra; social media influencer, photographer, and inventor of the cinemagraph Jamie Beck of Ann Street Studio; interior designer and television host Genevieve Gorder; installation artist Hugo Dalton; design legend Ilse Crawford; chief creative officer of Shimoda Design Group Joey Shimoda; Vogue contributing editor Lynn Yaeger; and CFDA Fashion Award- winning designers Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters of Creatures of the Wind.