A Tale of Costumes, 10 Nov 2015 — 31 Mar 2016

A Tale of Costumes

Espace Louis Vuitton Venice presents the exhibition A Tale of Costumes, a dialogue between different generations and views which – through the use of three outfits – tells stories of different times, places and people in the setting of the Serenissima.

A silent but yet intense conversation, Espace Louis Vuitton Venice hosts three outfits for this exhibition: Andrienne (1770 – 1780), a woman’s dress from the end of the eighteenth century; a garment woven with paper by Chinese artist Movana Chen and a dress designed and manufactured by students of Rome’s Experimental Centre for Cinematography, supervised by Italian costumes designer Maurizio Millenotti (twice Academy Award nominee for best costumes).

Andrienne features a typical eighteenth century line, with loose back, probably deriving from the late eighteenth century sur-coat shape. Considered informal, it loses this characteristic starting from the seventies, thanks to its introduction at Court by Queen Marie Antoinette. Students of Rome’s Experimental Centre for Cinematography have drawn inspiration from this garment, they were requested to reinterpret the eighteenth century robe according to their own vision and creativity. Something they carried out with the precious help of costume designer Maurizio Millenotti, allowing the creation of a modern, wearable garment, not just a simple copy of the original.

The interlaced words of Movana Chen animate the conversation, placing the accent on the dialogue. For her knitted dresses, the artist uses very long paper threads coming from various books lent by friends or strangers. She destroys the books so that, re-composing them into a new shape, they can tell a new story, soaked of the lives of people who have written, read or owned the destroyed work, enclosing distant stories, ancient and recent ones within the same garment.

The beauty of the silhouettes that captures the visitors’ glance immediately, hides secret messages in the weft of the threads. Wearability now becomes secondary: the garments tell us of remote places, real and imaginary ones, taking her tale up to Venice.

A Tale of Costumes is the sixth exhibition presented at Espace Louis Vuitton Venice, in collaboration with MUVE – Venice Civic Museums Foundation, also made possible thanks to the meticulous restoration works -supported by Louis Vuitton -of the Eighteenth century dress Andrienne, part of the Palazzo Mocenigo collection.

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