This exhibition focuses on the relationship between fashion houses and lace across 65 silhouettes, taking visitors behind the scenes to discover the production and design. It’s also a chance to discover the savoir-faire of lace-makers in Calais in the Hauts-de-France.
For more than 200 years, the region's lace makers have been using Leavers looms to mechanically weave this refined, elegant textile. In the 1950s, there were some 150 lace factories and more than a thousand looms in the city. If production has somewhat slowed, Calais lace has weathered the change, and still seduces the greatest fashion houses today. The Haute Dentelle – Designer Lace exhibition presented at the Museum for Lace and Fashion in Calais is good evidence of it.
This exhibition deciphers the contemporary use of this ancient textile through pieces by Christian Dior, Chanel, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and Louis Vuitton. The visitor explores these sixty silhouettes that have graced the catwalks over the past five years. To better appreciate the savoir-faire behind lace-making, each of these looks is accompanied by a lace sample corresponding to the one presented, loaned by Maison Lemarié, one of high fashion’s most prestigious lace-makers.
This exhibition also demonstrates the strong ties created by the artistic director of the fashion house and its lace supplier, thus giving visitors an unprecedented look at the behind-the-scenes of the production process.
The "#RéinventerLaDentelle" exhibit at the Musée des dentelles et broderies de Caudry (Museum of Lace and Embroidery in Caudry) is also worth seeing. Just one hour’s drive from Calais, it focuses on Caudry lace and its variations in fashion and textile design.