Natacha Ramsay-Levifrom 25 April to 26 May 2019
Inside the iconic swimming pool room of the Villa Noailles, the Chloé exhibition by creative director Natacha Ramsay-Levi explores her universe in a series of four chapters comprising the designer’s first runway collections for the Maison. A framework of sheer ‘picture curtains’ creates an airy labyrinth echoing the interlocking rectangular patterns of the 1929 ceiling by Robert Mallet-Stevens, as archival silhouettes revealed around every corner. With specific focus on flou draping, a signature of the house, Ramsay-Levi’s curation encompasses dresses featuring tiers of delicate plissé and smocking, metallic and stone embellishments, and lush prints (in the tradition of Karl Lagerfeld). These include the mystical illustrations of Indian artist Rithika Merchant, as well as vibrant scarf prints and meticulous fabric treatments in lingerie lace and bias-cut silks. Other silhouettes reflect the boyish tailoring inherent to the Maison, from high-waisted trouser shapes to the iconic embroidered ‘rearing horse’ velvet suit.
Through imagery from Spring 2018 through to the most recent Fall 2019 collections, Ramsay-Levi’s evolution at Chloé is depicted in a display of film stills printed directly onto the maze of curtains. Art-directed by M/M (Paris), Steven Meisel’s films echo Ramsay-Levi’s love of cinema, depicting Chloé girls in a multitude of contexts between the natural world and ambient urban environments. Within these split screen captures, rich textures collide to create layered transparencies of neon sunsets, tapestry textiles, Mediterranean architectures and even the New York skyline, allowing the viewer to become fully immersed in the multiple feminine identities within Ramsay-Levi’s Chloé universe.