Carine Roitfeld, Adrian Cheng celebrate fashion craftsmanship with Hong Kong exhibition
Fashion expert Carine Roitfeld has debuted as exhibition curator with the K11 Art Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation presided by Hong Kong-born businessman Adrian Cheng. The exhibition curated by Roitfeld is entitled ‘Savoir-Faire: The Mastery of Craft in Fashion’. It gives visitors the chance to discover the wonders of traditional Oriental craftsmanship, and the haute couture and ready-to-wear techniques adopted by iconic houses like Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Celine, Chanel, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Iris Van Herpen, Jean Paul Gaultier, Loewe and Louis Vuitton. The exhibition is being held at the K11 Art and Cultural Centre in Hong Kong, and will be open until February 14 2022.
“The idea behind this exhibition is to surprise, and to stimulate a dialogue between many generations of designers. The objective is the same as that of the K11 Foundation: to preserve artisanal crafts,” said the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris.
The exhibition was presented on December 10, jointly in Paris and Hong Kong, where more than 400 people joined Cheng for the presentation. On the occasion, a charitable auction was also held. Part of the profits will be donated to UNESCO and to the K11 Craft and Guild Foundation, founded by Cheng in 2018 to preserve China’s heritage and to “foster and rejuvenate artisanal craftsmanship.”
“This is the first time I have curated an exhibition, and it was a very exciting experience. I tried to do it my own way, dynamically, as if it was a photo shoot,” said Roitfeld from the Marie-Antoinette suite of Paris’s historic Hôtel de Crillon, where the exhibition’s Parisian presentation was held, attended by a handful of select guests including models Soo Joo Park and Mao Xiaoxing, the founder of the Koché label, Christelle Kocher, the CEO of Balenciaga, Cédric Charbit, and the head of LVMH’s Métiers d’Art division, Matteo de Rosa.
“Sometimes, when I visit fashion exhibitions, I’m a little disappointed because the items on display are very far away, or because the topic is treated from a perspective that is too historical. I’m not a history professor, I’m a fashion professional,” said Roitfeld, whose first exhibition is remarkable for its spirited style.
Attending via live-streamed link, Cheng said that “this exhibition is the first-ever to connect Eastern craft and Western couture, and to narrate a story about the importance of the preservation of craftsmanship.”
Paying tribute to the phenomenal work done by archivists and historians, the exhibition aims to showcase exceptional artisanal items, as well as legendary models by some of the most iconic fashion houses. “Our mission is to make craftsmanship sustainable in this digital era, and we want to inspire the next generations through its beauty,” concluded Cheng.
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