Art and fashion historian Laurent Cotta, curator for contemporary creation at Galliera, comes to the Alliance Française to explain the two poles defining Yves Saint Laurent’s œuvre: classicism and transgression. Come rediscover Yves Saint Laurent’s legacy and gifts to women worldwide: the safari jacket, the pantsuit, le prêt-à-porter, street fashion, haute-coûture… and so much more.
Since 2002, Cotta has been responsible for contemporary creation at Galliera, the museum of fashion in the city of Paris. In his time at the museum, he has had the chance to mount a number of exhibitions paying homage to the great names in fashion and launching young talent from the new generation of designers. His first exhibit, Fashion to Follow, presented the work of young, emerging international designers. The same year, along with Olivier Saillard, he mounted Madame Carven, Couturier, which traced the career of the couturier after the donation of her private collection of archives to the museum.
In 2004, he was the commissioner of Sylvie Vartan, Fashion Review, devoted to the singer’s stage costumes. The following year, he organized a festival for the designer Popy Moreni based on her gift to the museum, and then an exhibit at the Galeries Lafayette for the 60th anniversary of Elle magazine. In 2007, he mounted the exhibition Gallierock, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac on the occasion of which the designer took over the museum for the fortieth anniversary of the creation of his label. In 2011, as part of the exhibitions Galliera Off-Site, he and Olivier Saillard were co-commissioners for Madame Grès, Fashion Design at Work at the Bourdelle Museum from March through July, and The 18th Century in Contemporary Fashion at the Grand Trianon Museum, on the grounds of Versailles, from July through September.
In addition to his projects at Galliera, Laurent Cotta has been regularly lecturing at l’École du Louvre since 2004 and in 2010 was responsible for a series of courses devoted to the history of contemporary fashion. At the same time, he gives lectures on Yves Saint Laurent at the Institut Français de la Mode. Laurent Cotta also contributes to print media, particularly Nippon Vogue. He has of late been working with the Franco-German television channel Arte, participating recently on two documentaries: The History of Pants and the Mini-Skirt and The Mini-Skirt.
This program is possible thanks to the support of the Délégation des Alliances Françaises USA.
Recorded Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at Alliance Française de Chicago.