A counterculture couture of unique pieces created in absolute freedom, far from any commercial constraint. The classical system of the catwalk show has been around for a long time and its future is still shining bright, but its innovative dimension has been eroded by the yoke and mechanics of a system that is getting carried away, where time is no longer on he side of the designer.
We cannot ignore the fact that the garment is being lost, it is no longer the central element of the catwalk show, but a mere excuse. Jean-Charles de Castelbajac knows that the era of an anti-show revolution has started. He who Eugenia Sheppard dubbed the «King of anti fashion» in the New York Times in 1971, is claiming the importance of creation with his no-show «40 passages» at Mannerheim Gallery. The designer has imagined and drawn a utopian and oneiric fashion collection. 40 passages, 40 bridges, 40 doors, 40 paths, 40 women like so many airlocks to the unknown.
These 40 pieces will be available to order, to be worn or installed on a wall. Is it a dress or a painting? A piece of furniture or an article of clothing? These are the questions Jean-Charles de Castelbajac is raising.
The designer’s unsettling silhouettes carry us into the rhythm of a performance catwalk, they are crowned by 40 portraits. The casting is complete: from the face to the body, to let us appreciate his unique and patented creations. «Art is the breath, fashion is its body, running». Through his drawings, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac chooses to represent his models in a non-conventional way. The collection unveils itself directly on the walls of the gallery, passage after passage, so you can fully appreciate the designer’s line-up.
The revolution is blooming, the designer plays with the codes of fashion as he has always done, by hijacking them. In keeping with his historical installation catwalk shows such as «État d’urgence» in 2000, the pieces presented in «40 passages» are the direct link from the designer’s hand to the art lover. It’s particularly apparent in passage n°9 «Robe langue et smoking», created specially for the opening.