Paris, the world fashion center, is hosting an innovative exhibition at the Museum of the History of Immigration highlighting the contributions of foreign designers to the field, with special shows by Sakina M’sa tomorrow (Saturday) evening at 8pm and Sunday at 4pm.
Born in Comoros, an archipelago of volcanic islands off the south-east coast of Africa, Sakina M’sa graduated from the Higher Institute of Fashion in Marseille before moving to the Parisian neighborhood of Goutte d’Or in the 18th arrondissement in 2004. As a designer, she says she is interested in the societal aspects of fashion through the prism of dance, contemporary art and philosophy, encouraged through her friendship with philosopher and sociologist, Jean Baudrillard.
Sakina M’sa’s address at the emigration museum at Palais de la Porte Doree will focus on her collection, ‘éTamorphoses,’ which explores the idea of a ‘talisman’ being an article of clothing treasured by those who emigrate.
As people have a close relationship with their clothes Sakina M’sa believes emigrants have an even closer one. As such, they often keep certain articles for a lifetime, in part because they symbolize their earlier lives in their country of birth. “Their clothes are filled with history and magic,” the designer said.
The exhibition at the Museum of History of Immigration, which runs until May 31, is entitled ‘Fashion Mix – French Fashion, Foreign Designers’ and tells the story of immigration through more than 200 designers, men and women, not born in France, who contributed to the reputation of Paris as the world’s fashion capital. They include such artists as Elsa Schiaparelli, Paco Rabanne, Kenzo, Azzedine Alaïa, Charles Frederick Worth, Mariano Fortuny, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Elsa Schiaparelli, Martin Margiela, Cristobal Balenciaga, Robert Piguet, and Raf Simons.
The philosophy behind the exhibition is that the global influence of France in fashion owes much not just to the expertise of haute couture designers, but also to seamstresses and other arts and craft trades associated with this particular luxury good and that the expertise from the rest of the world has helped enrich the branding of a French label. The exhibition, which also features a variety of lectures and workshops, is organized in partnership with Palais Galliera, Museum of Fashion in Paris.
The Museum of Immigration itself, in a palace that hosted the International Exhibition of 1931, has a comprehensive collection of historical artefacts and arts and cultural objects related to immigration. It became the ‘Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration’ in 2007.
So those who may have missed ‘Fashion Week’ in Paris last month have another chance to enjoy an intriguing sense of the catwalk through this special exhibition.