The man behind Chanel’s go-to runway venue

2018年04月04日


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As director of exhibitions at Paris’s iconic Grand Palais, it’s Emmanuel Coquery’s job to plan and produce the various shows housed within the city’s historic museum. No two exhibitions are the same but speaking with Coquery, he explains there are certain characteristics that make a show appropriate for a Grand Palais setting–they have to be both “sophisticated and made for a large audience.” It’s no wonder then that it’s the venue of choice for Chanelmastermind Karl Lagerfeld, who has hosted his runway shows for the heritage Parisian house there for years. That is not Coquery’s only connection to Chanel–as the former director of heritage for Chanel, he worked closely with Lagerfeld on many of the runway shows. Vogue spoke to Emmanuel Coquery ahead of his keynote speech in Sydney for the Sherman Centre for Culture and Ideas (SCCI), where he is speaking during their Fashion Hub event at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.


How would you describe your role at the Grand Palais?


“I am especially in charge of planning and producing exhibitions at the Grand Palais and at the Musée du Luxembourg. Fortunately there is no such thing as a typical work day. My weeks are made of connecting, meeting with my team, the exhibition curators, my colleagues at Publishing or at Public Departments, of working on future possible subjects, of travelling to meet with colleagues in France and abroad. And visiting exhibitions belongs to the job too!”


What is your favourite exhibition you have worked on at the Grand Palais?


“I have only been at the Grand Palais for a year, but no doubt my favourite project is an exhibition dedicated to the Moon, commemorating the 50th anniversary of man’s landing in our beautiful satellite, for 2019. It will connect myth, contemplation, science and poetry, from the beginnings of history up to now.”


What do you love the most about the Grand Palais, and why?


“I love the possibility to address any subject, from Old masters to monographs of modern artists, from painting to fashion or photography. No field is impossible at the Grand Palais since we have none of our own proper collections. I also love the connection with great events taking place in the huge glass hall, fashion shows, art fairs or sports, it makes exhibitions linked with real life in a way museums cannot do.”


You are also the former director of heritage for Chanel. What did this role involve and what are some of your fondest memories of working for the brand?


“It was a manyfold job, building up a professional team dedicated to conserving and curating a prestigious heritage building, 3000 square metres, [a] fantastic facility near Paris–high-tech and up to most demanding museums standards–producing Culture Chanel exhibitions, enriching the collections through regular acquisitions, making historical research, helping authors and museums to enrich their projects with our knowledge and collections [and] giving the teams at Chanel all the expertise they need on the brand history. But my fondest memories are certainly to decipher in Karl Lagerfeld's new creations some reinterpretations of details of vintage dresses just bought and shown to him: to see how the past can be inspirational for today!”


What is the main message you are hoping to get across regarding the intersection of fashion and art in your SCCI keynote address?


“I have no message to bear, but I would like to share with the audience some tools, through selected facts and careful reflections, to make their own idea on how much art there is in fashion, which may well lead to think about how much fashion there is in art today! In the end the goal is to put fashion back into history to understand, to assess this need for beauty that fashion seems to be able to fulfill more than the art of today.”Read more at:plus size prom dresses uk



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