Last night the opening of a retrospective of the fashion house Roger Vivier gather the fashion crowd of Paris Fashion Week. In the center of contemporary art Palais de Tokyo, an exhibition of “Virgule, etc …”, which translated from French means “Commas, etc…” in honor of the famous comma-shaped heel invented by Roger Vivier. Roger Vivier was revived in 2000 by Diego Della Valle, chairman of Tod’s SpA, and Bruno Frisoni joined as creative director in 2002.
140 pairs of designer objects were collected from museums in Toronto and New York’s Metropolitan by the curator and director of the Paris Museum Galliera, Olivier Saillard.
“I nearly said no to the exhibition, because I was opening [the retrospective of Azzedine Alaïa at the reopened Palais Galliera], but I said to myself, either I find an idea and have fun with it, or I’m stupid and I need to give up this job,” Olivier Saillard told WWD during a preview of the show
“The collection spans some of Roger Vivier’s earliest designs, including models made for Christian Dior in the Fifties, through the decades when he created his iconic stiletto and comma heels, and includes recent models by current creative director Bruno Frisoni — even one that is currently in stores.” – WWD
“Roger Vivier saw the shoe as a piece of sculpture whose shape he ceaselessly questioned. “Lines have always enthralled me,” confided the shoemaker, “I’ll resketch my drawing five hundred times to check the exactness of the idea and respect the foot’s architecture.” Heels were his key component, from the stiletto, which he was the first to launch in 1954, to the “Etrave” (1958) and the “Choc” (1959) to the sinuous “Virgule”, or comma heel, which he designed as his own brand manifesto in 1963. The shape of the shoe was equally so captivating to him that in 1958 the upper was enhanced with the “Turk” or “Guitar” toe.
A renovator of structure and surface, Roger Vivier has never shied away from embroidery, raising the shoe to a status of objet d’art with thanks due to the century-old expertise of Rébé and Lesage. The eminence of Roger Vivier was such that, in the 1950’, he was the only one of Christian Dior’s collaborators to have his name included alongside that of the couture designer. At that time, most Paris fashion shows from Schiaparelli to Yves Saint Laurent, resonated with the spirit of creativity that pushed Vivier to launch his own eponymous label in 1963.
History will also tell the Roger Vivier’s exceptional collection of female admirers. He designed the royal shoes for the Coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and his creations were worn by the greatest figures of the day. This monarchic aura enticed others including the Duchess of Windsor and the Princess Soraya of Iran, who we like to imagine rubbing shoulders with Marlène Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor, Jeanne Moreau and Brigitte Bardot… They couldn’t get enough of his shoes. Fun and surprising, these ladies donned high heels and also, like Catherine Deneuve in Buñuel’s “Belle de Jour” in 1967, flats with the celebrated silver buckle on the uppers”. – palaisdetokyo.com
Guest at the opening of the exhibition included fashion editor, photographers, RV fans : Bruno Frisoni ,Anna Wintour, Anna Dello Russo ,Ulyana Sergeenko, Mario Testino and many others.
“Virgule, etc…in the Footsteps of Roger Vivier” is on view at the Palais de Tokyo at 13 Avenue du Président Wilson through November 18, 2013; palaisdetokyo.com.The exhibition will be open to the public from October 2 to November 18 this year.
- Fancy Feet (stylebubble.co.uk)
- The Azzedine Alaïa exhibition in Paris at the Palais Galliera (thecitizensoffashion.com)