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{Steve Hiett (2010) THE WORLD IS FUCKED}

Do you think of jeans as trousers? Or do you think of jeans, as the French do, as objets d’art? Well, when you’re home to Marithé and François Girbaud, it’s undoubtedly the latter -it’s what they call “l’autre jean” (the other jeans)!! And to underscore it, the Girbauds are featured in a Retrospective Exhibition at the Musée d’Art et d’Industrie in Saint-Etienne, France. It is an honor to achieve such recognition not only to them, but to all of us denim lovers everywhere.

The Exhibition consists of 4 rooms, each depicting a different aspect of the Girbauds’ jeans fashion, design and manufacturing. If you’re lucky enough to be able to go, here is what to expect:

‘Room 1 – Washing Old Ideas Out of Jeans – there is an image of the flared jeans from 1971 called “Le Boutonneux” which is an example of the images to expect in this room which also shows examples of the processes they went through to create the affects of the jeans, e.g., you will find the first examples of when they tried out stone washing and the effects on the jeans alongside examples of the effects they were trying to achieve by using water to wash the denim.

Do not miss -The pinto jean: first half of the seventies, Marithé and François Girbaud worked under the label “ça…” The pinto jean, bleached elephant legs cause a stir! -The cowboy : the early eighties, wide-legged jeans, the ancestor of the baggy.

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‘Room 2’ are images from the 40 years of advertising campaigns, including the advert shot by Goddard, personal notes from collections, e.g., Viagra jean, early catwalk shows; The visitor can watch these short films on either a tablet or a big screen;

Don’t miss these short films – «Top Ten designers in Paris » Marithé & François Girbaud present their Parisian ready-to-wear collection for summer 1980 along with nine other designers. The 52-minute program, filmed by 6 producers, was ordered by an American television channel. A rare documentary, never broadcast in France, renovated by LVMH. – «Doktor Jeanstein ! » In 1987, producer Robert Réa staged Marithé and François Girbaud, a parody of two mad scientists obsessively experimenting with fade washing in the style of German expressionist films. – « On s’est tous défilé » (“We trotted out everything”) Between 1987 and 1989, Jean-Luc Godard made three series for advertising campaigns as well as a medium-length film of the fashion show for summer 1988. It is a poetic view of the jeans and fashion universe.

‘Room 3’ is like an installation so there is a large wave sculpture which is covered in iconic pieces from collections over the 40 year history of the brand; Don’t miss – The Technike jacket (summer 1992) or how to start with a sneaker to create a jacket! – The Gold Mine overalls in Light therapy (summer 2008). Cool arctic white. Laser etches the construction lines for the Genuflector model. – The Mini Laser dress in Stretch Express (winter 2007/08). Matte and shiny effect. Laser lace cutouts. – Men’s Cutwins jacket treated with white sebo (summer 2006). A paraffin base layer is uncovered with heat.

‘Room 4’ (Another jeans) is about their branching out to use technology in creating “washes” so there is a sculpture of a red ‘flame’ which represents using laser to create denim “washes” and there are examples of the “washes” created and other items from collections which have been made using laser for binding, or to create washes etc. Don’t miss – Suit assembly « tailored », city suit. – Suit assembly with ozone treatment « jean », sportswear style. Two suits designed to facilitate movement, to move, work, pedal, dance etc.

As Marithé and François Girbaud also have other pieces which belong to the permanent exhibition within the Museum you will find them within the Museum on Levels; I, II, III – these items remain throughout the year permanently and not just during the Retrospective. Over at the Cité du Design, a nearby building, there is a laser machine where visitors can go to see how it works by creating a pair of jeans for themselves and watching the process.

All I can say is that, hopefully, those of us denim lovers that don’t live in France, will have a chance to see this awesome exposition one day visiting our home city or, even better, during a summer visit to the South of France 🙂

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{Fabrizzio Ferri (1986) ROMANCE REWORKED}

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{Fabrizio Ferri (1985) TUBIC JEAN COLLECTION}

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{Oliviero Toscani (1983) CHAMBRAY JEAN COLLECTION}

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{ Fabrizio Ferri (1985) CUPRO JEAN COLLECTION (Cupro is the waist from cotton)}

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{Jacques Gavard (2010) TRIBULATOR COLLECTION}

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{Jackie Nickerson (2006) PLATOON JEAN COLLECTION (Influenced by Oliver Stone film)}

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{Michel Nafziger (1991) TECHNICAL WAISTCOAT}

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