Franck Sorbier Couture Spring Summer 2013 Paris
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Frank Sorbier isn’t couture, it is art. And who better to watch over the collection from the heavens than Peggy Guggenheim, collector extraordinaire and patron of many. After an opening monologue giving spectators cliff notes on the American heiress’s life, Sorbier presented a tableaux inspired by her life and work for the arts in front of a backdrop inspired by Man Ray. After all, in today’s world of vanities where clothes are the ultimate self-expression canvas, what represents couture, if not art’s last intelligible stand?

It is difficult to truly transcribe the depth of Sorbier’s work and artistic inspirations, when the theatricality of it almost takes precedence over the showcasing of garments, shown on the scene of a theatre. The mood emerges, going from the whimsical with “Peggy” appearing on scene in a long bias cut dress, accompanied by a trio of Lhassa terriers, to abstract when a sculptural creation made of upcycled magazines and wrappings is shown.

Recycling, reimagining, creating these familiar themes run deep in Sorbier’s aesthetic. Five jackets, precisely tailored, then painted and embroidered, are the understated heroes of the collection, shown as a group to display their variations as moveable canvases. As an artist, Sorbier has plenty to express through his work, and through the visually striking collaborations he develops with artisans, artists and creative souls of all walks of life.

At the end, Sorbier and his partner Isabelle Tartière appear to take their bow under an emergency blanket. Is it a reference to the lifelong tribulations of Peggy Guggenheim, or to their own trials in their quest for artistic fulfillment?

- Lily Templeton

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