It is in 2018 that Marie founded her press and communication office to serve brands and actors of culture and art. This feeds numerous and prestigious experiences alongside publishing houses, magazines and museums such as Télérama, Gallimard, Paris Musées (the museums of Modern Art, Carnavalet, Cernuschi, the Petit Palais, Bourdelle, Palais Galliera, Vie romantique…) but also many artists, designers or architects.
See the collection Marie is wearing in these photos here.
Like you, Valentine has a long history of working with artists and drawing from them as an important creative resource. Which artists and works have influenced your life and your decisions the most?
I am nourished by all the exhibitions that I have been led to reflect on and work on, but also by the readings and literary prizes that I accompany.
I was very impressed by Christian Boltanski’s proposal for Monumenta at the Grand Palais in 2010. Piles of clothes piled up on the floor were a reference to the Shoah and the clothes of the deportees. It was very captivating, you could see behind each piece of clothing, a person.
I also think of the staging of the giant sculptures of the Senegalese artist Ousmane Sow, in 1999, exhibited on the Pont des Arts in Paris, which we had supported at Télérama. I am also proud to have created the Télérama Film Festival, my idea was to offer a one-week screening of a selection of films released during the year and chosen by the editorial staff and readers. This was an opportunity to meet producers and distributors.
In recent years, our vision of the world but also our place in it as humans has evolved a lot. We are becoming more aware of our place in the earth’s eco-system, with more humility in a way. Have you detected among artists this sensitivity to ecology as a concern that is more and more prevalent?
I have detected this in many artists, but also in cultural institutions that are now very conscious of how to produce exhibitions, bringing fewer works from abroad, over long distances, to reduce their carbon footprint. More than ever before, works from the collections are taken out of storage and shown to the public.
The Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet, whose strategy and communication I recently accompanied, is setting up a steering committee to reflect on these issues in order to move towards an ecologically responsible museum.
The border between art and fashion is often tenuous and very porous, Valentine thinks of his clothes as works of art, especially his prints which have a very pictorial force. Do you think that fashion, or at least a certain kind of fashion, can be elevated to the rank of visual art alongside painting or photography for example?
Of course, I am completely in phase with this idea that fashion is in itself a major art, which gives to see the beautiful, can also make beautiful. I worked for 12 years for the Palais Galliera, and the exhibitions were devoted to magnifying clothing, staging it in a new and contemporary way, under the leadership of the director at the time, Olivier Saillard. Think of the architectural clothing of Madame Grès, and the exhibition “couture at work” at the Bourdelle Museum in 2011. Moreover she said “I wanted to be a sculptor. For me, it is the same thing to work with fabric or stone. The Alaïa exhibition in 2011, was also a manifesto of the creativity of this exceptional designer. By inventing new morphologies through the simple game of complex seams, Alaïa became the couturier of a work. His influence on contemporary fashion has been quite fundamental.
More pragmatically, what motivates you to buy a garment? What are the conditions that it must meet to satisfy you?
I have crushes, unreasonable desires, I buy clothes for their style, their material, their color. At the moment, I used to dress only in black, grey, navy blue and white, but I’ve discovered more colors. The silhouette that a pair of pants brings when it is well cut, a heel that raises the leg, all these details count
What attracted you to Valentine Gauthier’s wardrobe? Is her commitment to a more responsible and ethical fashion something that touches you?
What attracts me in Valentine Gauthier’s wardrobe is her vision of femininity. Something present, all in subtlety, is a color, a material, a softness, brought by her creations. Her constant concern for ethical and responsible manufacturing is also very important to me. It changes the relationship with the brand, we do not just consume, we are in this commitment with him.
Finally, what are your plans for the coming months? What would you like to achieve in the future?
For the coming months, the preparation of the new edition of the Prix de la Closerie des Lilas, a wonderful prize supported by Carole Chrétiennot, which brings together women from all walks of life, and which has been celebrating a novelist for the past 16 years; the accompaniment of the very young Menart Fair dedicated to the art of the Middle East and North Africa created by an extraordinary woman, Laure d’Hauteville, who has dedicated her career to the support of artists from these regions; the new exhibition of CMS Collection, founded by the formidable trio, Joanna Chevalier, Hervé Mikaeloff and François Sarkozy, at the Château La Coste of the artist Nabil Nahas; the new collective project, “D’une génération l’autre, mutations de l’abstraction” of the Galerie Bessières presenting 35 artists, in their place in Chatou; to name but a few projects.
I am working on a series of events which I will soon tell you about, but it is all about transmission and sharing, which drives me and makes my job more and more exciting, and this always on my favorite playground, art and culture!