'Coups de roulis' evening ensemble, Christian Lacroix

  • Christian Lacroix

  • Gift of Christian Lacroix
  • Autumn-Winter 1991–1992
  • Chenille lurex knitting wool, silk jacquard, organza, ironwork patterns
  • GAL1995.64.1
  • Palais Galliera, musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris

Born in Arles in 1951, Christian Lacroix always dreamed of being a great couturier: at kindergarten his passion for paint had led him to drink it; as a schoolboy he covered his exercise books with fashion history drawings; and later came the discovery of theatre and movie costumes, which always seemed to be crying out for his improvements… Exuberance has guided the Lacroix scissors ever since his beginnings with Jean Patou in 1981–1986, when he inherited the lavish, dreamlike approach that marked his personal output from 1987 onwards. A lover of history, which he sees as a multifaceted thing, he brings influences from different centuries to the same garment, indulging in a kind of stylistic automatic writing. 'Coup de roulis' is a perfect example of this modus operandi: the shape of the long, generous skirt – in all seven metres of yellow and black fabric from Bucol – is evocative of the 19th century, while the motifs are reminiscent of the large patterns dear to Charles Frederick Worth, the founder of haute couture. By contrast the short-sleeved pullover, hand knitted with chenille lurex wool of the same colours, adds a contemporary touch that situates its creator at the end of the century – the 20th century, that is.