It was a wonderful evening to discover Governor’s Island. Like most people invited last night for the opening of the show The Art of Craftmanship Revisited , sponsored by LVMH, ( advertised the same day in 4-page supplement published by the New York Times), I had never been on Governor’s Island. What a site! A 5 minutes ferry ride from Battery Park, this former military base is now hosting special events and cultural happenings in a very protected environment.
LVMH started to collaborate with Parsons The New School of Design a year ago, giving a first aperçu of this collaboration between craftsmen and fashion students during a fashion show at the Milk studios last February. This advanced partnership is the brainchild of Renaud Dutreil, former French Minister of Commerce and Industry and actual CEO of LVMH USA. Craftmanship is his passion. As a State Secretary ( Secrétaire d’Etat aux Petites et Moyennes Entreprises, au Commerce, à l’Artisanat, aux Professions libérales et à la Consommation (!)), he had organized a show on the Metiers d’Art and later published a book. (A mirror book written by Nathalie Sann on New York artisans is in the making). In New York, he reconnected with this world of artisans that he likes so much. Using the skills of the different brands coexisting under the umbrella of LVMH, he exported this idea of “handicraft expertise” here in New York. Last night, Dutreil unveiled the broader scheme. “Tonight, we are celebrating a dream towards a more sustainable economy “.
In the different colonial houses surrounding Nolan Park, documents on artisan techniques and fashion creations on mannequins are intertwined with presentations of LVMH brands savoir faire .
As an example , Osmundo Echevarria creates elaborate decorative paintings and decor from his studio on Long Island City (http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/node/1341284). One of his panel has inspired a dress to a Parsons student.
For Joel Towers, Dean of Parsons The New School of design, the show is only a first step in a longer process. Collaborations with the different brands of the school and the students will lead to many more programs. For Towers, design is a key element of a better world for tomorrow.