– Mary Davis
After Anne Valérie Hash graduated from the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne in 1995 she opened a bridal shop. In 2002 she presented the startling “Fille-Mâle,” ready-to-wear designs that while extreme created their own middle ground, reconstituting deconstructed men’s clothes into women’s clothes: as Elle has put it, “Seams of men’s jackets and trousers are undone, and sophisticated clothes emerge: tailored herringbone trousers morph into dresses, lab coats become artful white shirts, and pant waistbands turn into lapels.” Her work was displayed at the French Institute of Milan in “Anne Valérie Hash—avant scène” and at the Modern Museum in Stockholm in “Fashination—Art & Fashion.” She presented her first couture collection, “Elements,” in 2007 and her most recent, “Pause,” earlier in 2014. Named this year as artistic director for Comptoir des Cotonniers, she is an artist and a populist, and as there has been no forecasting the trajectory of her work in the past there is none now.
Mary Davis is Dean of the School of Graduate Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Formerly professor and chair of the Department of Musicology at Case Western in Cleveland and founder of its Center for the Study of Popular Music, and a collaborator with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, she has consistently broken new ground in her championing of opera, pop music, fashion, and style without regard to strictures of institutionalized taste and value. She is the author of Classic Chic: Music, Fashion, and Modernism (2006), Erik Satie (2008), and Ballets Russes Style: Diaghilev’s Dancers and Paris Fashion (2010); with Warren Zanes she is the editor of Waiting for a Train: Jimmie Rodgers’s America (2009).
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