Dear Friends,

I am very pleased to welcome you on the occasion of the opening of the
exhibitions of the magazine ELLE and the Maison de la Création in the
windows of the rue de Valois. These two beautiful exhibitions, which celebrate
each in their own way the young creators, are a new opportunity
for me to say the special attention I take to fashion and
the importance I attach to creators being able to express their
talent.

Fashion, as envisaged in Paris, is an art. I know that
some may have contested it. The applied arts, the decorative arts, have
not always had the same status as the Fine Arts. But I believe that this
sharing line is disappearing, both in favor of the evolutions
of contemporary art, only thanks to the evolution of fashion itself.
We are rediscovering that fashion has never stopped saying these
essential things of the human condition, its hazards and its
greatness, that also say painting or opera.

Fashion is ridiculous before and it is ridiculous after, but during
is dazzling» said Pierre Cardin in a beautiful documentary about
Jean-Paul Gaultier directed by Farida Khelfa that I had the pleasure of seeing the
last week. I like this sentence which refers to the
and tragic character of fashion. Fashion is in our image, at
the image of Man: it is destined to exist only for a moment, to disappear
immediately said. Fashion is here, it is now. Hardly has it been
designated, it is no longer, elsewhere, it is other. The only paradise
are the paradise we lost» said Proust, who also compared La
search for lost time at the innumerable folds of a Fortuny dress. The
fashion is like Dürer’s Angel of Melancholy, wings turned towards
the future, looking to the past. I like to think that
can only show it in museums in the manner of Orpheus,
exposing it neither to the eyes, nor to the light, otherwise it loses its color
and gets rid of.

For this very reason, however, fashion also says grace. We were talking about
much desire in the 1970s. I regret a little that this
habit got lost. Roland Barthes wrote the Fashion System and
Fragments of a love speech, and it was basically the same book. The
mode is filled with desire, and this is what makes it also desirable, because
it then turns its own disappearance into a celebration. It is a celebration
of life. It is a joyful exaltation of the ephemeral.

The great creators know this, who mark the history of freedom.
Chanel during the interwar period liberated the woman. The New Look,
after the war, signified the return of optimism and freedom. His
imperium extraordinaire, Yves Saint Laurent owes it to the fact that he contributed
to define essential stages in the history of women in
accompanying his emancipation. Another example that also speaks to me,
Audrey Hepburn and Givenchy. It was the assertion that innocence, the
purity, can be glamorous, the idea that virtue, perceived as gray and
could be smiling and delicate. In all the most beautiful
literary portraits we read, Dangerous affairs, lovers
stendhaliennes, there is a very accurate description of what the
beloved woman. Stendhal, Flaubert, Balzac described very precisely the
desirable women. They made them icons, faces, sometimes even
and the extraordinary paradox is that these women are
totally current, they are of today. Magical writers, but
also magic of creative fashion, because basically fashion perceived as
Fugitive is truly eternal.

Nicolas Ghesquière, today, is one of those great smugglers of desire
and eternity that France can be proud of. I love Karl Lagerfeld, who
could have excelled in any art, and who chose to embody the
fashion in an extraordinary way. I also like Azzedine Alaya.
Azzedine Alaïa is like Robert Bresson. Not everyone knows him
no, not everyone will see his films but it is the author we study
the plus… When you see Galliano’s creations, it’s a wispy dream
of rare beauty. Nothing here is frivolous. Let it be cheerful, provocative,
difficult to understand is one thing. Is relief easy to
understand? There is a part of mystery here. The fashion world is
a little harlequin, cheerfulness and facetiousness, but it’s just a mask on the
mystery.

Why do I insist so much on artistic character, nature
essential of fashion? Because I believe that my first duty in
as Minister of Culture and Communication, to help the
support and develop it – that’s why we
are gathered today around the magazine ELLE and the House
Mediterranean fashion professions – is precisely from the
recall. The sewing in Paris, Didier Grumbach rightly repeats, does not
would not be what it is without haute-couture. And haute-couture does not
would not herself be what she is without art. That’s because we
see fashion as an art, not a convenience, that
Paris is the fashion capital, and I think it will remain so as long as
we will remain faithful to this inspiration. In this regard, I want to begin
here by saluting an initiative that may seem discreet, but to which
I attach great importance, I mean the opening of a
research program on fashion history at the National Institute
History of Art, on the model of the Victoria and Albert
Museum. This memory of fashion is the foundation of everything.

Second, I want to salute the fashion museums, the art museum
or the Galliéra Museum, but also, or the National Centre
the Moulins stage costume or the Saint-Laurent Museum of Art and Industry
Etienne, who elevate fashion to heritage. My ministry has done
a special effort towards the first, the museum of decorative arts, in
grant of €900,000 in additional funding from 2011. In
this state of mind, I would like to devote the months that come to reflect
with you to an initiative that would strengthen this association
between art and fashion, perhaps opening other museums to fashion.
I can imagine a speaker talking about dresses that wear
women of Masaccio or Rembrandt at the Louvre, statues of
Versailles dressed by one of our young talents…

This articulation between art and fashion must allow us to nourish our
schools and our young designers. Gilles Rosier has just joined the School
National Superior of Decorative Arts, I’m sure he will
account. Geneviève Gallot, its director, understood her who, after having
obtained the European recognition of the fashion master, and created
bridges with the French Fashion Institute and the school of
trade union, has just finalized an agreement with the National School
Superior of Fine Arts, the two conservatories of Paris and the Ecole
Normal Superior. It is at the cost of these partnerships that enrich the
the student’s curriculum, sometimes by teaching him the methods of management,
teaching him art history, rubbing it with the world of
research, which our diplomas will gain in substance and quality over
the international stage.

Creation is therefore at the beginning of everything and I want to put everything in
work so that it remains so. Obviously I am not unaware, as
that creation implies a whole series of material conditions
specific. Like cinema, fashion is an art and an industry. Gold of
even that the Ministry of Culture and Communication
the industrial development of film, I believe that it is in
ability, at least to some extent, to accompany the
fashion development. For this purpose, I asked my services to
work towards the establishment of a Revenue Advance Fund for the
fashion. If all the trustees of the Institute of Financing Cinema and
cultural industries agree, I think it would be wise
the holder. This fund would mainly be used to support young people
creators in the second or third year of their career - which is
often the most difficult - by granting without bail, on file, of
cash advances repayable at a very reduced rate, allowing
rent a room or produce a collection while waiting for the first
purchases. Complementary to the guarantee fund that the Ministry of
the Industry sets up on its own for the more confirmed creators, it
would reflect a common will to unite all energies in favour of
of creation.

Initiatives that I want to commend here already exist. The Fédération de la
couture does a lot for young designers, very discreetly, very
Elegantly, like its remarkable president, Didier Grumbach.
The DEFI is doing a lot of work there, as is the Fédération du prêt-à-porter,
under the leadership of Jean-Pierre Mocho and Paul Benyamin, whose
I salute the action and the spirit of openness, at the time of his departure. But these
initiatives may have suffered from not always meeting. The
moment lends itself to it. Fashion brands are fragile, we have
all had painful proof with the bankruptcy of the house Christian
Lacroix. France cannot afford to lose in their premium
the indispensable talents that will renew it. Or it
will one day be exposed to Milan, London or New York stealing the idea of
fashion, as «New York stole the idea of modern art», for
the title of Serge Guilbaut’s beautiful book. I am sure that these
Advance and Guarantee Fund, in addition to the other initiatives mentioned,
will give oxygen to French brands. And it’s in the same
State of mind I agreed with ANDAM, chaired by Pierre Bergé,
in agreement with the DEFI, that its annual prize be awarded to a creator
working in France. If Paris should indeed continue to attract all the
creation, regardless of nationality, I think it could
lose much to being satisfied with being a single place of passage.

Indeed, places are also an essential success factor for
fashion. First of all, there are residences. I’m thinking, for example, of the villa
Noailles, in Hyères. My ministry provided additional support
last year; this effort will continue in 2011. I am
also close the project of International Research Center and
Created by its director, Jean-Pierre Blanc. In Marseille, we
also continue to support the Maison de la Création, founded by
Maryline Bellieud-Vigouroux.

Next to the residences, there are places of exhibition and work. They say
in Paris. I want to thank Louis Vuitton and his
President Yves Carcelle who has committed to lend us for two years a
exceptional location: the three floors of the former Kenzo store, rue du
Pont-Neuf. Here, I hope we can welcome young creators at
work, and show their collections to foreign buyers during
week. At the end of these two years, I also hope that
this place continues to exist. I am thinking about whether the Palais de Tokyo is
the setting to welcome him at the end of his renovation work. In the
as part of its mission to support the French scene, the Palais de Tokyo
could house an exhibition-sale space dedicated to young designers,
which could then feed the interest of shoppers and
large stores, obviously the other essential link in this chain.

The magazine ELLE has launched an important work on creation that takes
with this promotion of young talents that I know, that I admire
and whose successes encourage me as much as the difficulties touch me.
I would like to congratulate its director, Valérie Toranian, for
this initiative, because without the support of the press, what can the
creators? I note that this initiative is also part of two
other essential dimensions of my action: on the one hand, the
democratization of culture, which, in the case of fashion, is absolutely
essential, because fashion should not be reserved for a few; other
digital technology, which will also generate revolutions
important. I am therefore pleased to announce our next rendezvous
in May, at the School of Fine Arts. Dear Valérie Toranian,
will meet you there to celebrate creation again and consider the
September, full of new projects.
Finally, I know that some of you have made the painful choice of
come here, rather than at the parade of Dries Van Noten or Yohji Yamamoto.
I would have liked to see them myself, unfortunately the constraints of a
minister’s agenda did not allow otherwise. I them
accompany in thought. I would be happy to make them my guests of honor
at a fashion dinner to be held right here. With you I
hope so.

Thank you.