Tilda Swinton was the self-effacing-yet-central figure of an offbeat performance that premiered on last Saturday night, in which she breathes life into rare treasures from the archive of Paris’s Galliera museum of fashion.
Dressed in a plain white robe, the kind once worn by the models in the couture salon of Yves Saint Laurent, her cropped blonde hair scraped right back, Swinton radiated emotion as she bore the clothes down the “runway” to a full-length mirror and back again to be spirited away, before a spellbound Paris art and fashion crowd..
For the show, staged over three days at the Palais de Tokyo modern art museum, the curator Olivier Saillard chose 57 dresses, coats and accessories, many by the greatest names in fashion history: Elsa Schiaparelli, Cristobal Balenciaga, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior or Pierre Balmain and many more.
Separately, a film created by the artist Katerina Jebb, showing Ms. Swinton interacting with the clothing, was playing in a neighboring gallery during performances throughout the weekend as part of the Autumn Festival in Paris. The show, which concluded on Monday night, was called “The Impossible Wardrobe.”
Here Swinton clutches on to a Napoleon Bonaparte jacket (dated 1805-15)