From 5 April to 17 September 2023, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs is presenting an exhibition devoted to hair and body hair in the Western world. Curated by Denis Bruna, head curator of the fashion and textiles department, this original project continues the museum's exploration of fashion and the representation of the body.
Following on from "La mécanique des dessous" (2013), "Tenue correcte exigée!" (2017) and "Marche et démarche" (2019), "Des cheveux et des poils" shows how hairstyles and the arrangement of human hair have played a part in the construction of appearances for centuries.
Through more than 600 works, from the 15th century to the present day, the exhibition explores the themes inherent in the history of hairdressing, as well as issues relating to facial and body hair. The trades and skills of the past and present are highlighted, along with their emblematic figures: Léonard Autier (Marie-Antoinette's favourite hairdresser), Monsieur Antoine, the Carita sisters, Alexandre de Paris and, more recently, the studio hairdressers. Big names in contemporary fashion such as Alexander McQueen, Martin Margiela and Josephus Thimister are also present, with their spectacular creations made from the singular material that is hair. The exhibition is on show in the Christine & Stephen Schwarzman fashion galleries, in a set designed by David Lebreton of the Designers Unit agency.