Nomadic Night

Olivier Saillard

Moda Povera V, Renée’s garments

Location: Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, view access map
Prices and conditions

About the event

Conception: Olivier Saillard
With: Axelle Doué, Olivier Saillard, Zoé Guedard, and Gaël Mamine
Press and communication: Nathalie Ours, PR consulting
Studio Manager: Aymar Crosnier
StudiOlivierSaillard warmly thanks: Morgane Denis / La Mode en Images, Cécile Holstein and Grégory Teillet / Les Archives Nationales, Antoine Jean and Marie Marotel / Funny Bones, as well as Romain Blot and Antonin Simon Giraudet

Even faded pieces became an embroidery – Olivier Saillard

Here, there is no podium, no music, and no frenzied horde of photographers. More importantly, nothing here is for sale. Far from the excitement and excess of Fashion Week, Renée’s garments is the fifth collection of “Moda Povera”, an educational project by Olivier Saillard, with this one dedicated to his deceased mother. The performance is an intimate and timeless experience, reminiscent of the discreet style of fashion shows of old.

Renée dressed herself with a meager budget, but did so tastefully, finding items in large stores in industrial zones when the city center boutiques closed one after the other.

Inspired by Arte Povera, a 1960s’ avant-garde movement which favored the use of simple, often natural, or recycled materials, the fashion designer unsews, sews, and transforms the clothes of his mother who died two years ago into new outfits using haute couture techniques. The cotton or synthetic fabrics that she once wore are elevated to the rank of noble materials, like taffeta, cashmere, or silk. A coat becomes a cape, gloves are born from handkerchiefs, and a sheet embroidered with his mother’s initials is transformed into a draped shirt…

Her clothes remained abandoned for many months in a wardrobe. […] In the attic, lay decades of skirts and coats that she had not worn for a very long time.

In the middle of the circle formed by the audience, a single model wears Renée’s clothes, assisted by Olivier Saillard for the dressing and undressing, while a young woman announces the presented outfits: “Melancholy collars”, “Wardrobe archives”, “The monarchy of sleeves”, “An intimate map” … With each change of outfit, Olivier Saillard adjusts various details: a neckline, sleeve, button, or carefully fixes the model, Axelle Doué’s hair. This gesture, just like the collection presented to the public, is extremely moving.

The Nomadic Nights at the Fondation Cartier are pleased to present this highly personal performance by Olivier Saillard to a public audience for the very first time.


Olivier Saillard is a graduate in art history. In 1995, he was appointed director of the musée de la Mode (Fashion Museum) in Marseille; in 2000, he became head of programming for the fashion-themed exhibitions at the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris, and in 2010, director of the Palais Galliera, Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris. Since 2017, he has been director of the Fondation Alaïa, and since 2018, artistic, image and culture director for the J.M. Weston brand. He is the author of several publications, including Histoire idéale de la mode contemporaine (Éditions Textuel, 2009), and has played a key role in countless major exhibitions at the Musée des Arts décoratifs, Palais Galliera, Musée Bourdelle, and more recently at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence. In 2005, Olivier Saillard was the recipient of a prestigious residency program at the Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto. Since then, in parallel with his work as a historian, he has been conducting a poetic reflection presented in the form of performances. In 2018, he created the first edition of “Moda Povera” presenting haute couture t-shirts, an exercise he has replicated every year on other items of regular clothing, embellished and metamorphosed by his expertise.

Practical information

Additional information

Estimated duration: 45 min.
Doors open at 8pm (for the first show at 8:15pm) and at 9:30pm (for the second show at 9:45pm).
Nomadic Nights begin at the time indicated: latecomers will only be allowed entry if this does not disturb the show.
The exhibition Ron Mueck will not be accessible during the Nomadic Night.

This event will be filmed by the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain teams for distribution on our digital communication platforms and those of third parties authorized by us. The audience may appear in the produced content. If a person appears in the produced content and wishes to be removed, please contact the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain at