We Have Your Back

The Palais Galliera, offsite at The Musée Bourdelle, presents a fascinating look at the back of clothing and our complicated relationship to the side of ourselves we see least in their current show Back side – Fashion from Behind. Where our primary interactions with others relate to the face, it often takes a more intimate relationship to reveal someone’s back. Our backs are strong, holding our entire body up straight, but ultimately vulnerable as we cannot see people coming who approach us from behind. In English we say that a friend ‘has our back’ meaning they will be there for us if we need them, though, if they let us down and cross us we say they ‘stab us in the back’.

Fashion has a long fascination with the back of clothing, leaning towards womenswear in it’s obsession with untapped sensuality and turning to menswear when sending out a message, such as the classic Hells Angels leather jackets, and in terms of pure craftsmanship: for both sexes when tailoring a garment for an impeccable frontal silhouette.

The exhibition is sensitive in its exploration of the theme, featuring standout garments from Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto, Alexander Mcqueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Schiaparelli and Martine Sitbon to name a few, whilst the Musée Bourdelle setting elevates it to another level, punctuating the sartorial moments with the magnificent sculptures of Antoine Bourdelle.

Credit Photo: All photos courtesy Palais Galliera & Musée Bourdelle