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Fashion locations: Les Carrières de Lumières beyond Chanel Cruise 2021

Origins and interesting facts around Gabrielle Chanel's beloved place that is now an art exhibition venue

Fashion locations: Les Carrières de Lumières beyond Chanel Cruise 2021 Origins and interesting facts around Gabrielle Chanel's beloved place that is now an art exhibition venue

A unique location halfway between lucid dream and reality: Les Carrière des Lumières are the imposing marble quarries in Les Baux en Provence, where Virginie Viard set her unexpectedly punk version of Chanel in the Cruise Collection 2021-22. The location collects cultural and artistic awards from as far back as 1500: artists and authors such as Jean Cocteau, Dante and Gonoud have found inspiration for their works here. The white marble on which Vittoria Ceretti and Jill Kortleve marched has allowed Southern France to expand its urban fabric and has been a place of work for hundreds of miners throughout its long history.Today the French marble quarries are an open-air museum that hosts exhibitions of international artists like Cézanne and Kandinsky, Van Gogh and Gauguin among others and offers an immersive experience through the technology AMIEX® (Art & Music Immersive Experience) that literally catapults the viewer into the work of art.The contrast between the technological innovation of CultureSpaces, responsible for Les Carrières and the marble origin of the excavation site weave a history of culture and tradition, surrounded by a mystical aura that makes the place decidedly suggestive.


Historical notes

The origin of the site dates back to 2000 BC, when the limestone also known as "the southern stone" from the typical ice white color begins to form.The marble was first used to build the village which today is Les Baux en Provence and its fortress.In 1800 with the Industrial Revolution the quarries became a real gold mine, and take the name of Les Grand Fonds: there were no other building materials at the time, and marble was necessary to erect almost all the structures. After 1935, with the First World War, the quarries closed, and remain in disuse after the advancement of technological development, until 1959 when Jean Cocteau decided to give the location a new life, this time artistic. Les Carrières de Lumières in 2012 passed under the direction of CultureSpaces, the foundation for social inclusion and culture, and officially wear the role of a place of art: wonderfully involving the exhibitions of the French impressionists projected here, between the cracks of the marble and the myriad facets of the brushstrokes.


Virginie Viard homage to mademoiselle Coco 

Chanel chooses Les Carrières de Lumières as the setting for its Cruise 2021-22 collection based on a memory dear to Madame Gabrielle Chanel herself. Right here the filmmaker and great friend of the godmother Chanel, Jean Cocteau, shoots here the high-impact scenes of "The Testament of Orpheus" between themes of mortality, sacrifice and art. Virginie Viard has remained in love with the all-encompassing contrast of the marble white of the rock with the black of the silhouettes of the characters of the film that stands out on them, and based her collection on this suggestion, so much so that sketch theme are also noticeable on some t-shirt collection, confesses to Harper’s Bazaar. Black and white, strong and soft, like the soul of the French maison that after the departure of Karl Lagerfeld last year is experiencing a period of rediscovery of its roots and continuous revolution.


The current exhibitions

In recent years the architects of light Gianfranco Iannuzzi, Renato Gatto and Massimiliano Siccardi have used the large spaces of Les Carrières de Lumières with floating works of the exhibition Klimt and Vienna (2014), in honor of Japan in Dreamed Japan, Images of the Floating World (2019) and Dalí, the Endless Enigma (2020). The digital exhibitions created by Culture Spaces are a unique experience for all ages. The next exhibitions scheduled are active from March 19th 2021 to January 2nd 2022 and will be dedicated to Cezanne, the master of Provence and Wassily Kandinsky, the Odyssey of Abstraction.