American culture

Kohle Yohannan

Since 1946, each year, the MET, a very prestigious art institution, presents exhibitions on fashion. It displayed Chanel, Poiret : King of fashion, Nan Kempner : American chic etc which tends to show that fashion is part of the American culture. In Europe, particularly in France, that won’t happen. Beaubourg, or any other big museum, is not yet ready to host branded fashion shows as a art form -even though it’s an applied one-. First and foremost because the Costume institute, le Musée de la mode, has its own building and never merged with an Art space but also because fashion is still considered a buy-product. I had a great conversation about this question with Kohle Yohannan -(on the photo) -, curator guest of The model as Muse, still on view at the MET. To him, because America doesn’t have a cultural heritage, the country picked on innovation in order to make an idea fly. America elevated fashion to the art form as it did with automobile he said, adding that “Americans have no sense of snobbery about anything that achieves a level of excellent. Something created by a factory worker is as good as something created by a four star chef. We are all about meritocracy. Anything that really peaks national interest is looked at.“ That’s why we love America because anyone can have a nice life as long as he works hard -at least it’s what we think and that’s important-. On the other hand, though, is merit the main factor that allows people to become responsible which ultimatly is the goal in order to live in a peaceful and fair society ? I kind of think that merit is good for children but what about for grown-ups ? RB


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