“A long time ago, i designed a cardigan for myself. I wanted a sweatshirt that opened at the front, with lots of press-studs to make it resemble an 18th century garment, an item of children’s clothing for adults or vice versa.”
In the beginning, this garment is in cotton fleece with a straight cut, rounded collar and two adjustable tabs. Then proposed for the child and the man,agnès b. don’t hesitate to transform it regularly : in leather rather than in fleece, wuth little sleeves, in bustier, fitted… It’s still unique and timeless.
Jean-Baptiste Mondino, Steven Silverstein, Jeanloup Sieff, Dominique Issermann, William Klein, Sophie Calle, Steve Hiett or Gilles Bensimon are some of the 64 photographers exhibited in the galerie du jour in 1986.
These photographs were put on display again ten years later, in 1996, at the Pompidou Centre. “Recognition” according to Elle magazine, for the garment which became a museum piece. Paris Match waxed lyrical and spoke of a “cult object”, “an emblems of Parisian chic” which “is brilliant in its simplicity”.
“I was always wearing sweat-shirts, and one day I thought that it would be really cool to open them, like the cardigans that I was buttoning on my way to school. I imagined all this snaps buttons very closed in order to have a garment like a Renaissance clothing, or a priest’s robe. So that’s the story of the snaps cardigan. I’ve created a model for me in white, then in black, I’ve made some cardigans for babies and men, and then for everybody!”
In long cardigan or bolero version, in black leather, with studs around the neckline, in a long dress version…
“What I love about a piece of clothing is that everyone can use it in their own way.” The press loves it and it still appears in magazines. Shown here in the 4 May 1987 edition of Elle in black flannel, worn with the stud fasteners in the back, or in black leather with the supermodel Kirsten Owen in the Italy Elle in 1988, the cardigan has been spanning the generations for almost 40 years.
For an exhibition, agnès b. made for manufacture an XXXXXXL version by her historic supplier : EMO, based in Troyes. This snaps cardigan is installed at the head office, rue dieu in Paris.