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Bringing back to life long-forgotten 18th- century prints and using the power of ultra-modern design to catapult them into the 21st century: that is what Pierre-Louis Mascia has imagined, tapping into the collections of the Palais Galliera, the Paris Museum of Fashion. 

The idea sprang from the designer’s meeting with Pascale Gorguet-Bollesteros, the curator in charge of the “18th century and dolls” department in the Museum. She gave him access to the 18th- century archives, neglected by most curators and designers who prefer the 19th - century collections seen as less remote, more numerous, and easier to draw from because they are less “theatrical”. 

Pierre-Louis Mascia then picked out eight historic items with remarkable prints. By mixing their patterns with very modern ones he created a timeless capsule collection made up of loungewear with sober, essential cuts, equally suitable for evening wear. 

As a first step, high-definition photos of the selected items were taken, in order to keep all the details - the jabot, the buttons, the seams, the label, and the infinitely varied embossed patterns, as well as their colour palette, ranging from pale pink to celadon green. 

Then, thanks to the advanced technology provided by the Italian firm Achille Pinto, the designer combined them with other patterns, specific to modern times. 

The delicate, refined, floral pattern of a gentleman’s dressing-gown thus gets metamorphosed by the severe lines of a print intended for a necktie, and redesigned into a reversible kimono made from quilted silk. 

The flounces of a cotton camisole printed with an engraved copper plate (around 1780) are enlarged and immortalized to create the material of a long shirt with a Mao collar. 

Each garment thus “recomposed” is matched with a scarf with double-sided printed patterns – a true technical feat. 

Bridging the gap between prêt à porter and home textiles, the eight prints enliven a series of velvet pyjamas, dressing gowns, quilts and Venetian slippers. The loungewear garments have a natural sort of sophistication which blurs the frontier between indoor and outdoor, thus inviting you to wear them for an evening party too. 

The collection, coming exclusively to Cabana Magazine, goes far beyond presenting us with an unprecedented alliance between history and technical skills, past and present, indoor and outdoor, baroque and modern design; above all it conveys emotion and meaning. 

Says Pierre-Louis Mascia: “Those prints tell us about ourselves, about who we are, and I want to be part of that memory. This timeless collection, entirely made from silk, which can be mixed with the prêt à porter line, is above all an encounter with the people who desired, commissioned, then wore those clothes. Their vision has remained intact throughout the centuries. I have simply made some additions and mixed different periods, freeing myself from any constraints or taboos. My only rule is that of creation.”