For the first time, the “Déboutonner la mode” exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs is unveiling a collection of over 3,000 buttons unique in the world, and also featuring a selection of more than 100 female and male garments and accessories by emblematic couturiers such as Paul Poiret, Elsa Schiaparelli, Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Patrick Kelly. Acquired in 2012, this collection was classified as a Work of Major Heritage Interest by the Consultative Commission on National Treasures.

Although small in size, the priceless materials and skills involved in making these pieces dating from the 18th to the 20th century can make them fully-fledged objets d’art. Produced by artisans ranging from embroiderers, soft furnishers, glassmakers and ceramicists to jewellers and silversmiths, they crystallise the history and evolution of these skills. The button has also fascinated famous painters, sculptors and creators of jewellery, inspiring them to produce unique miniature creations for the great couture houses.

Photo By Linda Cooper