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The Instagram Chronicle of Jean-Marie Périer


Vivienne Westwood. London. March. 1994.

On her own, she summed up in what is somewhat stupidly called “Swinging London” a certain elegance close to the so-called “rock” scene. But she was much more than that. Queen of urban culture, with her companion Malcom McLaren she had opened a shop, the “Paradise Garage”, which became the bridgehead of the “punk” attitude, very fashionable insolence in Great Britain in the 70s. In short, she belonged to the very closed circle of those who make fashion.

It was planned to meet her in the the Wallace collection museum in the center of London. The director of the establishment had greeted us with the distant politeness of the people of this country. Nevertheless, we had to act quickly, so I installed basic lighting. When she came to settle into the dress of her choice, I was ready. It was then that very naturally, the companion of Vivienne arrived naked in the room to place himself at the feet of his beauty. Neither the team nor I being warned, I cast a worried eye towards the person in charge of the premises. As a worthy representative of the dear Albion, the latter did not flinch. It must be said that the respect she inspired put no  limit to her extravagances. I didn’t move an eyelid either, although the arrival of a naked man in a museum in central London really took me by surprise. I took the photo then we found the street to continue the session planned for the newspaper, this of course without showing the slightest astonishment as to the past scene. I think even mentioning this scene to Vivienne would have seemed extremely vulgar to her. However, I cannot help imagining that the same situation at home, in the Guimet or Orsay museums , would undoubtedly have provoked a very different reaction. When it comes to originality, the English will always be one step ahead of us.

Jean-Marie Périer

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