A Feel for Fashion: Alexandre Samson


Alexandre Samson is an accomplished fashion historian and prolific curator. He is also the head of the Haute Couture (from 1947) and Contemporary Design Departments at the’ Palais Galliera in Paris. With a number of publications and shows to his name, Samson’s career highlights include the exhibitions “Back Side, Fashion From Behind,” presented in Brussels and Paris, (2018/19), “Love Brings Love,” which paid homage to the late Alber Elbaz, and the critically acclaimed “1997, Fashion Big Bang.” Last year, he authored the book “Givenchy Catwalk,” which looks at the Maison's runways over the decades.

What excites you in fashion right now?


The commitment of young designers to embrace their singularity and to assume their own rhythm.



What is one reason to be optimistic about the state of fashion going forward?


After Covid and the multiple crises we all had to face through the past years, and despite the atrocious state of the world, fashion provides a platform for self-reinvention against uniformity, both in clothes and thoughts. In the street, people daring with their style is a visual comfort for my eyes. I interpret it as a vivid sign of quiet revolt.


Is AI contradictory or complementary to haute couture?

It’s a tool. AI is very complementary to the craft of couture and should be embraced as an optional experiment.


We often hear couture designers refer to their ateliers as laboratories. Can haute couture still define new ideas in design?

By being free of the constraints from industrialisation process, and by highlighting the skills of unique artisans, couture can still define new paths in design.



Can you suggest a fashion mantra for ’24?

Le comble de l’intelligence, c’est la bonté. —Marcel Proust 

(The height of intelligence is goodness.)



This interview has been lightly edited.