Lovers of French heritage brands are in for a treat this autumn as Abu Dhabi will host the French luxury initiative Comité Colbert, as its presents Flânerie Colbert Abu Dhabi, French Luxury in the 21st Century.
Started in 1954 by 15 French visionaries, Comité Colbert is now made up of 84 French luxury houses and 16 cultural institutions, and aims to promote French culture, specifically French brands, internationally.
Taking place from 12 November until 14 December, activations at Louvre Abu Dhabi, the House of Artisans, The Galleria Al Maryah Island and at Abu Dhabi Art with the support of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, will promote cross-cultural dialogue between France and the UAE.
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At Louvre Abu Dhabi, 10,000 Years of Luxury will, for the first time in the region, explore the history of luxury. It will also house 350 extravagant objects from the iconic couture houses of Christian Dior, Chanel, Cartier and Hermes.
The House of Artisans programme will feature French and Emirati artisans engaging in a conversation about their respective crafts – including Al Sadu, Bisht, Calligraphy, Gahwa, Khoos, Talli or Khanjar-making on the Emirati side and, on the French side, embroidery, gastronomy, silver-smithing and leather goods.
Christian Dior will divulge the secrets that go into making the iconic Lady Dior handbag, Guerlain's "table ladies" will shed light on the art of sealing and finishing fragrance bottles, Hermès will focus on master leather, saddle-making skills, Hôtel le Bristol on chocolate-making and Louis Vuitton on painting techniques. Demonstrations and master classes will also be given by two embroiderers from Lesage (Chanel) and by expert Sadu weavers, while Van Cleef & Arpels will reveal the secrets of its Mystery set.
Meanwhile, at The Galleria Al Maryah Island, 26 Colbert houses will create exceptional window displays, in-store scenographies and events at members' shops, inspired by themes from the Louvre Abu Dhabi exhibition.
And Abu Dhabi Art will be enhanced for its 2019 edition by a series of talks by prominent specialists proposed by the Comité Colbert to explore how French luxury has become a major actor on the Contemporary Art scene.
Speaking about the partnership, HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi shared: “Flânerie Colbert Abu Dhabi represents the first time the combined French luxury brands have collaborated on such an endeavour, and as such this is a seminal moment for the emirate and for the region.”
“The building of cultural bridges is a fundamental aspect of DCT Abu Dhabi’s mandate, as we reflect the openness of wider Emirati society, and its enthusiasm for embracing other cultures, and for sharing Emirati culture with the world. In this respect, Flânerie Colbert will bring together artisan skills, contemporary creation and the very best of both Emirati and French cultures,” he added.