The medieval village of Lacoste is one of the best kept secrets in the south of France. Think fragrant lavender fields, cobblestone streets, gothic architecture, and the quintessential charm of the Luberon Valley. What’s more, this picturesque hamlet is home to SCAD Lacoste, a center for the study of art and design opened by the Savannah College of Art and Design. It’s a wonderful tale: the university acquired the site in 2002 and restored 30 historical buildings to house a creative hub.
Today SCAD Lacoste is a renowned residential study-abroad location in France, offering immersion in the history and culture of Provence. There are also alumni programmes, artist residencies, and a year-round schedule of cultural events to dazzle visitors to the village.
To celebrate its 20th anniversary this year, SCAD Lacoste is going all out with a jam-packed calendar of festivities and events. First-up? A must-see exhibit called Isabel Toledo: A Love Letter, staged at the newly dedicated SCAD FASH Lacoste museum. Running until June 10th, the exhibit shines the spotlight on the beloved Cuban-born American fashion designer in a posthumous tribute. As the debut presentation of her body of work by Ella in France, it was curated in close collaboration with Isabel’s husband, artist and noted fashion illustrator Ruben Toledo.
Her life story was remarkable: Isabel Toledo was born in Cuba in 1960 and emigrated to the US with her parents as a political refugee. She met Ruben in high school and they had a life-long creative partnership. Embraced by the New York art scene, Isabel presented her first runway show in 1985, raved about by the New York fashion press, and her designs were sold at Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, and Colette in Paris.
To quote the curators: “A Love Letter celebrates the remarkable designer’s expertise in techniques, textiles, form, and color, and is complemented by a large-scale installation of works by Ruben. The exhibition will also include precious personal mementos from the Toledos’ life together in a heartfelt tribute to one of fashion’s greatest love stories and the lasting influence of Isabel’s passion and ingenuity de ella. ”
SCAD FASH Lacoste is free and open to the public. For more information about SCAD Lacoste visit scad.edu/lacoste.
Images courtesy of SCAD Lacoste
Lead photo credit: Isabel Toledo’s A Love Letter, Spring Exhibition 2022, Courtesy of SCAD Lacoste
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