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  • Tilda Swinton in “Cloakroom” at the Palais Galliera, Paris.

  • Tilda Swinton in “Cloakroom” at the Palais Galliera, Paris.

  • Tilda Swinton in “Cloakroom” at the Palais Galliera, Paris.

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Tilda Swinton performs “Cloakroom” at the Palais Galliera, Paris

Tilda Swinton teamed with fashion curator Olivier Saillard for an astounding performance that pays homage to the poetry of ordinary things. Titled “Cloakroom”, the piece was presented some days ago at the Palais Galliera in Paris, where it will run until November 29, 2014. Following their previous collaborations on “The Impossible Wardrobe” (2012) and “Eternity Dress” (2013), “Cloakroom” saw Swinton interacting with the jackets, coats, scarves and bags that she collected from the audience. Just as if she were the attendant of an imaginary cloakroom, Swinton started caressing, folding and unfolding the clothes carefully in an attempt to channel their spirit and observe the memories and secret stories that are hidden behind them.

The actress stayed almost silent during the 45-minute performance, improvising with the personal objects of the viewers: she held a coat in her arms like it were a baby, she explored a jacket from underneath a table in a cat-like way, and whispered tenderly to an Hermès scarf. In addition, Swinton left her own mark —a lipstick trace, a perfume scented Kleenex, a piece of her hair —to each piece she borrowed from the mesmerized audience that included Christian Lacroix, Alber Elbaz, Haider Ackermann, Stella Tennant, Saskia de Brauw, Pierre Bergé, Charlotte Rampling and Isabelle Huppert.

“We practiced not knowing what we were doing, which is the best way to do it,” Swinton said after the show. “It seems to me that the most interesting thing about clothes is the life lived in them. For any given piece, there are hours of life that have already gone into it, and the reason people hang on to clothing is memories.” “Every time I’ve gone to the theater or the opera, it struck me that the cloakroom was kind of like a fashion museum,” added Saillard. “We thought it would be interesting to look at what gives value to clothing, like absence and presence, memory and loyalty.”