The designer was appointed Monnaie de Paris's artistic advisor in 2010. The institution is very proud to welcome one of the most pre-eminent creative talents of his generation, internationally recognised for his work in different disciplines, and has entrusted him with making the Marriage and PACS (Civil Union) medals, a series of collector coins on the theme of the kings of France, as well as a coin commemorating Nureyev. He was also involved in creating the scenography for the exhibition in Bordeaux, "L’art au creux de la main, l’art de la médaille en France aux XIX et XXè siècles". Organised jointly by Monnaie de Paris and the Bordeaux Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the exhibition was held between December 2012 and March 2013.
Christian Lacroix was born in Arles on 16 May 1951. A great French couturier, he is also a costume designer, designer and illustrator. After gaining a degree in art history from the Université de Montpellier, he went to Paris, pursuing his studies at the École du Louvre with the aim of becoming a museum curator.
He began his career at Hermès, and went on to spend six years as artistic director for Jean Patou. He opened his eponymous designer fashion house and presented his first haute couture collection in 1987. Right from the outset, the "couturier of colour" imposed his own style, a fusion of eclectic sources of inspiration and ancestral traditions. He shines above all with his embroideries, ornaments and sets of jewellery.
Inspired by the south and the history of fashion, Christian Lacroix, through his association with Monnaie de Paris, is rising to another challenge: to create new forms of commemoration, but also to work with precious metals, using centuries-old engraving and stamping techniques.
Internationally renowned French chef created his eponymous restaurant in 1980. He has managed it since then, earning three Michelin stars along the way. He also owns a Restaurant Guy Savoy in Las Vegas, the twin to the first one, and five other establishments in Paris - Le Chiberta, Les Bouquinistes, Atelier Maître Albert, L’Huîtrade and Etoile-sur-Mer - as well as a shop, Goût de Brioche.
He trained for the most part under the celebrated chefs Jean and Pierre Troisgros, and completed his apprenticeship with them. Then, at the precocious age of twenty-seven, he opened his own restaurant (Restaurant Guy Savoy on Rue Duret in Paris) and was awarded his first Michelin star the very next year, in 1981.
He appears in the Larousse dictionary, is an Officier (Officer) of the Légion d’Honneur and was asked by the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques to give a talk on the theme of "la grande cuisine: artisanat du rêve" ("great cuisine: the artisan craft of dreams"). He believes that the chef has a role to play in society and lays claim to the epithets of both "chef" and "artisan".
In 2015, he joined Monnaie de Paris as a partner to relocate his restaurant to 11, Quai de Conti, where the magnificent suite of rooms on the first floor was re-envisaged and redesigned for the purpose by the chef's friend and architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte. Subdued tones were chosen for the interlinking spaces; a harmony of warm, slate greys to realise the architect's concept based on shadow with depth. All the light filters through the high, wide windows that open onto the Louvre, the Pont Neuf, the Seine, and the Institut de France, emphasising the tables, the defining feature of the decorative scheme. Ceilings painted by Fabrice Hyber and works from the François Pinault collection echo the contemporary art exhibitions curated by Monnaie de Paris.