The Vice-Rector of the Paris Academy of Arts, Mrs. Maurin Cohrs, and the Director of the Paris Fashion Lyceum, Mrs. Marie Morot-Raquin, visited the Center of Modern Arts on 12 June 2005. There was held the “round table-talk” participated by the cultural and arts workers, leading couturiers, representatives of Uzbekistan mass media.

A number of issues of the Uzbek-French cooperation in cultural area were raised during friendly talks. The guests went into creative work of the Uzbek couturiers and answered the questions concerned with the French higher educational system.

When in Tashkent, Mrs. Morot-Raquin visited several higher educational institutions and got acquainted with the educational system in our country. What characterizes methodology of education in the French institutes of higher education?

– There are very many educational institutions dealing with fashion in France. Seven of them are located in Paris. Our lyceum named after Paul Poirot under the Ministry of Education is one of them. Annually we release professionals in garment designing and tailoring, milliners and haberdashery masters, stylists, couturiers, makers-up, managers and the like. Speaking about the educational system, we should notice that our training methodology does not stick to any special criteria. Students are fully free and select their topics by themselves.

During their studies they get all necessary inputs. Students are mainly practicing starting from the elementary and finishing with the most complicated technological process. Lyceum teachers are selected after selection round to be highly qualified specialists. There is the major set syllabus but any teacher has the right to enhance it at his own discretion. Besides that, we dedicate each academic year to a famous couturier that has contributed much to the development of the French fashion. E.g., this year is dedicated to Christian Dior, creator of the new style called ‘New Look’. During the years our students were carrying out deep and comprehensive studies of the creative work of this great couturier that has made a great contribution to the development of French fashion in the post-war period.

– Mrs. Cohrs, today in the Internet, we can find any latest news about culture and art. Since the recent times it has even allowed all those willing to get all necessary skills for self-studying and the diploma certifying completion of the course. What do you think of such educational methods?

– Development of information and communications technologies affects all areas human life changing our traditional mode of living. As for now, the whole world applies to different computer programs and Internet resources. But one should not forget that both computer and all information technologies serve only an instrument, a means helping to achieve a specific goal, but it cannot substitute the human mind and brains. On the other hand, appearance of such online-courses helps those people who cannot study at ordinary educational institutions (e.g., disabled people) and get education without anybody’s help.

Of course, such education is complicated and requires much diligence from everybody. But in our case such education is not admissible. An Internet student can only get the information but with us the students are involved with the immediate participation in the practical process, creative work and production of their own things. Only in such conditions they will prove to become good specialists.

— Mrs. Cohrs, Paris has always been the center of the world fashion. How are the things going on in the world of the French fashion today?

— Like anywhere in other cities of the world Paris constantly hosts the fashion shows, international festivals, high fashion weeks and etc. As for today, there are no special factories producing exclusive clothes. Instead of them we have fashion houses bearing of such names as Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Rykel, Rive Gauche and others. Working upon each collection they are trying to create their own and unrepeatable style. Each model designed by their leading couturiers can be called the work of art. It is also a picture in which the artist discloses his inner world and his state of mind.

— Mrs. Morot-Raquin, what do you think of the creative work of the Uzbek designers and couturiers?

— During our stay in Tashkent, Bukhara and Samarkand, we managed to get acquainted with the creative work of many Uzbek couturiers. We were pleased to see that their creative work is democratic, each of them has his own individual approach to fashion designing. One can feel the presence of the national school of fashion design. We saw that following the modern style of clothes, the Uzbek designers skillfully apply traditional fabrics, cutout and embroidery which add special ethnical stylishness and characteristic Eastern look. We should like to wish the beginners in the field of fashion design to trust them and to believe in their own force. They have anything – the talent and the material, the only thing left is to apply these things effectively and create their own work of art. We believe they will become famous designers that will achieve recognition and great success on the international podiums. We are also pleased to note that some Uzbek designers have already participated in the international fashion shows and festivals abroad, including those in Paris.

— Mrs. Morot-Raquin, do you plan to cooperate with Uzbekistan in future?

— Our visit to Tashkent proves the first steps to have been done to establish further links with your country. While we were here in your Republic, together with our Uzbek colleagues we discussed a number of issues concerned with temporary training of Uzbek students with our institutions, possibilities of the probation period to be certified as advanced qualification training, arrangement of designer’s exhibitions in Paris. Therefore, we can speak with confidence that our visit was not the last one. In future we intend to arrange a number of meetings aimed to discuss the opportunities of the development of the French-Uzbek cooperation in the field of culture and arts.

— Mrs. Cohrs and Mrs. Morot-Raquin, would you like to wish anything to the readers of the “San’at” magazine?

— We are happy that Uzbekistan has a magazine dealing with such multiple subject matter. In many countries such artistic type magazines are usually dedicated to some specific kinds of arts; e.g., architecture, fine arts, music and the like, attracting a narrow circle of specialists. Your magazine is also remarkable because besides contemporary cultural life it constantly refers to the history of arts of Central Asia. This provides the chance to study the in-depth history of the nation, its ethnic and cultural ties. We would like to wish the readers of the magazine great success and good spirits allowing them creation, advancement and rejoicement.

Material was prepared by Binafsha Normatova