Université De Paraffection
Name: Stef Dingen
l’Institut de l’Enrichessement de Maison de Chanel
The word ‘university’ derives from the word ‘universitas’, which means ‘guild’ in Latin. Although now primarily understood as a guild of scholars, a university could actually be understood as a guild of any sorts. Université de Paraffection proposes the idea that bringing together academics and craftsmen studying the same subject – in this case haute couture techniques – while also actively making various types of research, tutorials, and archival pieces open-source available to a wide public, is necessary to safeguard this specific knowledge and skill. The traditional idea of artisanal guilds is merged with the contemporary understanding of a university, while ridding the toxic secrecy central to both.
Paraffection, which loosely translates to “for the love of it”, is also a smoke curtain for its multi-billion euro parent company Chanel. You did not honestly think those interlocking circles stood for a harmonious and non-hierarchical marriage between vocational training and academic study, did you? It is merely the latest – and most stylish – corporate overhaul of a an educational institution. Evidently Karl Lagerfeld has decreed that no member shall wear sweatpants in this university: “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.”