Azzedine Alaia is simply a master at his genius. I don’t now about you, but I’ll always covet the few Azzedine Alaia pieces that I was lucky enough to own. Stepping into the world of Alaia is a universe driven to make the woman’s body look as beautiful as possible, never edging on vulgarity or over exposure. Let’s have Richard take us on a virtual tour of this extraordinary homage to Alaia in Paris. —S.H.
It’s fashion month in Paris with the glorious Azzedine Alaia Exhibition at Palais Gailliera coinciding with Paris Fashion Week. The designer’s designer, Tunisian born Azzedine Alaia is a master couturier and one of the rare designers who is as adept at tailoring as he is at draping. Alaia aspires to flatter and sculpt the female form to look its best and sexiest. He doesn’t follow fashion or trends and some seasons will not design a collection.
“Women have always dictated my behavior. I make clothes, women make fashion.” says Alaia.
His coveted form fitting dresses have been worn by every major celebrity and super model including Grace Jones, Tina Turner, Rhianna, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Stephanie Seymour and many of them are his groupies/friends. In his more humble years when he was a dressmaker for glamorous actresses and society ladies and designed for Greta Garbo, French actress Arletty, and Louise de Vilmorin.
The exhibit at the newly renovated fashion museum Palais Galliera presents 74 of Alaia’s most iconic pieces from his persoanl archives, spanning 1979 to 2012. Curator Olivier Saillard worked closely with Alaia for 18 months carefully choosing which pieces would best show Alaia’s extensive range. The exhibition covers the gamut of Alaia’s inexhaustible talent with cutout evening gowns, big sweaters and knits, his famous leather sculpted dresses and skirts, waist cinching short dresses, and dramatic ball gowns. The true testament to the genius of Alaia is that the clothes are truly timeless and any of the garments in the show could be worn today and still be current.
The exhibit is in two spaces, the Palais Galliera and a capsule collection across the street at the Musee d’Art Moderne. I was not allowed to take photos at Palais Galliera but was allowed at Musee d’Art Modernein the Salle Matisse. I loved the way the clothes looked against the backdrop of Matisse’s murals La Danse and Lutte de Nymphes and also Daniel Buren’s colorful Murs de Peintures. — Richard Nahem
We pulled some very drool-worthy Alaia pieces for you to click & explore:
Visit in Paris:
Till January 26
Le Palais Galliera
10 avenue Pierre Ier de Serbie, 75116
Open Tuesday to Sunday 10AM -6PM, Thursday 9PM
Metro: Alma Marceau or Iena
Musee d’Art Moderne
11 Ave. du President Wilson, 75116
Metro: Alma Marceau or Iena
Open 10AM-6PM Tuesday to Sunday, Thursday 10PM