«Alaïa… I know that name. My mother bought some pieces from the talented couturier. A perfectionist with classic style, he remains one of the essential figures of contemporary fashion. His strong personality combined with an extraordinary degree of talent have earned the designer a place in the pantheon of the fashion world—a field which today stands shoulder to shoulder with other types of art.»
A hazy haute couture bouquet lingers and floats about the “work” of Azzedine Alaïa. Having only recently passed away, the creator already has his “own” exhibition: I am a couturier*. For this tribute to the master couturier, Olivier Saillard chose a selection of 41 pieces. The selections once more prove Azzedine Alaïa’s taste for a particular type of apparent simplicity that has made his work stand out from the beginning. Regarding clothes, he used to say: “I love looks that stay beautiful and eternal—the ones not concerned with the details, ornaments and colours that make them age prematurely. They are both the easiest and most harrowing to create!”
Over a fashion career spanning nearly 40 years, Azzedine Alaïa has invented a style that elevates women, highlighting curves and tracing the essence of the figure. His vision puts the hand of a sculptor (Alaïa’s first calling and field of study) in the service of flawless beauty. In the exhibit, one can see how his work on drapés and plissés (hand draped and pleated fabric) helped transform women into new goddesses. This timeless selection walks a tightrope between the pristine purity of white and the dark and chic elegance of black; a meeting point from which elegance emerges triumphant. The bi-coloured piece showers in jeers from a piercingly bright red dress.
Azzedine Alaïa has always brought his unique signature to fashion, moving smoothly with the times without ever fading into the obscurity of the 1980s.
* at Rue de la Verrerie in Paris, the location of his workshop and future foundation.