Azzedine Alaïa at the Musee Galliera and the Palais De Tokyo

If you are going to Paris do not miss the homage to couturier Azzedine Alaïa curated by Olivier Saillard at the Musee Galliera and at the Salle Matisse at the Palais De Tokyo


This is the first ever retrospective in Paris dedicated to him :

After studying at the School of Fine Arts in Tunis, Alaïa arrived in Paris during the 1950s and quickly became a noble artisan himself, perfecting Parisian elegance. He mastered his craft by remaining close to his clients, whom he seduced with custom-made garments in the great tradition of Chic. In the 60s and 70s, he developed wardrobes for famous personalities such as Louise de Vilmorin, Arletty and Greta Garbo. He followed a creative method that allowed him to free himself from dictates and rules, confirming his talent as a visionary. He was recognised by the media in the 1980s as his work stood out as particularly noteworthy during that decade. A true plastic surgeon who only used his scissors on chiffon and leather, Alaïa sculpted a new body. By inventing novel morphologies for clothes through the simple play of seams, Alaïa became the couturier of a timeless body of work. His influence on contemporary fashion and all generations of creators and couturiers is fundamental. – See more here


Alaia’s early schooling was as a sculptor at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in his native Tunis.This background in sculpture seems self-evident, given how attuned the designer is to the curves on a woman’s body and every furrow of the fabric around it.

The presentation at the Palais Galliera is as minimal and regal as the pieces themselves. There are 74 dresses altogether and some of them have been restored by the designer himself so they would be at their most beautiful. The walls are painted an elegant Bordeaux hue to let the garments shine all the more boldly. The dresses hang suspended like floating on empty molds, shells rather than mannequins which become quickly outdated.

A handful of garments are presented at the neighboring Musée d’Art Moderne, in the Matisse Room. This vast hall is airy and spacious and the magnificent “muse” dresses stand out to maximum effect against the two Matisse canvases La Danse and La Danse Inachevée ,  the connection between art and fashion is seamless.

Stunning show.




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