Exhibition 05.10.2018 - 10.07.2018

Azzedine Alaïa - The Couturier

azzedine alaïa, the couturier - screen : marc newson ph. ilvio gallo

Conceived and co-curated with Monsieur Alaïa prior to his death in November 2017, the exhibition examines the work of one of the most respected fashion designers in history.

Over 60 rare and iconic garments spanning Alaïa’s esteemed career are on display alongside a series of specially commissioned pieces by leading designers.

Envisager and curated by Monsieur Alaïa and Mark Wilson, Chief Curator of the Groninger Museum, the exhibition comprises designs stretching throughout Alaïa’s career from the early 1980s to his last creations. The display provides a unique examination of the designer’s personal approach that defied the rules of fashion. Alaïa would work on certain pieces for years at a time and would display his creations when the were ready, not when the fashion seasons dictated.

 

azzedine alaïa, the couturier - video ilvio gallo

“He loved women. He wanted them to look incredible (…) to feel confident, and that’s why women loved him”. Mark Wilson

azzedine alaïa, the couturier - screen : kris ruhs, gouaches de christoph von weyhe ph. sylvie delpech

Azzedine Alaïa was recognized during his life as a master couturier who expressed the beauty of a woman’s form in the most refined degree of haute couture. The exhibition presents his work as Monsieur Alaïa himself intended – grouping his designers to provide a narrative into the ethos of this maverick designer.

Azzedine Alaïa designed by draping and sculpting by hand on his models, meticulously cutting all his own patterns. The exhibition presents over 60 outstanding examples of his craft over the course of his career including the zipped dress, the bandage dress, the corset belt, the stretch body, perforated leather, as well as iconic pieces made in his early years as a couturier, always with an eye to magnify a woman’s body.

  • azzedine alaïa, the couturier ph. Mark blower

  • azzedine alaïa, the couturier ph. Mark blower

  • azzedine alaïa, the couturier ph. Mark blower

  • azzedine alaïa, the couturier - screen: konstantin grcic ph. ilvio gallo

Dividing the gallery is a series of specially commissioned architectural interventions by leading artists and designers with whom he entertained a long-term creative dialogue – Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, Marc Newson and Kris Ruhs. Inspired by and complementing the garments on display, the commissioned works will allow Alaïa’s designs to take centre stage, a purist approach that the designer rigorously maintained throughout his career.

“Master of cutting and adjustment (…) he had reworked (all models) for the exhibition”. Mark Wilson

  • azzedine alaïa, the couturier - screen : kris ruhs ph. sylvie delpech

  • azzedine alaïa, the couturier - screen : Ronan et Erwan Bouroullec ph. sylvie delpech

  • azzedine alaïa, the couturier ph. Mark blower

  • azzedine alaïa, the couturier ph. Mark blower

  • azzedine alaïa, the couturier ph. Mark blower

This exhibition is presented against a backdrop of photography illustrating his life and personal quotes that provide insights into Monsieur Alaïa’s integrity as a designer, his incredible attention to detail and his personal inspirations that encompassed fashion, art, photography and design.

Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier is the first exhibition of Azzedine Alaïa in the UK and provides an exploration into one of the greatest and most respected fashion designers in history. His personal approach, the particular rapport he established with his muses, models, clients and friends and his quest for perfection created a designer virtually without peer.

Making-of from the exhibition at the Design Museum london - video sylvie delpech