“Ha! This is my dress!” exclaimed Carla Sozzani in London’s Design Museum, which this morning hosted the primary preview of the brand new exhibition “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier.” . “It was from 1988 and was photographed by Paolo Roversi. We took the image for Elle journal, and so they fired me! Azzedine all the time referred to as it Carla’s costume. It’s simply perfection, however I by no means wore it, in fact.”
Deliberate and curated by Alaïa himself in partnership with longtime good friend Mark Wilson of the Groninger Museum, the exhibition charts the designer’s profession in clothes. The roughly 60 items embody many well-known Alaïa numbers. There are the bandage clothes that match across the physique like sculpted exoskeletons. There’s a 2003 couture model of the lengthy black fitted costume round which twists a seemingly limitless zipper, a design memorably photographed by Arthur Elgort on Naomi Campbell in 1987. There’s the wonderful gold bead costume worn by Tina Turner, the purple cowled costume worn by Grace Jones, and Elle MacPherson’s marriage ceremony costume. There are new variations of canonical Alaïa items that he wished to refashion particularly for this present. Pausing by a collection of tiered-skirted, fitted clothes from his 2011 Spanish assortment, impressed by a visit to the Alhambra, Sozzani identified the updates to their designs authored by Alaïa solely final 12 months, and completed by his atelier crew after his dying final November. She stated: “Lots of these pieces when Azzedine left us were in the studio next to him. This was his last project.”
Based on Wilson, this exhibition as is represents “about 90 percent of what Azzedine and I talked about.” All the time within the unique plan was to incorporate a collection of screens designed by associates and creatives Alaïa admired to behave as a foil to the thematically divided suites of his personal designs. These are contributed by Marc Newson, Kris Ruhs, Konstantin Grcic, and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Unplanned by Alaïa is a ultimate display upon which is hung a collection of work of the designer’s work by his life companion, Christoph von Weyhe. The artist had begun engaged on his first-ever illustrations of Alaïa’s [creations] for this present. After his passing, Sozzani stated they determined to include them right into a display set up.
The artist, who was there this morning, stated: “I drew them mostly at the weekends when the atelier was empty, so I would not disturb the girls. I made four gouaches in Azzedine’s studio and the others in the atelier. I am always painting, but nothing of fashion (before this). Of course, I lived with Azzedine and I admired his work. I saw him every day working on…his sculptures. You know before he wanted to be a couturier he was at arts school in Tunis and was studying sculpture…he loved Bernini especially.”
The one factor lacking from this wonderful exhibition is Alaïa himself, however this morning his much-missed presence was nearly tangible in rooms stuffed with a few of his biggest designs and thronged with those that cherished and admired him.
“Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier” runs from Might 10 till October 7, 2018, on the Design Museum, London. www.designmuseum.org