Alaïa, veste, couture A/H 2003 Drap de laine noir, application de crocodile Archives personnelles de Monsieur Alaïa © Paolo Roversi, 2013
Designed for the reopening of the Galliera Museum, the exhibition provides the first retrospective in Paris dedicated to couturier Azzedine Alaïa.
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.
Olivier Saillard, director of the Galliera Museum