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Azzedine Alaïa in the spotlight

Two exhibitions trace the career of the iconic Franco-Tunisian designer and couturier, a true sculptor of female bodies.

Azzedine Alaïa (1935-2017) has left an indelible mark on the history of fashion since the 1980s. This lover of women knew how to play with shapes and curves, volumes and materials to sculpt the outfits of his models, like Naomi Campbell, Grace Jones, and Stephanie Seymour. We also owe him his most beautiful cuts for Greta Garbo, Arletty, and Louise de Vilmorin. “Alaïa Before Alaïa, The Genesis of a Style” looks back at his apprenticeship years when he left Tunis for Paris in the 1950s, until his blossoming at the dawn of the 1980s. The original exhibition, under the glass roof of his Foundation, tells his story between the legacy of his studies in sculpture at the Beaux-Arts, the women and men who have counted, the creation of his house-workshop, and his technique of leather, jersey, and stretch. All this is punctuated by a selection of dresses and creations from his early years that built the “Alaïa style.”

Timeless aesthetics

This visit is a perfect complement to a visit to SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) in Lacoste, Provence. The exhibition “Azzedine Alaïa: The Art of Fashion” was launched on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the college’s worldwide implantation.

Between blouses, dresses, and suits, twenty models, representative of his career, celebrate his artistic and stylistic achievement. The pieces are presented as masterpieces from the personal archives of his Foundation. This virtuoso of cut and proportion, often seen wearing his iconic black Chinese suit, is still considered the last heir to the great tradition of sculptor-architect couturiers. Today, he continues to establish his status as a discreet icon through his gift for creating garments that reveal, sublimate, and drape the female figure like a second skin.

Azzedine Alaïa Foundation

Until October 23, 2022

18 rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris 

SCAD Lacoste

Until October 29, 2022 

Rue du Four, 84480 Lacoste

Nathalie Dassa