Azzedine Alaïa:The couturier

I can’t say that the design museum has been a place I have always wanted to visit because it makes me think of highly complex technical stuff which leaves me rigid.  But this time, it had a couturier exhibition and, given the surreal publicity poster,

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I was curious about the scale of the items on show.  so I thought I would try it out.

The scale of the dresses epitomised what is for me the inaccessibility  of the fashion industry: WHO is that tall?  They were sculptural forms to me more than they were garments that someone sized -6 would wear in their dreams, perhaps.  There were, in fact, images of real living beings wearing them.




There were details of the textiles which I liked:


Another aspect of the exhibition were the screens behind the exhibits which were designed by different designers.  I particularly liked the intricacy of this one:



What fascinated me more than the actual garments were the images reflected off the mirrors at the bases of the mannequins:


These three dreams had fascinating reflections:





















What I took away with me about the exhibition:

Exhibitions like this,  where pieces are meant to be serious artistic expressions, can take you out of the real world into a world of fantasy, luxury, playfulness.  Azzedine Alaïa (1935 – 2017) loved to exchange ideas with artists, architects, designers, sculptors and photographers.  I think his creations were more plastic art than wearable fashion items. On exploring volume he states: “Making the right volume is a technique that is just as complex as any other.  It demands good mathematics.” (Catalogue) This reflects the idea that his approach is technical and the aesthetics follow.

What I took away with me about me:

I love the interplay of volumes when they are straight, reflected or distorted, and the effect of light or its absence on them and in them.


the exhibition catalogue.

2 thoughts on “Azzedine Alaïa:The couturier

  1. Certainly striking outfits. I’ve never understood why models are usually expected to be so tall. You’d think they’d do a tall and small version of the ne fashion!


    1. Tall models flatter the design, making it look elegant, slender and desirable, I think. Whatever the reason, the sculptures (dresses) are made for a minimal minority, in my opinion. Thanks for your considered comments, Catherine.


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