In the annals of history there a a very precious few truly deserving if the appellation master. One who of a piece created an ouvre that can be said was never before was seen and provided inspiration and sensation to now two generations and certainly will do do so for generations to come. Monsieur Alaia has no peer and this retrospective will illustrate the rightness of his place in history. To any and all with the opportunity to see this exhibition run do not walk.
PARIS — “It is all those years of work — and when I look at it, I see the continuity; there is no season that pushes another out of date,” said Azzedine Alaïa, standing beside one of a handful of dresses displayed in all their graphic, body-conscious glory in front of Matisse’s “Nymph” murals.
But this display at the Musée de l’Art Moderne is only a taster of the 74 dresses on show across a verdant private park at the Palais Galliera, Paris’s fashion museum, newly refurbished with oxblood walls and a restored mosaic floor, the better to show the wonders of the greatest modern couturier who never bore that name.
“Alaïa,” which is to open Saturday and end Jan. 26, is an exhibition as noble as it is joyous, with its elegant, impeccably cut dresses, the striking intervention of zippers snaking around the body curves and with the funky Africa outfits, as seen on a young Naomi Campbell. They are an echo of memory from the designer’s childhood in Tunisia.
“Sometimes, when I am making a wedding dress, I think of those nuns, in their white habits with those wimple hats,” says Mr. Alaïa, 73, explaining the purity of tiny stitched eyelets on white cotton.
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