Azzedine Alaia: The Couturier
French-Tunisian fashion designer, Azzedine Alaia has been honored by London's Design Museum with a major exhibition following his death on November 18th at the age of 77.
"Azzedine Alaia: The Couturier" will run from May 10th to October 7th, showcasing more than sixty pieces personally selected by Alaia himself. The museum stated that "Azzedine Alaia was recognized throughout his life as a master couturier who expressed the timeless beauty of the female form in the most refined degree of haute couture,” and will now present this unique exhibition planned originally by Alaia, exploring his passion and energy for fashion.
Alaia was born to a farming family in Tunisia in 1940 and studied sculpture at the fine arts school in Tunis before working at a neighborhood dressmaker's shop. He rose to fame in the 1980's when interior designer, Andree Putman, was walking down Madison Avenue with one of the first Alaïa leather coats and was stopped by a Bergdorf Goodman buyer who asked her what she was wearing. This interaction eventually led to his designs being sold in New York City and in Beverly Hills. By refusing to follow the path of traditional designers and neglecting traditional international fashion weeks, he instead began releasing his collections in his own time with very little concern for publicity.
As Catherine Lardeur stated in an interview to Crowd Magazine, Alaïa remains the king. He only holds fashion shows when he has something to show, on his own time frame. As a result, he became known as "The King of Cling" for his form-fitting gowns with some of his famous clients including Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Madonna, and Rihanna.
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