Alaïa Exhibition at Palais Galliera

Honouring legendary fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa, the first exhibition in Paris´ Palais Galliera´s newly renovated galleries and in the Matisse Room at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, comprises of a selection of 70 iconic models retracing a fascinating creative career.

Perfecting his craft making made-to-measure garments for Louise de Vilmorin, Arletty and Greta Garbo, Alaïa presented his first signature collection in 1979, encouraged by his friend Thierry Mugler. He soon became recognised for his awareness of the body – draping it in jersey and stretch fabrics and using stitches and zips to accentuate curves – his love of the opposite sex is apparent in his timeless body of work, so is his background in sculpture studies at art school in Tunis. The models he helped bring into the fashion world – Naomi Campbell, Stephanie Seymour, Linda Evangelista and Yasmin Le Bon – are still faithful admirers.

A meticulous worker, Alaïa was one of the few couturiers to master every step in making a garment, from the drawing of the pattern to the to the cutting and sewing – this hands-on approach allowing him to shape the cloth into the forms and volumes her saw in his mind´s eye. Alaïa also found ways to make leather more fragile and sensual, reminiscent of delicate lace.


Alaïa bustier dress, couture A/W 2003, photographed by Patrick Demarchelier.


Alaïa, Long dress, A/W 2012, photographed by Peter Lindbergh for Alaïa, 2013.


Alaïa, short outfit, S/S 2010, photographed by Peter Lindbergh for Alaïa, 2013.

Alaïa’s dresses are on display in a scenography by designer Martin Szekely. The exhibition is open from September 28 2013 until January 28 2014.

by Elisabeth Krohn