Tuesday, 10 January 2012

21st century Alaïa

Azzedine Alaïa is the free-thinking maverick of fashion industry
as well one of the last major living couturiers (though he came
to design his first-ever haute couture collection only last year)

and I always admired his originality as well his ability 
to think and work independently.

The Tunisian-born, Parisian fashion legend personally selected
in his archive the pieces he designed in the last ten years for 
a stunning exhibition called ”Azzedine Alaïa in the 21st century” 
currently on display at Groninger Museum in The Netherlands,
which is strikingly divided into different sections based on the
materials the 'King of Cling' used in the decade rather than
by season (he never worked according to seasons or trends
blatantly disregarding marketing-driven deadlines).

The 65 carefully chosen outfits (some of them have been
remade from scratch or recutted by the master) are savvy
displayed in nine galleries with separate rooms dedicated
to fur, wool, velvet, leather, cotton, animal prints, 
knitwear and chiffon: all of them utterly celebrating 
his body-conscious, iconic clothing.

The Dutch museum, reopened in 1994 and designed by a
team of architects and designers chosen by Italian architect
in charge Alessandro Mendini, seems to be particularly suited
to Alaïa's sculptural dresses and the current exhibition is
actually a follow-on to the 1998 retrospective when curator
Mark Wilson wisely decided to integrate fashion
into the museum's focuses.

Alaïa's always able to astonish crowds of onlookers 
thanks to his timeless elegance full of inventiveness, 
comfort, glamour and sensuality.

 > all images © Azzedine Alaïa, photos by Robert Kot <

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