by Debbie Djordjevic
This month the Design Museum in London is opening its doors to one of the world’s most innovative and unique designers, Azzedine Alaia. Over his 30 year career this extraordinary couturier didn’t play by any fashion rules, working sometimes for years on a design rather than playing to any fashion calendar. Azzedine Alaia brought us fashion that celebrated the female form with his sculpted and draped designs and was hugely influential in women’s fashion right down to the high-street and even the club-culture of the ’80’s.
A master couturier, Alaia conceived and co-curated this fascinating exhibition before his death in November last year, so his voice and vision speak loudly through each of the exhibits. The exhibition features over 60 rare and iconic garments spanning his career from the early 1980’s, alongside a series of specially commissioned pieces by leading designers.
He designed by draping and sculpting by hand on his models and cut all his own patterns. Some of his designs are still used in other’s collections today and the exhibition contains classics including the zipped dress, the bandage dress, the corset belt and the stretch body.
The backdrop of photography at the exhibition is provided by the artist Richard Wentworth. Between January 2016 and July 2017, he was given rare access to Maison Alaia in Paris where the designer worked for over 30 years. He has painstakingly captured the texture and detail of couture production and brings the building itself to life through his photographs.
This is the first exhibition of Azzedine Alaia in the UK and is a truly exciting event, whether you are a student of fashion, a designer or just someone who loves clothes it is not to be missed.
Azzedine Alaia: The Couturier Exhibition is on from 10 May 2018 – 07 October 2018 at The Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street, London W8 6AG.