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Fondation Azzedine Alaïa announces new exhibition

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Image: Fondation Azzedine Alaïa

The Fondation Azzedine Alaïa in Paris is to host a new exhibition ‘Alaïa Afore Alaïa’ in honour of the couturier, created by the designer himself some years before his death.

Under the direction of Olivier Saillard, ‘Alaïa Afore Alaïa’ will analyse the designer’s formative years between the 1950s, just before the budding couturier would leave Tunis and move to Paris, to the early 1980s and the emergence of the Alaïa phenomenon.

Running from January 28 to October 24, the exhibition will feature archive documents, photographs, and drawings, the majority of which have never been displayed to the public, alongside a selection of the couturiers’ dresses and creations from his storied career.

‘Alaïa Afore Alaïa’ will showcase a portrait of the talented couturier, how he learnt his craft, the “circle of women” that surrounded him and became an inspiration for his body of work and meeting his partner, artist and painter Christoph von Weyhe.

Image: Fondation Azzedine Alaïa

The exhibit will also highlight couture looks designed for Greta Garbo, including the oversized masculine coats he designed so she could wrap herself in anonymity and how she influenced his famous zip dresses, as well as his friendship with literary figure Louise de Vilmorin.

Beneath the glass roof of the gallery, in the very space where the couturier habitually invited friends and members of the press to the presentations of his collections, ‘Alaïa Afore Alaïa’ will also share rare accounts and stories, from the people who helped, guided and supported his growth and development, as well as dresses born from the three decades.

To accompany the exhibition, the Azzedine Alaïa Foundation has also partnered with Rizzoli to release a book this spring illustrated with yet unseen documents, texts, and interviews, under the direction of the journalist and author, Laurence Benaïm, with participation from philosopher Emanuele Coccia, journalist Alexander Fury, Olivier Saillard, director of the Azzedine Alaîa Foundation, and the artistic direction of Carla Sozzani, President of the Foundation.

‘Alaïa Afore Alaïa’ opens on January 28 and runs until October 24 at Fondation Azzedine Alaïa in Paris.

Image: Fondation Azzedine Alaïa
Azzedine Alaïa