The late Claude Parent (1923 – 2016) was a prominent French architect renowned for his euphoric obliques and a mentor to the man behind The Louvre Abu Dhabi, Jean Nouvel. What few know, is that he in fact started his career as a fashion illustrator. In 2015 and 2016, Parent once again picked up his writing instrument (a pencil to be followed by ink) to explore the female silhouette as conceived by Azzedine Alaïa. Parent—in collaboration with his grandson, Laszlo—worked to create 40 illustrations inspired by Alaïa right up until his death at 93-years-old. The collection of striking drawings (most finished) represents his final work.
Located in the Marais neighborhood in Paris, Azzedine Alaïa’s gallery functions unlike current day art show spaces—there is no commercial gain to be made from the showcase as nothing is for sale. The artwork is featured purely so people may acquire an appreciation and further their knowledge on men and women who contributed to Mr. Alaïa’s creative community.
At the exhibition’s September 1st vernissage, photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino rubbed shoulders with Schiaparelli’s Farida Khelfa and gallerist Carla Sozzani (both dressed in Alaïa)—all giddy to be back in the City of Light and in each other’s company following their respective summer vacations; while author and professor Emanuele Coccia chatted with Vogue Arabia’s fashion director Daniela Agnelli and caught up with Alaïa’s gallery advisor Donatien Grau, who darted from guest to guest to charmingly connect old faces with new. As for the man most hoped to see, Mr. Alaïa preferred to have his late friend’s illustrations remain the evening’s talking point—and chose to receive his closest friends at an intimate dinner around his kitchen table following the vernissage.
Claude Parent: Dessiner la Mode. Galerie Azzedine Alaïa, 18 rue de la Verrerie, 75004, Paris will run until September 25th.
Homepage image: benjamine.carteret / Instagram