Today marks the opening of Je Suis Couturier, an exhibition of over 30 iconic dresses crafted by the late Azzedine Alaïa, who passed away in Paris last November. The exhibition takes place at the Alaïa Marais headquarters, where he spent countless hours creating gowns, hosting star-studded dinners, and cozying up to his massive St. Bernard Didine. The six-month-long exhibition, which coincides with the launch of Paris Couture Week, is scheduled to run from January 22 until June 10, 2018, and draws its name from the rule-breaking Alaïa’s refusal of the term “designer”— which cultivated into one of his most famous quotes “I’m not a designer, I’m a couturier.”
The pieces in the exhibition, which includes a white dress studded with metal eyelets from the early 1980s, a black column dress, and the look worn by Naomi Campbell at Alaïa’s final couture show, last July, were all hand-picked by the exhibition’s curator Olivier Saillard— who oversaw a major retrospective of Alaïa’s work at the Palais Galliera in 2013. The clothes are almost exclusively black and white.
The Association Azzedine Alaïa, which was founded by Alaïa, Carla Sozzani, and Christoph Von Weyhe in 2007, hopes to organize three exhibitions a year featuring Alaïa’s work and his extensive collection of fashion, furniture, and photography. Along with his namesake couture, he collected Vionnet, Claire McCardell, Grès, and Balenciaga. The Foundation will also produce movies and books as well as offer scholarships. A bookshop will be added in the courtyard in April.
“Je Suis Couturier” is open from 11am to 7pm every day at the Association Azzedine Alaïa, 18 rue de la Verriere, Paris 4th.