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This New Alaïa Exhibition is Not to Be Missed


A shared retrospective on Azzedine Alaïa and Gilbert Adrian, a designer whom the late Tunisian couturier admired, will open in Paris from January 21 to June 23. The six-month long exhibition will be the first parallel retrospective curated by Association Azzedine Alaïa.

Held under the direction of Olivier Saillard (who curated “Azzedine Alaïa: Je suis couturier”), “Adrian and Alaïa: The Art of Tailoring” serves to highlight the subtle transmission of elegance and style that can happen between two great couturiers even when separated by decades and continents as they both focus on executing the same garments – the construction of the jacket. The exhibition comes over one year after the passing of the late couturier, who died of heart failure in November 2018 in Paris.

Adrian, 1946 (left), Azzedine Alaïa, 1986 (right). Supplied

The exhibition will showcase a pairing of a number of suits designed over the course of their respective careers in an effort to spotlight the similarities in the couturier’s tailoring, choice of fabrics, and cuts.

Born Adrian Adolph Greenburg in Naugatuck, Connecticut in 1903, Adrian was the head of costumes at MGM in Hollywood during the 1930’s. If you’ve not heard his name before, you’ve certainly seen his work, as he was responsible for the costumes for The Wizard of Oz— he designed the famous, sequined ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the film.

Alaïa was an avid collector of Adrian’s work. It’s said that Adrian’s broad-shouldered and narrow-waisted power suit of the 1940’s informed the Tunisian couturier’s approach to designing.

Coinciding with the exhibition is the screening of two films that highlight the shared talents of Adrian and Alaïa, including The Women (1939) and A View to a Kill (1985), in which Alaïa created the costume’s for Grace Jones’s character May Day.

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