Azzedine Alaïa at Palais Galliera

Palais Galliera mounts Azzedine Alaïa's first retrospective in Paris.

With a newly opened boutique (see St-W's fashion-themed issue, out 1 January) and his first retrospective at , is all over Paris at the moment.

Azzedine Alaïa has always worked like a sculptor. For his first retrospective in Paris, Palais Galliera presents 70 designs that trace the fashion icon's lengthy career. Nearby, the continues the exhibition with a dramatic display in its Matisse room.

Known for his form-fitting garments, tailoring skills and innovative use of leather, Alaïa is considered to be one of the rare designers who still masters each stage of dress making. Zippers follow the contours of different dresses while pinched fabric emphasizes each curve. This aesthetic – defined by distinctive yet clear profiles – earned him the title ‘king of cling’.

Following two previous retrospectives in Groningen and New York, the latest exhibition in Paris showcases Alaïa's full oeuvre. 'I make clothing that lasts; others make fashion,' he once expressed.  At Palais Galliera, scenographer Martin Szekely emulated this prophesy by displaying 70 of the fashion designer’s most recognizable garments.

The exhibition runs until 26 January 2014.

Photos Pierre Antoine

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