Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Azzedine Alaia Collector, Alaia - Balenciaga, Sculptors of Shape

Yesterday I ran to my pool🏊‍♀️ in the Marais almost making it. But no the pool was fermé/closed for 'incident technique' as they say.
Instead I went to the Azzedine Alaia Collector exhibit (entry 5€) a few blocks away. His boutique, atelier, bookstore and now plus an outdoor cafe are at 18, rue de la Verriere just behind BHV.
First you watch a 20-minute video (in English 🎉) which clarifies how hands-on Alaia was in producing every single step of a garment.
And what a generous friend he was to his models, workers, everyone. Alaia (1935-2017) seems to have been a kind and dedicated human being different from the elegant, aloof (and beautiful) Balenciaga. Plus he adored dogs.
Then you walk through the labyrinthine exhibit to  view the double pairs of Alaia/Balenciaga. I've seen a number of Balenciaga exhibits and thought I understood him. Maybe not.
The back story is Balenciaga's Vice General-Director (an aunt of one of Alaia's assistants) was concerned with the future heritage of his garments.
She offered them to Alaia at reasonable prices. He could not resist and bought garbage bags full of them.
So began his collection of thousands of fashion garments.
He was deeply influenced by 
Balenciaga's
 structure, cut, architectural shapes.
Seeing suit jackets, dresses, gowns side by side makes crystal clear how much he was influenced and how similar both their approach was to fashion. Both were sculptors and architects. Yet Alaia had his own particular take on the female body. Early days he designed costumes for les girls at Crazy Horse.
Go. Definitely a worthy exhibit to experience if you love fashion and set in a more intimate environment than the big museums.

17 comments:

  1. Thank you for this! Thank goodness it will be there when we come in the summer! This will be the first on my schedule.

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    1. And don't forget the Christian Louboutin show at Porte Dorée !!!

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  2. Just read another blog about this exhibit;but, alas, it won't be there long enough for me to see it. Thanks for taking us in to see a little, Carol.

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    1. FYI - It will move to Balenciaga's home in Spain in July

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  3. Jane G2:09 PM

    I love the big dog!
    Got your Women of Paris letter yesterday.

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  4. Esmerelda2:15 PM

    Love the art student type with turquoise boots and red scarf gazing at the elegant black evening gown.
    A contrast of perfect opposites.

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  5. Sharon T.2:21 PM

    Azzedine with adorable pooch was a delightful fini!
    merci dear C.
    Memories of my ❤️Eddie: 165# brindle mastiff/Great Dane
    also the iconic designs/ museum presentation of B&A’s creations-and a cafe!!

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  6. I think you inspire many Parisian trips!

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  7. Debbie12:45 AM

    Thanks for the post. I went! Nice to see the two designers side-by-side. And I like black. The exhibit was very nice, at first it was like a hall of mirrors. I didn't realize you could walk through and get right up to the clothing which is very rare.

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  8. Bonelle12:52 AM

    The clothes are so dreamy! Wouldn’t it be fun to dress in haute couture, just once.

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    1. I once had a tight denim dress with BIG shoulder pads from Jean-Paul Gautier I bot on sale...
      Wonder who's wearing it now?

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  9. Dorrance12:54 AM

    How nice they have a café at the boutique...looks like a nice peaceful spot to take a break!
    Envy your adventures, Carol

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    1. Its all about leaving the house believe it or not.

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  10. I found a very interesting website where you can customize various hats!By the way,I like custom made blankets

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  11. Fascinating! I love his big, cute dog!

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  12. Kim K.12:36 PM

    I really enjoyed this last Paris Breakfast posting..so clever of you to turn the pool closing episode into an impromptu walk through fashion history with the Azzedine Alaia blog! You are so creative...

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    1. Thanks Kim
      Life is full of lemonade opportunities

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