The first UK solo exhibition of Azzedine Alaïa has opened at The Design Museum in London. The Tunisian-born couturier enjoyed his role as an outsider in the world of fashion. Always dressed in a uniform of black, he ignored the collection calendar while timelessly upholding the traditions of haute couture. From his first show in the late 1970s to his final one just before his death in 2017, Alaïa's work has generated excitement and respect.
Sensuous, body-hugging forms, described as 'second skin dressing', are Alaïa's enduring influence. Experimenting with the latest stretch materials and precisely tailored leathers, he worked the tradition of the great couturiers he admired and studied including Madeleine Vionnet, Cristóbal Balenciaga and Charles James.
This exhibition and installation, conceived with Alaïa, includes architectural elements by artists who Alaïa admired and befriended, as well as photographs of Maison Alaïa by the artist Richard Wentworth, who documented the fashion house over the past few years.
The exhibition has been curated by The Design Museum's Gemma Curtin, alongside Justine Boussard, exhibition project manager, and Cleo Stringer, exhibition coordinator.
The exhibition is open now until 7 October 2018.
Photography: Mark Blower