Friday, May 11, 2018

Je Suis Couturier: Homage to Azzedine Alaia


“I love (clothes), uncomplicated by details, ornamentation or color that remain beautiful and are timeless,” the late Azzedine Alaia once declared. “I love those clothes which are simple but yet, the most difficult to make.” That signature look of the late designer,  is the subject of an exhibition entirely devoted to the greatest Tunisian fashion designer of our times.

Me and the girls are in Paris right now where we are taking in beautiful weather, nice walks along the Seine (river), great food and wine and, of course, all the cultural fashion events Paris has to offer. Our first stop---“Je Suis Couturier,” a small but powerful glance at the career of this five foot tall, giant man. Situated on the premises of what was once his atelier/boutique in the center of the city are 40 or so dresses and gowns prestinely displayed—ranging from his iconic looks from the 1980's: leather skirts that wrap sensually around the body and hooded, jersey sheaths to the softness of more recent dresses made of tulle and tiny ruffles.



Everything is in black or white mounted on "invisible" dress forms so as not to disturb the beauty of the dresses. We stood there and simply drank in the sight of Alaia's brilliance.

Azzedine Alaia arrived in France from his homeland of Tunisia in the mid-1950’s to study  at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux Arts, a left bank fine arts institution in Paris.

After brief stints at Dior and Guy Laroche, Alaia worked as a dressmaker to pay his rent. It is rumored that he also worked for Thierry Mugler, creating the hourglass silhouettes for the avant garde designer's early collection.



By the 1970’s Azzedine began making friends in high places, socialites who adored his work and told their friends. Instead of radically changing the look of his clothes from season to season, he worked hard to perfect what he believed was the perfect dress, the perfect silhouette—everything carved out of black or white materials—jersey and leather being his favorite.

By the 1980’s his roster of private clients became pretty impressive. Celebrities, Tina Turner, Naomi Campbell, Grace Jones bought and wore so many of this clothes, they literally became walking billboards of his work.



Last November (2017), Alaia passed away suddenly of a heart attack. According to reports, there was a wealth of archives of both his work and the works of other iconic designers he followed throughout the years…enough to mount a small museum of his own.


Though the current exhibition will close on June 10, his former collaborators, who have formed an Azzedine Alaia Foundation, plan to formerly transform the premises into a museum and have promised many more exhibitions for the future.

Je Suis Couturier
Azzedizine Alaia Association
18, rue e la Verriere
75004 Paris

My girls tell me they are planning something for some "little" wedding next week....... Stay tuned!!!!!

All photos and text property of Fashion Doll Stylist. 2018. Please credit me and ask me first before reposting!!! Thank you.

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20 comments:

  1. "Its an Alaia"! : ) Great piece as always! Love the Grace doll!

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    1. Thank you. This exhibit was small but absolutely fabulous!!! Happy I could share it with everybody.

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  2. Oops my bad i meant the quote from Clueless was "This is an Alaia"!

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  3. Thank you for history lesson in design. Your renditions of his designs are, as always, stunning! I would be proud to own any of them!

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    1. Thank you Phyllis for the very kind words. They mean a lot to me. I love the work of this man and look forward to future exhibitions. It was fun to make the 1/6 scale Dolly versions as his work was very inspiring.

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  4. Just beautiful, wish I was there! A superb designer.

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    1. Hi Julie. I had been looking forward to seeing this exhibition and it does not disappoint. I’m only disappointed that years ago I did not buy one of his jackets (on sale for a very good price) for myself! Oh well the dolls allow me to dream!

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  5. Thank you for presenting this designer and his work. The dresses are great, but your versions are works of art.

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    1. Oh Dlubaniny, you are so sweet. Thank you for your encouraging and very kind words.

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  6. Such wonderful clothes he made! I would love to see the exhibition, maybe if I find the time I will go for a weekend to visit it. Your creations honor the designer, they are beautiful!!! Have a great time for the rest of your stay!

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    1. Thank you M&F. When the designer is this inspiring, the time it takes to make the dolly versions simply flies by! I look forward to seeing more of his work in future exhibitions.

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  7. Thank you for this glimpse of the exhibition, such lovely designs and your girls look stunning. Are they real mini zips or do I detect one of your customary brilliant interpretations, using bugle (I think that's the correct name) beads perhaps?

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    1. Hi Karen. I am delighted to share such a fabulous exhibition with all my friends! Where the zippers are concerned.....ha ha ha!!! I didn’t have access to zippers with small enough teeth. So, quite naturally, I improvised. I used a metallic elastic cord, carefully stitched to her dress. Since everything stretches as the doll slips in, the silhouette remains intact when it’s on. That said, i want to see if I can use a real zipper for this type of look. I’m planning a zipper post in the very near future!

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  8. My goodness. I feel I wasjust immersed in glamour!

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  9. Piękna wystawa! Absolutnie wszystkie stroje są fenomenalne! Interesująco, bo bez manekinów, te kreacje są prezentowane! Bardzo mi się ten sposób podoba!
    Twoje lalki mają fantastyczne stroje! Elegancja w każdym calu!
    Pozdrawiam gorąco :-)

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    1. Olla wrote: A beautiful exhibition! Absolutely all costumes are phenomenal! Interestingly, because without mannequins, these creations are presented! I like this way very much!
      Your dolls have fantastic outfits! Elegance in every inch!
      Best regards :-)

      Thank you, Olla. I agree with you regarding the display of the clothing in this exhibit. The clothes are so perfect, they hold their own without the distraction of a figure. Moreover, the display is so original, it adds a timeless element to the look of the dresses on display. Happy I was able to share this with all my friends. Big hugs.

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  10. sometimes i think: No, this time my talented friend April will not surprise me..., and always i feel surprised to find out your new project ;-) they are the amazing :-)

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    1. Ha ha ha!!!! Well, you know, my dear Aya...I live to surprise everybody. (Sometimes I surprise myself!) Seriously, thank you for your very kind words! Happy you enjoyed this post!

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  11. What a grat man! Dresses he made were gorgeous!

    Thank you for sharing photos from the exhibition. I wish I could see it on my own eyes...

    I love your versions in miniature. As always you did an amazing job. I agree the simplest shapes are most difficult to make.

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    1. Thank you Kamelia for your very kind words. And you are right. The simplest designs are the hardest to make...especially when they are 1/6 scale!!!

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