Le Palais Galliera, the fashion museum of the city of Paris, has been closed for renovations since 2009. This beautiful small museum, just around the corner from all the big fashion houses, has only temporary exhibits. I’ve had to content myself with their hors-les-murs series for the past couple of years.
Now, the Galliera is back and I’m looking forward to their special exhibit featuring the works of Azzedine Alaïa, on until January 26, 2014. Continuing with the spirit of their off-site exhibits that brought attention to often overlooked museums, like the Madame Grès program at the musée Bourdelle, part of the Alaïa exhibit is on display at the musée d’Art modern de la ville de Paris. Seventy mannequins tell the story of the designer since his debut collection in 1979. Alaïa is known for his body-conscious clothes with zippers as elements of design, as much as function. His draping of supple leather and jersey reflects his training as a sculptor at the École des Beaux-Arts of Tunis. His thirty-five year-old designs still look cutting edge. They often show up on 1stdibs, if you’re interested at checking out some vintage Alaïa.
Azzedine Alaïa moved to France in 1957. He lived in a tiny maid’s room on the top floor of a Paris apartment. He picked up small jobs with design houses such as Dior, Guy Laroche, and Thierry Mugler. When he went out on his own, he picked up high profile clients, such as Grace Jones and Tina Turner. These days, he dresses Michelle Obama and Victoria Beckam. The designer is relatively short, 5 feet 6 inches, but he looks even more diminutive next to the gazelle-like models in sky-high heels who tower over him.
In the exhibition notes, Alaïa is quoted as saying, “Je fais des vêtements, elles font la mode” (zjuh feh day vet-mehn, el fon lah mowed,) “I make clothes, they (women) make fashion.” I’m looking forward to getting back to the Galliera and seeing the Alaïa show for myself.
Palais Galliera, Musée de la mode de la ville de Paris, 10 avenue Pierre Ier de Serbie 75116
Hours : Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm, except Thursdays until 9 pm
- Azzedine Alaïa Exhibition in Paris (thefashionfoot.com)
- Genius (desphosphenes.com)
- Azzedine Alaïa Exhibition (gimmegoodstyle.wordpress.com)
- The Palais Galliera + Azzedine Alaïa (thescoutlife.com)
- Azzedine Alaia (polhillinparis.wordpress.com)
- Alaia Exhibit by Peter Lindbergh at Palais Galliera (stylepantry.com)