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April 16 2014

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40 posts tagged "Azzedine Alaia"

Gaby Aghion to Receive the French Legion of Honor

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Gabi Aghion Following last year’s much-touted Chloé Attitudes retrospective in Paris, not to mention the world tour of its 60th anniversary book, Parisian house Chloé has achieved yet another milestone, or rather, its founder, Gaby Aghion has. The 92-year-old Egyptian-born designer, who launched Chloé in 1952, will receive France’s prestigious Legion of Honor in Paris on December 17, reports WWD. Previous recipients of the award include Azzedine Alaïa, Cecil Beaton, Josephine Baker, and Valentino Garavani.

Photo: Raymond Aghion

Bono, Ive, and Newson Paint the Town (Red)

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Bono“Welcome to the fine art of separating people from their money,” joked Bono at the Saturday-night opening of Jony Ive and Marc Newson’s auction for Project (RED)—the seven-year-old charity dedicated to fighting HIV and AIDS in Africa. “The amount of money we raise tonight is important—it pays for lifesaving pills—but tonight is also about [generating] heat and excitement,” the rock-star-cum-philanthropist told Style.com. “We really could see the beginning of the end of AIDS in the next couple years, but only if we keep concentration.”

Held at Sotheby’s, the [Project] (RED) auction drew the likes of Harrison Ford, Helena Christensen, Jenna and Barbara Bush, Misha Nonoo, and a few regulars such as Larry Gagosian and Peter Brant. Indeed, the bidders brought the heat, raising over $26 million—in a matter of hours—for the fund. Predictions had forecast closer to $2 million.

“People don’t know who they are!” exclaimed Bono of Ive—the man behind the iPod, iPhone and Mac Pro Air—and famed industrial designer Newson. “These are people who changed the world, and these are two of the most important artists and designers in the world—they really like to do difficult things. This is their drug of choice.”

An Ive-and-Newson-customized Steinway went for $1.92 million—but not before Chris Martin took the stage to pound out “Beautiful Day,” with Bono on vocals (“Just to see if it works,” quipped Martin). Christy Turlington modeled a pink ruffled Azzedine Alaïa—”Just so we’re clear, we’re bidding on the dress,” joked the auctioneer. And a few items—a razor-thin, polished-steel desk ($1.7 million), a pair of solid rose-gold Apple EarPods ($380,000)—were designed specifically by Ive and Newson for the event.

A raucous party, with performances by Nile Rodgers (“Le Freak,” anyone?), Angélique Kidjo, and Bono and the Edge followed the auction. “By the time I wanted to bid, the prices were already too high!” shared André Saraiva from his post near the very well-stocked bar. Tough luck for Mr. André, but at least he was priced out for a very good cause.

Photo: Getty Images

The Past Is Present: Azzedine Alaïa and Carla Sozzani on His New Store, His Forthcoming Fashion Foundation, And Their Decades-Long Friendship

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Azzedine Alaia and Carla Sozzani

They say that behind every great man is a woman. In Azzedine Alaïa’s case, that woman is 10 Corso Como’s Carla Sozzani—the designer’s friend since 1979, and business adviser since 1999. Sozzani joined Alaïa for the opening of his striking new three-story Paris boutique this weekend. Set in an eighteenth-century maison on Rue de Marignan in the eighth arrondissement, the shop is nothing less than we’d expect from Alaïa: clean and minimal, with paintings by Christoph von Weyhe and luxe decor by the likes of Charlotte Perriand, Angelo Mangiarotti, Marc Newson, and Pierre Paulin. Indeed, bringing the shop to life was no small feat. But even though he’s had a busy Paris fashion week (in addition to the store opening, Alaïa is the subject of a retrospective at the Musée Galliera, which opened on September 28), Alaïa shows no signs of slowing. Instead, he’s looking to the future and planning to launch a foundation to help preserve and celebrate fashion history. Here, Sozzani and Alaïa speak to Style.com about their relationship, the designer’s expansive vintage collection, and the new boutique.

Can you tell us a bit about your relationship?

Carla Sozzani: For me, there are two Azzedines. There’s the one who’s my chosen family—we’ll be friends all our life. And then there is the artist, the master. I love them both, for different reasons.

Azzedine Alaïa: Carla was behind this boutique; it’s thanks to her. But putting fashion aside, she is a great friend and a rare woman.

How did you choose this space?

CS: Azzedine wants to make his home in the Marais a foundation and museum for his clothes, his work, and his collections. He has compiled a huge amount of Vionnet, Balenciaga, Margiela, Comme des Garçons, African art. He agreed to this space, which is really like a house, because there are no shop windows. There’s a garden. It lets him be free. Azzedine always says that the best thing France ever gave him was citizenship, so he’s always happy to give back.

Alaia store

How did you begin collecting?
A.A.: In the beginning, I never considered myself a collector. It’s just that when I discover something I like, I want to learn more about it. It just so happened that when Balenciaga closed [in 1968], I realized that, for fashion’s sake, I had to do something. Everything was being marked down and sold, people were leaving. And I thought it was just stupid that this heritage would disappear and be lost. That’s when I started making a selection of pieces in function of whom I like, and I still do. Always. I pick things from each of Rei [Kawakubo]‘s collections. I have Vionnet, Dior. But Rei stands apart. Continue Reading “The Past Is Present: Azzedine Alaïa and Carla Sozzani on His New Store, His Forthcoming Fashion Foundation, And Their Decades-Long Friendship” »

Sculpting Fashion: Olivier Saillard Talks Alaïa at the Musée Galliera

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Azzedine Alaia by Patrick DemarchelierFor the past four years, Paris’ famed Musée Galliera has been closed for renovations. This week, the historic fashion museum reopens with Alaïa—the first Parisian retrospective dedicated to Azzedine Alaïa’s work. “For me, Alaïa was the obvious choice—he stands alone,” offered the Galliera’s director, Olivier Saillard, who has curated the museum’s roving shows since 2010. (The 2011 Madame Grès show—hosted by the Musée Bourdelle—as well as Tilda Swinton’s mesmerizing Spring ’13 performance, The Impossible Wardrobe, were both Saillard’s work.) Here, in an exclusive preview, the curator speaks to Style.com about bringing a “new-old” museum back to life, what sets Alaïa apart, and how Swinton has inspired him to take up sewing.

How did your vision for the Musée Galliera take shape?
It was a funny situation because I was named the museum’s director after it closed for renovations, so I started doing outside shows. In my mind, the “new-old” Galliera—I call it that because we’ve restored it to its nineteenth-century appearance—really began to take shape with the 2011 Madame Grès exhibit at the Musée Bourdelle. We did it on a shoestring budget. You could say that Madame Grès changed my idea of what the Galliera should be. Ever since then, I’ve been convinced that an exhibition’s power comes solely from how you see the clothes. When you look at a dress by Alaïa, you don’t need anything else.

How did you approach Alaïa about the exhibition?
I first mentioned it to him years ago. Two years later, he invited me to dinner. I don’t really remember when he said yes, because he never says no, even if that’s what he means. Then, a year ago, he put his collection on hold because this exhibition was coming up. I’ve never met another designer who would do that. What’s interesting about Alaïa is that he takes the time to understand and see things. He approaches his clothes like a sculptor or an architect or a writer, and he often says, “I make clothes; women make fashion.” Continue Reading “Sculpting Fashion: Olivier Saillard Talks Alaïa at the Musée Galliera” »

Hannelore Knuts Pals Around With Pallas

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Tucked away in the ninth arrondissement, the family-run Pallas atelier, which is known for its hand-finished Petite Couture tailoring, has been a secret weapon for major fashion houses, from Balenciaga to Céline to Thierry Mugler, since it was founded in 1961. Fifty-two years later, Pallas is emerging from behind the scenes with a new capsule collection of seven made-to-order tuxedos done in collaboration with Hannelore Knuts. An iconic Belgian model, Knuts is best known for her androgynous appeal (she recently played David Bowie in the indie film DAVE), as well as setting a record for covering—count ’em—three consecutive issues of Vogue Italia, back in 2001. “As someone who’s always been typecast as a tomboy, I felt somehow related to the aesthetic of the Le Smoking,” Knuts told Style.com.

Despite never having designed a suit before (she has, however, done a handbag with Delvaux and a bike for Marniek Kint), Knuts had plenty of ideas for modernizing the classic tuxedo based on her years on the job. “I was really close with Haider Ackermann and got to work closely with Azzedine Alaïa, who regularly did fittings on me and always welcomed me in his studio,” she said. “I’ve seen the process. I’ve witnessed and experienced it. And now I’m actually doing it for the first time, but it didn’t feel unnatural. I appreciate that details, like adjusting the hemline a few centimeters or changing the button finishing, can make or break the entire look.” Knuts herself wasn’t hunched over a table with a measuring tape around her neck and pins in her mouth, but she did suggest several updated silhouettes, such as a hoodie jacket and a seventies-inspired jumpsuit. She also styled and photographed herself for the lookbook. The images, which Knuts shot in Paris’ Le Petit Trianon Theatre, debut above. “I appreciate Pallas’ old-school approach to craft and am excited to help them creatively,” offered Knuts. “Experiences like this make modeling richer and more fulfilling.”

Photo: Hannelore Knuts