43 posts tagged "Azzedine Alaia"
Madame Grès: Couture at Work, curated by Olivier Saillard, the new director of Paris’ Musée Galliera, sheds light on one of the most enigmatic designers in twentieth-century fashion. The designer (born Germaine Krebs) originally wanted to be a sculptor, but her family had other ideas; she trained instead in haute couture. Described by French Vogue‘s editor Edmonde Charles-Roux as “a dictator disguised as a mouse,” Grès (left, in 1946) went on to revolutionize couture by refining her unique draping techniques over six decades—as she said, “like someone who didn’t know how.” The show, held at the Bourdelle museum (the former studio of the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle) while the Musée Galliera is under construction, makes a case for the timelessness of Grès’ designs. Style.com spoke with Saillard about Grès’ prescient minimalism, her timeless style, and her modern-day successors (Azzedine Alaïa and Rei Kawakubo among them).
Madame Grès: Couture at Work runs through July 24 at the Musée Bourdelle, 18 rue Antoine Bourdelle, Paris, 33-01-49-54-73-73.
Why did you decide to do your first Galliera exhibition on Madame Grès?
While doing part one of “The Ideal History of Contemporary Fashion,” covering the seventies and eighties at the [Musée des] Arts Décoratifs, I wanted to show Madame Grès’ work from the 1970′s. She was a very old woman by then, with 50 years’ experience, but her dresses from that period were astounding. Many designers’ work plunges a bit by the end of their career, but Grès had a nervous quality one associates with breakthroughs. The problem was we had very few pieces of hers in the collection, so I wasn’t able to do anything. When I arrived at Galliera I found that the museum has 250 pieces of Grès, so I said, let’s do it right away.
What interests you about Grès?
Her work is very classic and elegant, but it’s also a precursor. She is a bit minimal, before fashion used the word—a bit Belgian, a bit Japanese. For me, doing the show was like becoming immersed in a biography. I began looking at Guy Bourdin’s photos of Grès in the seventies for French Vogue, which heralded a comeback. That’s what I personally adored. This was fashion that wasn’t fashionable. Madame Grès is like an outlaw, she’s beyond fashion, or as the Americans say, she is a “designer’s designer.” Continue Reading “The Original Minimalist? A Paris Exhibition Reintroduces Couture Pioneer Madame Grès” »
It’s been a while since Azzedine Alaïa hosted a bash, so no surprise that he had a full house on the Rue de la Verrière last night. The draw: the Paris opening of the second edition of reGENERATION2, a once-every-five-years exhibition dedicated to the great photographers of tomorrow, culled from photography schools the world over. In between greeting guests including 10 Corso Como’s Carla Sozzani, Paolo Roversi, and Rupert Everett, co-curator William Ewing noted that times have a-changed even since the last edition of the show, in 2005: “We’ve come a long way from the hunter-photographer who roams the streets looking for shots,” he said. “Theirs is a highly stylized fictional world, even when the subject matter comes from hard reality. It’s not about ‘new’ subject matter, it’s about individual visions.”
Take, for example, the dream world of Chinese student Liu XiaoFang, who Photoshops her subjects into the clouds (as in The Cloud, above), or the work of Thibault Brunet, whose shots appear lifted from a desolate Iraqi desert scape. The back story: Brunet did those without ever leaving home. “I was spending a lot of time on Grand Theft Auto when it occurred to me that I could use a virtual camera to invent a landscape,” Brunet explained.
Surveying the scene, Alaïa conceded that he had a particular preference for a few of the artists, “but it’s so hard for young photographers, I won’t say who,” he said before disappearing back into his atelier.
Alaïa speaks! The reclusive designer spared a word or two when he showed a few Fall looks to a gathered mass in Paris. Here’s what he had to say of fashion’s frantic pace: “It’s inhumane…too many collections; too much pressure.” [WWD]
The Times takes on a controversial topic: the dress code of the court appearance. Lindsay Lohan—a frequent guest of the L.A. County courthouse—tends to go high and tight (like her recent white Kimberly Ovitz number); her old friend Nicole Richie used to go classier in Breakfast at Tiffany’s-style black; and as for Naomi Campbell, she, of course, wears her good friend Azzedine Alaïa. [NYT]
Today in news we didn’t see coming: Karl Lagerfeld shoots Rachel Bilson for an ad in Paris…an ice cream ad. [Elle U.K.]
And from the annals of westward expansion: Taavo Somer’s New York-based Freemans Sporting Club will open its first California outpost in San Francisco’s Mission District next month. [WWD]
Cynthia Rowley—whose brand extensions have run the gamut from Band-Aids to diapers—sits down to discuss her latest venture, Pretty Penny, which basically seeds funding to organizations she and her advisers think worthy. Their first beneficiary? Exhibition A, the online art-sale site created by her business manager, Laura Martin. [WWD]
The latest issue of Glamour names the mag’s 50 most glamorous celebrities of 2011, a list topped by Kate Winslet. Ms. W may be plenty glam, but she’s got no problem roughing it, either: “I love it when a character requires me to look less than my red-carpet best,” she said. “It’s more fun playing a character that requires you to look like dog shit.” [Glamour]
Stephen Colbert is Wagging His Finger™ at (his words) “the skinnification of the American jeanscape.” Catching his particular ire? Levi’s new “ex-girlfriend jean,” the male equivalent of the boyfriend jean, an ultra-skinny style that looks borrowed (or, as Colbert imagines, robbed) from his ex. [Racked]
Dutch beauty Saskia de Brauw (left) has been around the block once or twice, but she’s certainly having a moment now: The beauty landed not one but two international Vogue covers for March, Paris Vogue and Vogue Italia. [Fashionologie]
And famously reclusive Azzedine Alaïa emerges to interview famed stylist Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, a woman who helped mold the image of the nineties supermodel, in this month’s Interview. Don’t expect her to take too much credit. “Stylists should remain behind the scenes,” she says. “A great stylist, like a great designer, lets the work speak for itself.” [Interview]
Barneys New York’s Spring ad campaign, the first under CEO Mark Lee’s tenure, breaks in The New York Times this Sunday. Dubbed “Backstage,” it was shot at the Spring fashion shows in New York, Milan, and Paris by the likes of Nan Goldin (who shot at the Balmain show, above), William Klein (who shot at the Lanvin show, below), and Juergen Teller. “We were seeing tons of black and white in the collections, and we thought, let’s build on that,” Lee said of the black-and-white imagery at a breakfast this morning. (The ads will also feature QR codes, which, when scanned by camera phones, will take users directly to the pictured looks on the stores Web site.) Also on the agenda at Fred’s: the changes he’s implemented since he started September 1 and his plans for the retailer’s future. The goal, said Lee, “is to ensure that Barneys remains the greatest specialty store in the world: special, surprising, different, dynamic. We’re never going to say, ‘It’s done.’ “
Sharp observers will have noticed that the awnings on Madison Avenue are now black to match the store’s iconic shopping bags. And speaking of windows, Barneys.com is getting a new microsite: “The Window” launches next week and will update daily with editorial content like designer interviews; Olivier Theyskens, Carven’s Guillaume Henry, and Frédéric Malle are among the talents up first. Eventually the site will get a complete redesign. There are changes in the works inside the store, as well. Prada clothes and handbags have left the building. (Gasping Miuccia-philes, take note: You’ll still be able to get the label’s women’s shoes and menswear.) The spaces that they occupied are currently being renovated for Azzedine Alaïa (it’ll be his biggest space in the U.S.) and Valextra, respectively. By November of this year, Lee said, the men’s Co-Op will move from the fifth floor to the eighth, and the men’s and women’s Co-Ops will be connected. Eventually, every floor that can be structurally connected will be. Lee was joined at Fred’s by his staff: chief merchant Daniella Vitale, creative director Dennis Freedman, and executive vice president and general merchandise manager Tom Kalendarian. Amanda Brooks, who was named women’s fashion director last week, starts Monday. Asked if the store would retain its “taste, luxury, humor” tagline, Lee said, “taste, yes; luxury, yes; humor? I prefer wit. Barneys was at its best when it was witty.” Continue Reading “Barneys Goes “Backstage” For Its Ads,
And Big For Its Renovations” »