It was just this year, back in July, when fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa returned to High Fashion and presented his first Haute Couture collection in 6 years. The show was opened by Naomi Campbell, which he promoted a lot at the beginning of her career. It was a huge success. “It proved worth the wait”, Sarah Harris wrote for VOGUE “If it takes another six years to make your next couture collection, we’re prepared to wait.”, as WWD reviewed the show. The pieces of the collection are all a 100 percent Azzedine. “While I enjoyed and still do enjoy doing ready-to-wear, my roots are in couture – all my clothes are first made by myself, all patterns are traced by me and then developed by my couture ateliers,”, as he pointed out in a recent Vogue Interview. Every single garment of the Couture Collection got its final touches by the designer’s hands.
1983: Alaïa with model Farida
Unfortunately, I was his last one. Last Saturday, the Tunisian-born has died at the age of 77 in Paris.
His creations have never been ordinary or standard. Though he was a master of Haute Couture, even his ready-to-wear collections were groundbreaking. Not being a big fan of embellishment and rich decoration, he focused rather on materials, shapes, and silhouettes in his creations. Thereby he earned the nickname ‘the King of Cling’, for his famous body-fit dresses.
1985 at a dress fitting with famous Grace Jones
After stops at Dior, Guy Laroche, and Thierry Mugler, Azzedine Alaïa opened his own studio in Paris in 1979, where he has moved to 22 years earlier. From the very beginning on, his collections were always much appreciated. Thereby it never bothered, that he didn’t stick to any defaults, such as trends or fashion weeks, but worked at his own pace, doing what he considered good.
In his workshop in Le Marais in 1992
Back in the 80s, the era of big supermodels, he assembled all of them: Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Linda Evangelista… They all worked for him – in true admiration. His goodwill was also caused by his authenticity, which he never forfeited.
2014 with designer colleagues and friends Giambattista Valli and John Galliano
Still in deep mourning, the fashion world says goodbye to a great man, whose timeline proves, that he was more than just a designer, but a craftsman, a visionary, an artist!
July 2017: Azzedine between the models of his last Haute Couture show
Teaser Image: Azzedine Alaïa with Elle McPherson photographed by Gilles Bensimon, 1986