Fashion for Art’s Sake: Alaïa Retrospective

The most talked about event of this past season’s Paris fashion week (other than Marc Jacob’s merry-go-round-drag-queen-funeral) was the Azzedine Alaïa retrospective at the Palais Galliera.

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Could this be the first movement towards a fashion renaissance in the curatorial arts? There has always been a distinctive lack of fashion presence in the “museum world” particularly notable in Paris, the industry’s formidable center.

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Fashion is an art, and it merits more permanent housing than the fleeting fifteen runway-minutes of fame before being redirected to the digital e-commerce worlds of Moda Operandi, Net-à-Porter and the likes.

The Alaïa exhibition was breathtaking. Minimalist. Sexy. Timeless as Mr. Alaïa’s own designs. The mannequins which were custom-made for each creation gave the impression that the dresses were floating; worn by invisible models with the most sensual of silhouettes. The curves of the body defines the shape of the fabric, so to take the visible human form out of the equation, while maintaining the effect of its implied shape is an eerily beautiful way to showcase Alaïa’s equally alluring and sophisticated designs.

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