Azzedine Alaia and Gilbert Adrian

Exhibition : Adrian & Alaia – L’Art d’un Tailleur

Foundation Azzedine Alaia
18, rue de la Verrerie
Paris 75003
Until 23rd June 2019

Azzedine Alaia and Gilbert Adrian

Tony Glenville - DN Mag - Fashion Editor

By Tony Glenville

Adrian & Alaia Exhibition, Paris 2019 – l’Art d’un tailleur
Vote : 4.9 (98.33%) 24 vote[s]

 

Great designers recognise expertise in other great designers, they acknowledge the past and its influences without ever copying or resorting to pastiche.

Alaia’s great skills in the construction of a garment were legendary, his fashion pathway was single minded and sharp. In Hollywood Adrian was famous for both his historical costuming and amazing image making with Garbo, Shearer and many other silver screen stars.

His couturier skills were also extraordinary when he designed contemporary clothes. Eventually he left the cinema to launch his own couture house, where these skills came into their own.

As an avid collector of vintage it comes as no surprise to see these fabulous Adrian pieces which had been in Azzedine Alaia’s archive. What is a huge surprise is that for many this was the revelation of the exhibition, not the clothes they knew from Alaia.

Hollywood costume, when working in the current and contemporary manner, is shown on the screen in an enormous close up, so standards must be the highest, added to which the requirement of each individual actress in terms of physique and the role she is portraying in the specific picture, and the sheer enormity of the task becomes apparent.

This isn’t the Hollywood of shimmering sequins or huge ball gowns, this is discrete, quiet and restrained, it’s also very strong, bringing power to the woman who wears it, just as with Alaia.

The tailoring on display around this exhibition is stunning, often in neutral colours or black, each piece in close up reveals it’s beauty. Silhouette, construction, detail and finish shine out from every piece by both designers, the word “genius” is for once entirely applicable.

It is the beauty of this exhibition, curated by Olivier Saillard, that you can get close to each piece and it is extremely well lit. There is no fuss or clutter and all the attention and focus is on on each piece; Adrian around the perimeter and Alaia in the middle.

In the last few seasons, after a somewhat fallow time, tailoring is returning to fashion, there can be few more inspirational ways to see the craft of tailoring than in this stunning exhibition.

In a word – GO.

TG.

 

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