Screen for Azzedine Alaia: The Couturier at Design Museum LondonView text
Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier, was the first exhibition to be shown in the UK on the legendary designer at the Design Museum. Conceived and co-curated by Azzedine Alaïa himself, prior to his death in November 2017, the exhibition explored his extraordinary work, spanning his prolific career from the early ‘80s to his very last masterpieces towards the end of 2017. Over 60 rare garments were displayed in the exhibition alongside a series of specially commissioned architectural screens by Alaïa’s close friends, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, Marc Newson, Kris Ruhs and Alaïa’s partner of many years, Christoph von Weyhe. Inspired by and complementing the garments on display, the commissioned works were the perfect backdrop to Alaïa’s exceptional creations which have shaped the course of fashion history over the past few decades.
In terms of scale, Marc’s was the most ambitious.
‘There are qualities in Alaïa’s work which shine through: simplicity mixed with technical complexity, rigour, subtlety, sensuality and transparency - all these qualities are echoed in the screen. It’s not a wall, but it has to have some play of light and movement within the absolute structural parameters. The panels intersect, creating a random yet orderly pattern – almost like a houndstooth. The anodising process creates these subtle, profound colours – in this case, a flesh pink hue that Alaïa loved. It doesn’t look like hard metal, but sensual and tactile.”