The honour coincides with a new Parisian exhibition of the designer’s work, curated by Olivier Saillard
18 rue de la Verrerie was the heart of Azzedine Alaïa’s business – and life – encompassing an atelier, store, guest bedrooms and his own home, where he famously hosted dinner parties around his kitchen table. Yesterday, a little over a year since his passing, the legendary couturier has been bestowed a rare honour: a plaque, unveiled by the Paris council, to mark the building where he lived and worked. The equivalent to the British blue plaque, Alaïa was selected for the special memorial by current mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. An accompanying ceremony, held at rue de la Verrerie, saw friends and well-wishers celebrate the unveiling alongside the designer’s partner, artist Christoph von Weyhe, who is also co-founder of Maison Alaïa and the Azzedine Alaïa Association.
The ceremony coincided with a new exhibition of the couturier’s work, also held at 18 rue de la Verrerie, Azzedine Alaïa Collectionneur, Adrian et Alaïa: L’art du Tailleur. Curated by Olivier Saillard, it remembers Alaïa’s passion for collecting the work of other designers: in this case, Gilbert Adrian, known for his work during Hollywood’s golden era, creating costumes for The Wizard of Oz and The Women, among others. It will mark the first time the Azzedine Alaïa Association has put on a dual retrospective of this kind, and will concentrate on the tailored jacket, an object of fascination for both designers, though they worked decades apart. Adrian’s nipped-waist and broad-shouldered suiting are said to have provided inspiration for Alaïa’s own tailoring: the designer was an avid collector of the Hollywood costumer’s work, and would reference it throughout his own prolific career.
Azzedine Alaïa Collectionneur, Adrian et Alaïa: L’art du Tailleur runs until June 23, 2019, at 18 rue de la Verrerie, Paris