FRANCE / Paris / Fondation Azzedine Alaïa: Alaïa / Grès. Au-delà de la mode
by Modem
© Modem

until Sunday February 11 2024

Fondation Azzedine Alaïa 18
T : +33 (0)1 87 44 87 75
Rue de la Verrerie
75004 Paris

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Silent and secretive, determined to a lifetime of seclusion spent entirely in the workshop, Madame Grès (1903-1993) saw herself as a sculptor. Fully immersed in his work, with the relentless determination of tireless masters, Azzedine Alaïa (1935-2017) also studied sculpture at the School of Fine Arts in Tunis. This shared ambition was not corrupted by the fashion trades to which they dedicated themselves with such singularity and success. On the contrary, it elevated the art of draping for one and the art of cutting for the other to the level of guiding principles in the history of fashion.

While there is no evidence that the two couturiers ever crossed paths, their creations undoubtedly did. Apostles of a certain form of simplicity, the seemingly simple creations of Grès and Alaïa hide an inherent complexity in their cut and design.

The drapery that Grès had elevated to the level of total art since the 1930s is embodied in Alaïa’s long, fluid, and pleated dresses. The jersey embraced by the former translates into knitwear and soft materials in the latter’s designs. The pursuit of proportion and the precision in cutting, whether for evening or daytime models, unite them.

For the first time, an unprecedented exhibition brings together the works of Madame Grès and Alaïa. United by their formal principles, their cutting techniques, and the harmonious combinations of fabric and colors they commonly embraced, the evening gowns and day dresses by both couturiers invite visitors to a lesson beyond fashion. Timeless for one, and outside of time for the other, the exhibited creations, totaling 60, restore the dialogue between Grès and Alaïa, two solitary and determined individuals who became sculptors of dresses.

© Modem