The late fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa will be honored with an exhibition at the London Design Museum next spring.

In May, the museum will open Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier, a retrospective exploring the designer’s contributions to haute couture. A master couturier, Alaïa’s technique was considered an art form. His bespoke approach to design set him apart from all other luxury fashion houses.

Azzedine Alaïa

Azzedine Alaïa. Photo credit: Peter Lindbergh

The Tunisian-born fashion designer launched his eponymous label, which became known for its body-con garments,in 1979. Embracing the female silhouette, Alaïa designed directly on the human frame and cut his own patterns. The designer’s global fan base included Hollywood A-listers and luminaries such as Michelle Obama, Rihanna, Naomi Campbell and Lady Gaga.

Alaïa, who passed away about a month ago after suffering a heart attack at the age of 77, had been working with the Design Museum on the exhibition exploring his career, according to a statement made by the museum.

“Following his untimely passing on Nov. 18, the Design Museum will now present this unique exhibition planned by Alaïa himself, exploring his passion and energy for fashion as he himself intended it to be seen.

“Azzedine Alaïa was recognized throughout his life as a master couturier who expressed the timeless beauty of the female form in the most refined degree of haute couture.”

The exhibit, which will run from May 10 to Oct. 7, features more than 60 creations made during the course of the designer’s 35-year career.

The pieces were selected by Alaïa himself with the help of guest curator, Mark Wilson, the chief curator of the Groniger Museum.

The selected pieces showcase Alaïa’s mastery of cut, fit, tailoring, and innovative forms and materials.

The London Design Museum’s exhibit also will include specially commissioned architectural elements by some of the designer’s top collaborators, including Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, Marc Newson, Kris Ruhs and Tatiana Trouve.


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