Azzedine Alaia, French Fashion Designer Known As The ‘King Of Cling,’ Dies : The Two-Way : NPR

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Franco-Tunisian clothier Azzedine Alaia poses throughout an exposition of Britain’s artist Richard Wentworth photographic work on vogue design on Sept. 7, 2017 on the Maison Alaia in Paris.

Francios Guillot /AFP/Getty Images


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Francios Guillot /AFP/Getty Images

Franco-Tunisian clothier Azzedine Alaia poses throughout an exposition of Britain’s artist Richard Wentworth photographic work on vogue design on Sept. 7, 2017 on the Maison Alaia in Paris.

Francios Guillot /AFP/Getty Images

Azzedine Alaia, the French-Tunisian designer identified for his figure-sculpting fashions, has died at 77, the French Federation of Haute Couture and Fashion confirmed on Saturday.

In his greater than 4 many years within the vogue business, Alaia gained a status for going rogue; he refused to comply with the calendar of worldwide vogue weeks and launched his collections solely when he was prepared. He rose to fame for his body-hugging designs that celebrated the feminine type.

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“I like women,” Alaia stated in a 2013 interview. “I never think about doing new things, about being creative, but about making clothing that will make women beautiful.”

Alaia earned the nickname “the king of cling” for his type becoming clothes that had been worn by a few of the largest stars of the 1980s and ’90s, akin to Madonna and the mannequin, Naomi Campbell, who was one in every of his protégées and referred to him as “Papa.”

As he up to date these designs, his cohort of superstar followers grew to incorporate Lady Gaga and former First Lady Michelle Obama, who was as soon as criticized by the late designer Oscar de la Renta for sporting an costly Alaia sweater to Buckingham Palace.

Fashion-lovers took to Twitter to pay tribute to Alaia on Saturday. Victoria Beckham referred to as him “a true master” and one in every of her “biggest inspirations.” Dana Delany, the actress most not too long ago identified for her position within the TV sequence Desperate Housewives, tweeted that Alaia “treated the female body as art.”

The Tunisian Foreign Ministry wrote in an announcement that Alaia was born within the Tunisian capital of Tunis within the 1940s. According to The New York Times, Alaia got here to Paris within the late 1950s to work with Christian Dior, and he launched his first ready-to-wear badortment in 1980.

Alaia was generally known as a personal determine, typically engaged on his designs alone in the course of the night time. His firm’s web site describes him as “the little man in eternal Chinese pajamas” for the signature high-necked Chinese fits he typically wore.

Advertising director Jean-Paul Goude described Alaia in a 2010 New York Times interview as “very, very introverted.”

“In a way, I find him calculated, and I don’t mean that in a bad way,” stated Goude, who was pals with Alaia for the reason that early ’80s. “He knows exactly what he’s doing. The silences are on purpose. He doesn’t want people to know too much.”

Alaia’s clingy fashions have been celebrated in quite a few museums together with the Guggenheim in New York, the Associated Press reviews. A 2013 retrospective at Paris’ Palais Galliera celebrated his means of “slowing down time.”

Beyond the road and runway, Alaia is eternally memorialized in popular culture. In the 1995 comedy Clueless, in style Beverly Hills teen, Cher, opposes a robber’s demand to hit the pavement, saying her purple gown “is an Alaia. It’s like a totally important designer.”



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