Azzedine Alaia #36

A retrospective of this lover of big dogs & big girls opens at London’s Design Museum

Azzedine Alaia #36

A retrospective of the genius couturier & lover of dogs comes to London's Design Museum

It all started in the '90s.

I returned to school from summer holidays oblivious to the fact that I now inched a full foot above my peers. (Un)fortunately both teachers and classmates were there to remind me. Hell for an insecure and gangly 14 year-old. 

I'd always been shy but I'd always loved fashion - pages from fashion magazines adorned my walls as opposed to the layered bangs of Jon Bon Jovi or the strategically ripped jeans and peroxided coiffes of Brit Doppelgangers Bros.

And as I shot up so grew a lifetime love-in with the Super Models of the fashion world and those who loved them. Perhaps not healthy, but weirdly the Glamazons of the nineties made me feel a little more normal. I looked nothing like them but felt better that they were championing a "tall is good" scenario, rather than the "you're way to big to find a boyfriend" that I felt when headlining above my classmates.

And so I digress before even starting. Azzedine Alaia: The Couturier opens tomorrow at the Design Museum. His frocks define the era. Christy, Naomi, Cindy, Claudia, Helena, Kate...they were my 90s heroes and Alaia was their champion. He also loved dogs. And despite his Lilliputian stature: big ones to boot.

While I have reached an age where I've booked tickets to this show in the hope that there will be dogs (that Super perfection is more than I can handle these days - body imagery self-love not half assuaged!) I cannot wait to visit the work of this pint-sized genius who made the Supers spectacular and who wasn't afraid to love a big girl or mutt.

Book your ticket at the Design Museum. It'll be the first time this year you're genuinely happy to see the Nineties come back. RIP M. Alaia. #Alaia2018 #ILikeBigMuttsAndICannotLie

Exhibition Information
Azzedine Alaia: the Couturier
10-7 October, 2017
The Design Museum

What to Expect
"Conceived and co-curated with Monsieur Alaïa before his death in November 2017, the exhibition charts his incredible journey from sculptor to couturier, his nonconformist nature and his infectious energy for fashion, friendship and the female body.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Alaïa personally constructed each garment by hand and refused to bow to the pressures of fashion week deadlines, instead working to his own schedule. His collaborative approach earned him an esteemed client list, including Greta Garbo, Grace Jones, Michelle Obama and Rihanna.

Rather than a retrospective, the show interlaces stories of his life and career alongside personally selected garments, ranging from the rare to the iconic and spanning the early 1980s to his most recent collection in 2017." (Design Museum)



Azzedine Alaia, Mutts and Model, shot by Arthur Elgort for Vogue, 1986.