Azzedine Alaïa sculptor of fashion

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The world renowned fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa began his career studying sculpture. And although today he longer works with stone, he continues to explore shapes and curves, volumes and materials. Born in Tunis in 1940, he works on creating the ideal female silhouette. His designs are structured, tailored and modeled to fit the female figure with a grace unrivalled in the history of fashion – this is where art meets fashion. His bold ambitious vision pays homage to the universal beauty of the female body.

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Azzedine Alaïa presented his first collection in 1979. He used fabrics hitherto unknown in the world of ‘haute couture’ such as jersey and cotton stretch. He has also explored the use of fine leather adding a different sensuality to his creations. “When I work on a garment, it has to appear to envelop the body no matter what the angle we are looking from.” He is a great couturier and he participates in the different stages in the creation of his designs, from the initial pattern to the final finishing touches.

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He studied art at the “Ecole des Beaux Arts” in Tunis; and since the 1950s he has learnt his profession relying on his own hands and the female body. In the world of art, painting, sculpture and architecture are his preferred disciplines. His creations may be seen to combine the virtuosity of painting, the dexterity of architecture and the performance of sculpture not forgetting the technique of haute couture. For Azzedine his creations and the female body are but one and for him the sole purpose of his designs is to adorn and to reveal the beauty of the female body. We observe the curves of the female form appear as a chiffon petticoat is structured with great ingenuity. His unique approach to fashion sets him apart from his contemporaries. Whether he is seen as a precursor or the opposite, Azzedine is definitely an artist, an artist who loves women. He has created a world of shapes and forms out of materials structured around the human body.

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