SCAD FASH Lacoste presents
Azzedine Alaïa: L’Art de la Mode
LACOSTE, FRANCE — The Savannah College of Art and Design is honored to present the exhibition Azzedine Alaïa: L’Art de la Mode at the university’s SCAD FASH Lacoste museum in Provence, France. On view now, L’Art de la Mode is a highlight of SCAD’s summer exhibitions programming, which celebrates the milestone 20th anniversary of the university’s global location, SCAD Lacoste. The expertly curated exhibition is organized in collaboration with Olivier Saillard, director of Fondation Azzedine Alaïa, Paris.
“Lauded for his sculptural silhouettes, Azzedine Alaïa created memorable couture and ready-to-wear for generations," said SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace. "Years ago, I was fortunate to spend a special day with Alaïa in his Paris home — a day I will never forget. He was indisputably an original, known for his everlasting kindness and inventiveness. Alaïa’s brilliance shines ever so brightly in L’Art de la Mode at SCAD FASH Lacoste this summer, replete with a carefully curated selection of masterworks from this genius creator’s personal archives. Summer in Provence just got a lot more dazzling.”
Tracing the arc of Alaïa’s legendary career, L'Art de la Mode artfully presents more than 20 career-defining gowns, sleek suits, and other exquisitely tailored creations from the designer’s archives that evoke his timeless aesthetic and evidence his artistic triumphs. The exhibition showcases Alaïa's mastery of silhouette, and his icon status as a virtuoso of cut and proportion, heralding his gift of constructing garments that remain unrivaled in accentuating the female form.
“With this exhibition, the Foundation is proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of SCAD Lacoste, the global epicenter of one of the best international universities for the arts,” said Carla Sozzani, President of Fondation Azzedine Alaïa. “I would like to thank Paula Wallace for her vision of creativity and innovation in all areas of culture.”
Born in Tunisia, Alaïa was inherently creative and drawn to the arts from an early age. A trained sculptor educated at the École des Beaux-Arts in Tunis, he moved to Paris in the mid-1950s and began working for the house of Christian Dior, further honing his craft in the haute couture ateliers of Guy Laroche and Thierry Mugler. After cultivating a loyal clientele of women from Parisian high society, the designer opened his Maison Alaïa in 1979 and was instantly revered internationally for his signature body-con silhouette, and aptly named the “King of Cling.” As the one true couturier of the body, Alaïa set a feminine ideal in which the most glamorous women of his time, from Greta Garbo and Tina Turner to elite supermodels and muses Naomi Campbell, Stephanie Seymour, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, and a coterie of devoted clients around the globe found the true image of themselves. A constant innovator, Alaïa perceived fashion as an art form and was involved in every step of the design process, meticulously constructing garments meant to drape and accentuate the female body to perfection.
L’Art de la Mode is the second exhibition for the legendary couturier presented by SCAD FASH and curated in collaboration with Saillard and Fondation Azzedine Alaïa. In 2020, SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film in Atlanta presented Alaïa-Adrian: Masters of Cut, pairing sleek designs and impeccably tailored looks by Alaïa and Gilbert Adrian. Alaïa was a consummate collector of Adrian’s work, and the exhibition revealed the designers’ intertwined and enduring legacies.
“The Fondation Alaïa is delighted to collaborate with SCAD for the second time, now in Lacoste, in an intimate format where the art of the couturier can be appreciated,” said Saillard. “Created for the public — and Alaïa enthusiasts — this exhibition flourishes from the eyes of SCAD students and all those who will appreciate the art of sculpting that the couturier expressed in his fashion.”
This summer, SCAD Lacoste students from a variety of top-ranked degree programs including fashion design, art history, performing arts, painting, and film and television, will have the opportunity to admire Alaïa’s exquisite creations and participate in masterclasses and lectures with representatives from Maison Alaïa.
SCAD FASH Lacoste hosted an exclusive preview of L’Art de la Mode, Saturday, June 25, celebrating the exhibition in honor of the legendary designer as well as commencing summer festivities on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of SCAD Lacoste. The festivities also included the premiere of SCAD Lacoste Les Nocturnes, a mesmerizing light show along the cobblestone Rue Saint-Trophime, and the unveiling of Mars Grotte, a captivating installation by famed visual artist Marcus Kenney (SCAD M.F.A., photography, 1999).
“L’Art de la Mode celebrates the extraordinary genius of Azzedine Alaïa who was far ahead of his time and beloved by the world’s most fashionable women for his creations of flawless fit that boldly highlighted the female form,” said Rafael Gomes, curator and director of fashion exhibitions at SCAD FASH. “Alaïa’s mastery of design and dedication to his craft are exalted in this exhibition, which will inspire our students and visitors to SCAD FASH Lacoste alike.”
L’Art de la Mode is on view at SCAD FASH Lacoste through 29 October 2022. SCAD FASH Lacoste is free and open to the public. Visit scad.edu/lacoste.
About SCAD Lacoste
SCAD Lacoste is a residential study-abroad location in France, offering immersion in the history and culture of Provence. Course offerings each quarter are varied to apply to all SCAD areas of study and are taught by SCAD professors. Lacoste is a beautifully preserved medieval village and historic destination for artists, known for its extraordinary light and exquisite pastoral setting. SCAD Lacoste structures dating from the ninth to the 19th centuries feature cutting-edge contemporary amenities. SCAD Lacoste resources include a library, a gallery, a dining hall, and housing, as well as teaching studios dedicated to painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and digital imaging. Students interact with visiting artists, take field trips to museums and historic sites in the area, and have an opportunity to exhibit their work at a local vernissage. Celebrated artists and designers visit with SCAD Lacoste students throughout the year. Notable guests have included actor and designer John Malkovich; designer Bibhu Mohapatra; social media influencer, photographer, and inventor of the cinemagraph Jamie Beck of Ann Street Studio; interior designer and television host Genevieve Gorder; installation artist Hugo Dalton; design legend Ilse Crawford; chief creative officer of Shimoda Design Group Joey Shimoda; Vogue contributing editor Lynn Yaeger; and CFDA Fashion Award- winning designers Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters of Creatures of the Wind.