Azzedine Alaïa by Gilles Bensimon, Courtesy of SCAD

The Savannah College of Art and Design is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its overseas campus in Lacoste, France with a new exhibition that pays homage to a revolutionary force in fashion, Azzedine Alaïa. The SCAD FASH Lacoste Museum of Fashion and Film in Provence will host Azzedine Alaïa: L’Art de la Mode from June 27 to October 29. 

The exhibition has been expertly co-curated by Olivier Saillard, director of Fondation Azzedine Alaïa in Paris and follows the trajectory of the Tunisian designer’s storied career. The exhibit features 20 landmark gowns, chic suiting, and more pristinely tailored creations from the Alaïa archives, showcasing his “artistic triumphs.”

Known for dressing superstars from Madonna to Naomi Campbell (and many many more), his timeless designs and his wizardry when it comes to curve-hugging silhouettes have garnered Alaïa his fashion icon status — and the nickname “the king of cling.”

The exhibition also features a film about the designer narrated by Campbell (who lovingly refers to Alaïa as “Papa”). L’Art de la Mode marks the second exhibition dedicated to the couturier’s work, presented by SCAD FASH. In 2020, the museum’s Atlanta location hosted Alaïa-Adrian: Masters of Cut, comparing Alaïa’s garments with that of The Wizard of Oz costume designer Gilbert Adrian. With interwoven legacies, Alaïa was known to be a staunch collector of Adrian’s work. 

Azzedine Alaïa, Spring–Summer 1986, wedding dress, moiré acetate jersey. Photo by Andrea & Valentina.

According to curator, Saillard said, “Fondation Azzedine 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. 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.”

Throughout the summer season, SCAD Lacoste students will have the opportunity to set their sights on Alaïa’s work, as well as participate in master classes and lecture with representatives from Maison Alaïa. 

Azzedine Alaia – “L’Art de la Mode” Photography Courtesy of SCAD

“Years ago, I was fortunate to spend a special day with Alaïa in his Paris home — a day I will never forget,” said Paula Wallace, SCAD President and Founder. “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.”

Azzedine Alaïa: L’Art de la Mode is open to the public through October 29, 2022.