AZ Factory Alber Elbaz

Alber Elbaz was captivated by the story of the Theatre de la Mode, a 1945 Paris exhibition uniting sixty french couturiers under one roof. It was his dream to one day bring together the industry in a modern Theatre de la Mode. On the last night of Paris Fashion Week, the fashion industry gathered at the Le Carreau du Temple in Paris to witness Alber’s dream become a reality in a show titled, Love Brings Love.

Although a farewell to the late couturier, who died of coronavirus last April at 59, Alber’s spirit is very much alive through his legacy, friends, family, and forever burning wish to unite the industry. The event itself felt somewhat of a long-overdue fashion family reunion. In the audience, luxury conglomerates Kering, Richmont, LVMH, and Puig leaders sat side by side. Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli embraced Naomi Campbell and chatted with Rick Owens and Michele Lamy. Glimpse to the other side of the venue, the First Lady of France, Brigitte Macron, smiled for photos with Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Jean Paul Gaultier get snugged in the front row seats. 

When what seemed like the global fashion industry began to take their seats, a voice filled the room. It was the voice of Alber’s partner Alex Koo. “He touched the hearts of everyone he has met with humor and plenty of generosity. He made us laugh. He made us cry. And he made us dream,” Koo passionately relayed to the crowd of hundreds. “His dream was to reunite the best talents of our industry to celebrate love, beauty, and hope. And tonight, his dream becomes a reality.” A video of a joyful Alber then plays cuing the start of the show — model Adut Akech enters the center stage wearing an AZ Factory design to kick off the show.

She was followed by 45 participating designers, debuting one look after another. Among them, a stunning black silk Schiaparelli gown, a tribute to Alber’s use of black, his skill in bias, and the joy of explosive volume. “This is a creation that would not exist had I not been so inspired by Alber’s work in my school year,” says Daniel Roseberry, creative director of Schiaparelli. “Alber and I share a particular affinity for bijoux, his influence honored here with a cast breastplate and oversized bijoux earrings.” Fuchsia was a significant color throughout the looks. “The vibrant fuchsia color speaks to Aber’s personality: uplifting, vibrant, and joyful,” explains Donatella Versace regarding her dress that perfectly marries Alber’s signature style with Versace’s silhouette.  

Before the show came to a close, 20 AZ Factory designs, started by Alber and finished by his design team, made a grand entrance. Emotions filled the room as each model took their place in front of the audience. Supermodel and muse Amber Valletta channeled the late designer, imitating his joyous walk dress in an oversized black coat (a signature). The coat appeared to be covered in each of Alber’s stunning designs. Valletta took a bow, closing the show. A round of applause, tears, smiles, and hugs filtered through the audience in a standing ovation. The mood swiftly shifted to an uplifting and cheerful moment when the backdrop came down, exposing all 45+ models dancing to The O’Jays’ disco classic “Love Train” and papier-mâché hearts launched out of cannons on each end of the room. 

The audience’s mood was evident in the stands and during cocktail hour, which continued way into the night. Ahead, GRAZIA gives you a look inside the spectacular tribute show to Alber Elbaz that captivated the industry — the same as Alber has always done in our lives.

Video: Guillaume Thomas Video Editing: Rony Efrat