fashion

A Tunisian and a Spaniard in Paris: new exhibition explores the connection between Alaia and Balenciaga

September 30, 2020

The retrospective looks at how the celebrated designers mirrored each other, despite the fact they never met in person

A new exhibition showing the dress creations from Tunisian fashion designer Azzedine Alaia and Spanish fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga is currently on display at the Azzedine Alaia Foundation in Paris, France.

The exhibition titled Alaia et Balenciaga - Sculpteurs de la Forme (Alaia and Balenciaga - Sculptors of Shape) runs until December 24.

The two designers became connected in 1968 as Balenciaga was preparing to close his eponymous fashion house. He contacted a young Alaia to see if he wanted the unused fabrics, hoping he could re-cut and re-purpose the garments and cloth to give them new life.

The exhibition presents outfits from both designers and explores how they mirror each other, despite the fact that the two couturiers never met in person.

Azzedine Alaia was born in Tunis in 1935 and died in Paris in 2017, he moved to France in 1957 in order to further pursue his dressmaking career. Meanwhile, Cristobal Balenciaga was born in the Basque country of Spain in 1895, and he died in the coastal town of Xabia in 1972, but spent much of his career working in Paris too.

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