PARIS — Balenciaga will get the museum treatment in 2006.
Confirming a report in these columns Feb. 11, the Museum of Fashion and Textiles at the Louvre said Monday a retrospective tracing the house's legacy — from founder Cristobal Balenciaga through its present designer Nicolas Ghesquiere — would bow next July during the Paris couture shows.
The show, spread over the museum's two floors, will not be chronological, but rather thematic, showcasing archival designs along side those of Ghesquiere, who began his rejuvenation drive at Balenciaga in 1997.
Contemporary artist Dominique Gonzales-Foerster and lighting designer Benoit Lalloz, who collaborate with Ghesquiere on Balenciaga boutiques, have been tapped to design the exhibition.
The curator is Pamela Golbin, the fashion museum's conservator in charge of 20th-century collections, with Ghesquiere as an associate curator. Sponsors of the exhibition, and other details, have yet to be finalized.
But the Louvre showcase will surely raise the profile of one of Gucci Group's smaller, but most influential fashion houses and designers. Considered one of its emerging brands, a category that also includes Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney, Balenciaga faces a 2007 deadline to reach breakeven.
Ghesquiere should be well prepared for the exhibition, having dedicated staff in recent years to catalogue the Balenciaga clothing and accessories archive. Every season, he introduces select styles under the label Balenciaga Edition.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast