PARIS — With "Gallierock," Jean-Charles de Castelbajac sets the stage for a captivating artistic assault at the Galliera fashion museum here.
"As a designer, it is essential to find a dialogue between fashion, history, design, art and music," he said of the show, which opens Thursday and runs until July 29. "I wanted to do so in an energetic manner; the show provokes without shocking."
Entering the exhibit, visitors see a self-portrait of the designer and a vivid orange Rubik's cube-like sculpture with flashing lights, while in the "Throne room," a fluorescent pink furry throne allows visitors to reign over the designs.
There is eye-popping wallpaper, such as slightly erotic manga (Japanese cartoons) and classroom pictures of de Castelbajac as a child.
"My mother was shocked," joked the designer, who worked with Paris DJ Kingju to create a soundtrack of electro-pop and rock tunes to maintain an energetic tempo throughout the show.
Despite the provocative artwork and upbeat sounds, de Castelbajac delivers an old-fashioned underlining message in the exhibit. "Fashion is timeless,'' he said. "I couldn't imagine fashion without history. Clothing carries the souls of the people who wore it."
To illustrate his point, de Castelbajac gestured to the 5-foot-tall body armor worn by Joan of Arc, which stands at the entrance. It's the first time the piece has been available for public viewing.
"Bravery is exemplified in armor only 5 feet high," said de Castelbajac, who recalled his youth spent in an aristocratic, military-oriented family.
"I used to think I was a knight and that one day I would help women," he said.
In contrast to the suit of armor, there's also an outfit worn by the "sans culottes" during the French revolution in 1793 and a robe worn by Napoleon around the time of his death.
In other rooms, de Castelbajac focuses on his creations with a retrospective retracing almost 40 years in fashion design. Key items include iconic pieces from the Eighties such as dresses printed with Campbell's Soup and Tom & Jerry images. There are also whimsical designs, including a 1976 double poncho and a 1988 sweaterdress made from knit gloves.An advocate for budding contemporary talent, de Castelbajac punctuated the show with works by young artists and photographers.
"They are my inspiration," he said. "Their energy is essential to creation."
“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