OPEN HOUSE: “I made my work space into a living space.”
The words of Azzedine Alaïa, read by French actress Isabelle Huppert, resonated throughout “Azzedine Alaïa, 18 rue de la Verrerie Paris,” 27-minute documentary giving a rare glimpse into the 4,000-square-meter Parisian complex that was at once headquarters and home to the late couturier.
Part of a long-running series on artists and their homes titled “Une Maison, Un Artiste” (A House, An Artist), the film retraces the couturier’s life while exploring the group of industrial buildings purchased by Alaïa in 1987 that he turned into an interconnected array of spaces.
“The changing room is near the store, not far from the kitchen, which is under the studio, itself under the apartment,” describes fashion historian and Azzedine Alaïa Foundation director Olivier Saillard on camera. “His body of work exudes all of this. It embodied by this coherence he gave.”
The camera meanders between spaces: from his atelier, left untouched since his passing in 2017, to the apartments he had set up for guests, through the basement that housed his archive, and all the way to his now-legendary kitchen where the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Farida Khelfa or Naomi Campbell sat down for meals with his team.
“If you wanted to find [him], there were two places: his studio and the kitchen,” says Fondation Azzedine Alaïa president Carla Sozzani.
Throughout, quotes from Alaïa read by Huppert are interwoven with photographs and interviews of his entourage, including his life partner, the painter Christoph Von Weyhe; right-hand woman and studio director Caroline Fabre Bazin; fitting model Ana Carolina Reis, and personal chef Ibrahim Soumaré.
Initially broadcast on Aug. 22 on France 5, a channel belonging to France’s public broadcasting network, “Azzedine Alaïa, 18 rue de la Verrerie Paris” will be aired again on Aug. 28 at 8:20 p.m. Paris time.
It will remain available until Oct. 21 on the public television’s digital platform France.tv.