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When a woman wears an Azzedine Alaia garment, she becomes a living sculpture. His unrivalled skill of creating pieces that fit to the body like a second skin have made Alaia a legendary name in the world of fashion. The Tunisian born designer, who famously shuns the limelight, is currently the subject of an eponymous exhibition at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, curated by Mark Wilson. Showcasing some of his most renowned garments of the last ten years, the Alaia exhibition is one that is sure to draw a huge crowd. Alaia has always been a go to label for many celebrities, which has helped propel the couturier to such heights, and after he designed a magenta latex dress for Grace Jones, his name was on everyone’s lips. He once said “The base of all beauty is the body” and succeeded in creating skintight clothes that also allowed for ultimate freedom of movement.

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As well as an obvious focus on silhouette, Alaia has always explored the nature of different fabrics, encasing the body in anything from velvet to leather, and his stretchy dresses came to define the Lycra revolution. The exhibition itself is divided into areas focusing on materials he has incorporated into his garments. The pieces chosen for the exhibition epitomise the ethos of Alaia; sensual, glamorous and luxurious; the perfect tribute to the ‘King of Cling’.

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Written by Camilla Harrison

Camilla is currently in her final year studying BA Fashion History and Theory at Central St Martins and is a freelance writer for a range of publications and websites, writing fashion, arts and culture. In the last year, Camilla has been archiving the garments and history of Margaret Howell.

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