The Galliera Palace gets dressed in Alaïa

© Patrick Demarchelier. Personal archives of Mr. Alaïa.

After four years of work, the Fashion Museum has reopened in the majestic setting of the renovated Galliera Palace. Retrospective dedicated to Azzedine Alaïa, the couture sculptor, until January 26th ...

The Fashion Museum again within its walls

The galleries of the palace have regained their pageantry, Pompeian red walls, original black woodwork, windows of restored Jean Eiffel workshops, dome and floors signed by the mosaicist Giandomenico Facchina highlighted. Nothing too much in the renovation but what to resuscitate the nineteenth spirit. "I struggled so that there is no escalator or glass door as in the subway", says Olivier Saillard, director of the museum, Christian Lacroix designed the carpet stairs, Martin Szekely the host banks.In 1878, the Duchess of Galliera had called on the architect Leon Genain to build a museum. would collect her personal collection of sculptures that she wished to bequeath to Paris.

An imbroglio will prevent the project from being finalized, the works leave in Italy, the duchess too. The empty halls of the palace will be occupied by administrative offices until in 1977 it is attributed the function of the Museum of Fashion. This one closes in turn for necessary restoration. Olivier Saillard inherits a place with closed doors. It is necessary to adapt to the context, the exhibitions will be presented extramural in different places. These experiences "obliged me to think differently about the Galliera museum, to think about the works and its future", he says, quoting Madame Grès's exhibition at the Bourdelle museum,"in my mind, we opened Galliera with Madame Grès".

Alaïa in seventy models

Therefore it seems natural to welcome the private collection of Azzedine Alaïa's clothes as the obvious continuity with Madame Grès, a journey traced in seventy iconic models, including ten presented in the Matisse room of the Museum of Modern Art: the long and short sheaths, the necklines that curve the chest and the fall of the kidneys for the morale of men, twirling skirts like black tulips, splendid drapes, openwork leather, stretch, jersey, zip ... By besides, the fashion designer is also a great collector, a friend of artists, like them, he is the maker of a new contemporary sensibility. Slipped on invisible mannequins the clothes sculpt masterfully the body, its forms, its movement. Just the cut, the seam ... the ellipse at the service of the sumptuous

"Alaïa", until January 26, 2014. Galliera Museum. 10, avenue Pierre of Serbia, 75116.