Since he abruptly died in 2017, Azzedine Alaïa has been remembered vividly thanks to his exhibition space on rue de la Verrerie in the Marais. The fourth celebratory exhibition curated by Olivier Saillard, “The Tati collection”, is an amazing testimony to the couturier’s talent. With a simple cotton cloth he managed to design couture clothes. The red, blue and black outfits are stunning and three large paintings by Julian Schnabel are perfect captions to the show.
Painter Julian Schnabel was inspired by the large Vichy checked motif (pied de coq) used by the cheap label Tati, as their emblem. It used to be the fabric in which were made the blinds of the café where Tati opened its first boutique in Barbès. ” The best bargains” (Les plus bas prix) were the motto of the brand which has kept only one store today and is slowly, sadly, disappearing.
“After I saw Schnabel’s paintings I decided that the pied de coq motif would be wonderful for jeans” says Alaïa who is quoted on the walls. He called the owners of Tati who were delighted to give him as much cloth as he wanted and designed a whole Summer 1991 collection with it in three colors, blue, red and black. Since Tati is a very cheap shop, he designed T shirts, a bag and espadrilles especially for them. I remember buying them at the time! This is how the most extraordinary collaboration was sealed.
The way the 24 outfits are laid out is very pretty as always in this exhibition space and the glass roof reflects the perfect light on the impeccably cut jackets and trousers. One forgets today how whimsical couturiers were in the 80’s and 90’s. Of course you had to have impeccable long legs to wear the shorts and a wasp waste for the bras and bodysuits. But the models shown here on plain stands are stunning.
Do not miss this small show at 18 rue de la Verrerie. You will plunge back into high fashion. And the video of the Summer 1991 show by Thierry Perez is fun as is the film of Kylie Minogue wearing “Tati Alaïa” in the album “Rhythm of Love”.
Until January 5, 2020 from 11 am to 7 pm at Association Azzedine Alaïa.
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