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“If [Alaia] is a snob, it is only by looking down from his commanding position at the flat plain of global luxury.” Suzy Menkes

“If [Alaia] is a snob, it is only by looking down from his commanding position at the flat plain of global luxury.” Suzy Menkes

posted on Friday July 8, 2011 | in The Crystal Tearoom | 5 Comments

Please let me know your thoughts on this quote, I’d love to hear what you might have to add.

Side note: Ms. Menkes uses the word snob as Mr.Alaia chose to play Josephine Baker’s “Je suis un snob” as the models took the runway.

Now I think I mentioned before that it might be a good time for smaller fashion houses to take the stage.  I still see Alaia as “small” in the sense that he has the power to do what is right for him creatively, he has the freedom to have lunch or dinner at his atelier with his customers and seamstresses in a casual setting; as he pleases.  He seems to have the power to be truly intimate, and free…  Now that’s something to aspire to.

A look from Azzedine Alaia Couture, Fall 2011

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5 Comments

  1. malika (Reply) on Friday 8, 2011

    Boris Vian song “je suis snob” … “i eat french cheese with a spoon and drink coca cola !” why not

    love love Mr. Alaia works : simplicity glamour and smart ! an artist may be also for human relation.

    that’s something to aspire to, sure !

  2. Amy Creyer (Reply) on Friday 8, 2011

    “he has the freedom to have lunch or dinner at his atelier with his customers and seamstresses in a casual setting; as he pleases.”

    I think this is part of the key to his success too. He stays true to his vision and the people who’ve supported him for decades, rather than chasing the next “it bag” or having his clothes worn by the next “it celebrity.” Alaia is above the fray – in a class of his own.

  3. Lindsey (Reply) on Friday 8, 2011

    i love Alaia and this quote fits the mood of his collection perfectly. amazing.

  4. Ron and Chris (Reply) on Friday 8, 2011

    “He seems to have the power to be truly intimate, and free… Now that’s something to aspire to…” Freedom and creativity are strange yet neccessary bed fellows which maybe an alternative to big budget, impersonal, pressure and “extremely approval oriented”.

  5. Michal♥Josh (Reply) on Friday 8, 2011

    Hey there Shala,

    So it’s weird – I’ve been blogging for more than two years now, my blog name is a homage to the movie that forever coined Alaïa in pop-culture, and yet it became completely obvious to me only for the past few months – ever since I started my tumblr – that I realized I’m going through a deep, serious ‘Alaïa moment’. The couture show last week, of course, made it all blow up for me. I read the articles surrounding it very carefully, trying to find hints that might help me solve the mystery, or better yet – just let me feel this mystery closer, approach ‘the secret’ in some way. Since I don’t believe in unexplained terms such as ‘secret’, ‘magic’ – the pure magic that clearly was taking place on that runway was something worth approaching to. So here goes nothing: I believe that Alaïa’s magic is based on the fact that his work is the most un-magical thing in the world. This could be clarified by understanding what I *don’t* mean by this sentence: I’m not talking about the romantic ethos of the ‘genius in his atelier, making wonders only with his talent’, and even more importantly: I don’t mean this to say that we’re talking about a technical mastery, a craftsman at his marvelous top.

    Nope.

    Those two ends – the genius artist vs. the skilled craftsman – are the ends of our perception of fashion vs. art . I believe that although Alaïa is a few generations away of being called a new designer, he is actually the person that has the power to push this perception further and ultimately out – and therefore, making himself the ‘newest’ designer around.

    Why do we restrict ourselves to thinking about art as the stuff that lie in a museum? Why is it that as soon as I read Alaïa’s declaration “I just want to make the woman more beautiful”, I immediately began thinking in terms of ‘design only’? These paradigms are so old, so closed and meaningless – while every curve-hugging-stitch that Alaïa is creating is so alive, vibrating, almost talkative. I believe his course – synergy of work and life that expresses itself in so many ways (The atelier and home, Naomi Campbell saying “They’re calling me Naomi Alaïa, and they’re calling her (Veronica Webb) Veronica Alaïa”) – is not that far than what Karl Marx imagined as the utopia of post-capitalism. Maybe this era will allow us to live art, to live fashion, to live work, in ways that are not detached from ‘ourselves’. Looking around today, there’s nothing ‘newer’ than that.

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