Alaïa’s Creative Director Teams Up With The Gallery To Display And Sell Dresses Inspired By Picasso Ceramics


During the fall shows in Paris in January, Alaïa’s creative director Pieter Mulier sent out six form-fitting, showstopper dresses toward the end of his sleek second runway outing.

The retail partnership is part of Gagosian’s new fashion and art initiative, which invites fashion brands with artist-inspired wares to offer them via the gallery’s shops. The first iteration was the Paris jeweler Repossi’s Robert Mapplethore-inspired collection, released in New York in May, followed by Alaïa-Picasso in June, before the dresses were shipped off to London. Each mini collection is paired with shoppable rare books and ephemera to round out the theme: For example, in London, the Picasso dresses ($6,500 and $11,500) are accentuated with a 1948 Cahiers d’Art issue devoted to the Spanish master and the two-volume Ceramics by Picasso for $3,000.

Picasso and Alaïa have actually been intertwined for years. The house’s namesake founder, Azzedine (who died at 82 years old in 2017), was a “sculptor of shape,” wielding couture techniques and cutting-edge fabrics. His knits flowed like mercury and embraced every curve of the body. Before embarking upon fashion, Alaîa studied sculpting at the École des Beaux-Arts in his native Tunisia (he lied about his age in order to enroll). The visionary designer amassed a vast collection of haute couture and art, now preserved in Paris by the Foundation Azzedine Alaia.

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