Not long after Alber Elbaz's sudden death earlier this year, his new fashion venture AZ Factory - still in its infancy - imagined and organised a spectacle honouring the late designer. Known as one of fashion's most revered couturiers, and beloved individuals, 46 houses and individual designers - some established, others emerging - came together to create one-off looks inspired by Elbaz's prolific legacy. From the great Jean Paul Gaultier to the lesser-known but equally talented Tomo Koizumi, designers reinterpreted Elbaz's little black dress, the penchant for colour most memorably tied to his glorious days designing for Lanvin, and his eye for draping and celebrating the female body. Each creation exuded Elbaz's characteristic elegance and offered a deeper understanding into what craftsmanship truly means today - not only in the modern world of design but also for what it meant to Elbaz himself.
From Pieter Mulier's Alaïa to Sarah Burton's Alexander McQueen, Rei Kawakubo's Comme des Garçons to Maria Grazia Chiuri's Christian Dior, Daniel Roseberry's Schiaparelli and Demna Gvasalia's Balenciaga, the Palais Galliera's exhibition takes these one-of-a-kind creations and presents them in all their glory, while also going above and beyond to recreate the tribute show which took place on 5 October 2021 at the close of Paris Fashion Week. Immersing its visitors in the full runway experience, essential factors such as the catwalk, lighting effects and music have all been carefully replicated. Now, the general public can be a part of one of fashion's most unforgettable moments. It's a democratic and inclusive stand-point which was central to Elbaz's work at AZ Factory, where couture-like techniques were made available to the masses. Fitting, right?
Made possible by generous loans from AZ Factory and the support of Richemont, the exhibition will be open to the public from 5 March to 10 July, 2022.