You Are Closer To Azzedine Alaïa Than You Think.
Haute couture makes us dream because, for most of us, it is unattainable. We always want what we can’t get. And so it is with Azzedine Alaïa’s dresses.
Azzedine Alaïa was a master to many designers and one in particular with whom you will be very familiar: Stefano Poletti. I asked Stefano to share with us his memories of Azzedine Alaïa.
“Azzedine Alaïa’s work fascinated me – nowadays you would say I was “obsessed” with him; his avant-garde style, the sophisticated audacity of his dresses. So I packed my life in Milan and moved to Paris with the sole purpose of presenting my work to him. I was extremely lucky to be selected as an intern and spent over a year working at his side.
It was at the beginning of his career when his atelier was in his apartement Rue de Bellechasse. The atelier was next to the kitchen where the entire team shared meals. The defiles where le-tout-Paris came, took place in his livingroom. It was very intimate, friendly, convivial. With the greatest simplicity he would cook for us from time to time, always displaying incredible energy and joie de vivre (he loved playing tricks on us). It was like a big family.
I spent hours watching him work, passing pins to him. He taught me how to be rigorous in my work, to implement my vision and power on without compromising.
- Stefano Poletti
But under all this easy going manner was an absolute passion for his work, total dedication to his trade. He took care of every aspect of the collections: he sculpted the dresses directly on the models’ bodies, he followed the work in the sewing room step by step, directed the photo shoots and the press work.
I spent hours watching him work, passing pins to him. He taught me how to be rigorous in my work, to implement my vision and power on without compromising. He only released a collection when he deemed it perfect without paying attention to the fashion calendar.
He was a true couturier – there were no boundaries between his life and his work."
I have always admired the work of Stefano Poletti—it is delicate, skillful, emotional. His atelier is part gallery, part greenhouse. His work bench is under a verriere (a greenhouse style glass dome) with the light pouring in. There is a large table in the middle where clients, friends, designers gather during fashion week to swap stories, exchanges ideas and enjoy a good time. A la Alaïa.
Come experience the design and craftsmanship of Stefano Poletti at Galerie Rue Pigalle, open now until December 31st at Yorkville Village, Upper Floor (formerly Hazleton Lanes).
Images: Stefano Poletti