© AZZEDINE ALAÏA IN HIS FITTING ROOM, 1993 PH. ANTOINE POUPEL
Dear Shaded Viewers,
A documentary Une Maison, Un Artiste dedicated to Azzedine Alaïa will be broadcast on Sunday 22 August at 10:35 pm and Saturday 28 August at 8:20 pm on French television channel France 5.
Directed by Nathalie Plicot, assisted by Eve Ramboz and Pauline Garraud.
Produced since more than ten years by the company A PRIME GROUP, the collection of documentaries Une Maison, Un Artiste retraces the life and work of great artists, writers, musicians, painters, directors, and internationally renowned fashion designers, discovering their homes, where they lived, wrote, created and worked. With more than 60 episodes, previous subjects include Madame de Sévigné, Honoré de Balzac, Jeanne Lanvin, Coco Chanel, Ernest Heminghway, Frida Kahlo, César, Sonia Rykiel or Yves Saint Laurent, this series of documentaries offers an intimate vision of the lives of great personalities.
In 1987, Azzedine Alaïa bought a group of buildings in the Marais neighborhood in Paris. The ensemble consists of a number of vast spaces, all connected to one another, and located between the rue de la Verrerie and the rue de Moussy. At 18 rue de le Verrerie, in the great glass-roofed hall which had been transformed into an industrial workshop in the 19th century, then a warehouse for the “Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville” department store, Azzedine Alaïa would create his home and place of work.
Renovation works uncovered frescos on the walls of large scale geographical maps of faraway regions hand-painted directly on to the plaster of the great glass-roofed hall, built according to the plans of the architect Harouard, remains from a period at the end of the 19th century during which the building housed a charitable restaurant. This restaurant had been a social initiative of the founder of the department store “Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville”, with the aim of providing meals to the poorest families for a modest sum.
“Here, there will be everything” he said.
In the space at 7 rue de Moussy, he set up the large boutique, the fitting room, his studio, his appartments and the mythical kitchen which is the heart of the house.
“I was raised by my grandmother in Tunisia, and her house was always open.The whole family arrived for lunch and there were always around twenty of us at the table. As soon as I moved to Paris, I reproduced the exact same thing. “
In the former charitable restaurant he presented his fashion shows and the cellar was his secret den where he kept his collection of fashion history.
Thus mixing personal and professional life, he managed to make his house a Parisian medina that has become almost as legendary as his collections.
The documentary tells this story through archive images and films as well as interviews with those close to him: Christoph Von Weyhe, Carla Sozzani, Olivier Saillard, Farida Kehlfa, Montassar Ben Alaya, Caroline Fabre-Bazin, Ana Carolina Reis, Patrice Bernard-Brunel, Rachid El Mimouni and Ibrahim Soumaré.
Isabelle Huppert, a close friend of Azzedine Alaïa, agreed to lend her voice to tenderly embody the designer’s quotes.