Azzedine Alaïa Blames Anna Wintour (Again) for Excluding His Work From the New Costume Institute Exhibit

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Azzedine Alaïa. Photo: Patrick McMullan

The Met's Costume Institute curator, Harold Koda, offered WWD an additional explanation for why Azzedine Alaïa's dresses weren't included in the new "Model As Muse" exhibit — a gaffe that caused Naomi Campbell and Stephanie Seymour to skip the Met gala altogether. Cathy Horyn wrote in her blog earlier this week that Koda didn't ask Alaïa about using his work because he figured the designer would refuse. He told WWD he considered asking models to lend their Alaïa creations to the exhibit. But before he approached the models, he wanted to ask Alaïa if he'd be okay with having his work in the show. Koda told WWD:

“By coincidence, a mutual friend was having dinner with him in Paris the very following night, and I said, ‘Will you tentatively ask him whether or not he would be comfortable with this?’ When she came back, she said he is really not comfortable, so we never pursued approaching the supermodels for their dresses.”


But how did he know this lady friend had properly explained the exhibit? Why wouldn't Koda just call Alaïa up afterward? Isn't it his job to plead for things when necessary?

“We would have loved to have had his pieces in the show, but there was a lot of miscommunication,” Koda said. “Maybe it was oversensitivity on my part in broaching it informally rather than with a formal letter. Nobody is to blame. My understanding was that he didn’t want his work in the show,” Koda added, “So I honored it.”


Alaïa's main beef, however, is not with Koda. It's with Met-gala empress Anna Wintour, who he says has snubbed his work for the past fifteen years. “[Wintour] behaves like a dictator and everyone is terrified of her … but I’m not scared of her or anyone,” Alaïa said. But Alaïa doesn't need Vogue. Michelle Obama wears his clothes. And is she not the new empress of this industry?

Memo Pad: Alaïa Aloud [WWD]