EXCLUSIVE: Alber Elbaz Tribute Show to Get Museum Treatment

PARIS — The AZ Factory “Love Brings Love” tribute show was a night to celebrate Alber Elbaz and his contribution to fashion. After the tribute show, a majority of the homage designs were donated to AZ Factory, the fashion venture the late designer had created with Compagnie Financière Richemont.

Next spring, an eponymous exhibition will offer another opportunity to see the designs created in his honor by re-creating the runway experience at Paris’ Palais Galliera fashion museum from March 5 to July 10.

“The Palais Galliera celebrates Alber Elbaz, one of its most dear collaborators,” wrote the cultural institution’s director Miren Arzalluz in a statement. “By reenacting this moving and unprecedented tribute by the fashion industry, we wish to honor his life and legacy and invite our visitors to engage in the designer’s joyful vision of fashion.”

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Around 45 of the silhouettes from the Oct. 5 show — including the first exit signed by the late designer, those from designers and heritage brands as well as two of the 25 looks created by his AZ Factory studio team — will take pride of place on the ground floor’s Salon d’Honneur and Grande Galerie.

Rather than the soft museum lighting usually reserved for textile-based exhibits, the looks will be lit as they were on the runway. Displayed in the show’s alphabetical order, they will be displayed on specially created mannequins with the same skin tone as the original models and set in dynamic poses.

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Footage from the show will be projected in the exhibition rooms, in an effort to re-create the poignant parade that concluded Paris Fashion Week. Two smaller adjoining galleries will offer backstage photographs of the evening and a biography of Elbaz.

This immersive setting would be a “memorable opportunity for visitors to take part in a historic fashion moment, and to witness an unprecedented display of solidarity and generosity,” AZ Factory’s chief executive officer Laurent Malecaze said in a statement revealing the exhibition.

Philippe Fortunato, CEO of fashion and accessories at Maisons Richemont, described the tribute show as “unforgettable” and “a powerful expression of unity on behalf of one of the industry’s most beloved figures,” which he hoped would inspire visitors in a lasting way.

Palais Galliera curator Alexandre Samson stated that Elbaz’s joyful and clever vision on women’s wear — seen during his tenures at Guy Laroche, Saint Laurent Rive Gauche or most famously, Lanvin — continued to inspire designers, describing the late designer as “part of a group of English and American designers who, appointed to established Parisian houses, projects them into the 21st century.”


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