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Alaïa explores couture expertise in exhibit, first fragrance

July 13, 2015

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French couturier Alaïa has opened an exhibit in Rome celebrating couture's relationship with sculpture.

The “Couture/Sculpture: Azzedine Alaïa in the History of Fashion” opened over the weekend and will be held within the Galleria Borghese museum until October. The approximately 65 pieces included in the exhibit were placed amid the museum’s artifacts to capture the essence of the “mythical location.”

Making an impact
As reported by Women’s Wear Daily, Alaïa “dresses in blue or red velvet stood near paintings by Caravaggio, almost reflecting the masterpieces’ lighting, while the designer’s dresses made with feather-light raffia and shells, horsehair or shark skin could have been inspired by Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s stunning marble status of ‘Apollo and Daphne’ depicting the nymph morphing into a tree.”

The 13 pieces on view at the exhibit include the hooded bandage dress worn by singer Grace Jones in 1984. Also, included is singer Tina Turner’s short gold dress and stylist Charlotte Stockdale’s wedding gown worn during her marriage to Apple’s Marc Newson.

Many of the pieces exhibited were refitted to fit the mannequins and the size of galleri, thus underscoring Alaïa’s “respect of the location.”

The brand is also exploring new ventures to heighten consumers’ interaction with Alaïa’s offerings.

Alaïa recently made its first entrance into the fragrance sector with a perfume of the same name. The scent is inspired by “cold water falling on hot chalk” and is the designer’s invitation for wearers to “embark on a neo-Baudelairian odyssey.”


Promotional image for Alaïa’s first fragrance

Sold by retailers such as Hong Kong’s Lane Crawford, the fragrance has notes of pink pepper, freesia, peony, animal notes and musk.

Couture and fragrance touch points are often aligned.

For example, French design house Givenchy crafted a narrative for the launch of its latest scent, Dahlia Divin, to give the fragrance a context.

Givenchy’s social video, which starred singer Alicia Keys, combined the brand’s couture fashions with the fragrance to lend support to the lifestyle affiliated with Dahlia Divin. Due to the nature of fragrances, marketers often look to storytelling to better interpret the feelings associated with a scent (see story).