A master pattern cutter, Azzedine Alia supervised the placing of every stitch in his knit or leather creations. He took scraps of fabric to try out against the body of his models. His dresses – lithe, sculpted tunics in a palate of dark or neutral shades that displayed to perfection the female figure.
Known as ‘king of cling’, Azzedine’s vast warehouse in Paris was known during 1980s as “the supermodel hotel”. Buyers from Los Angeles, Chicago and London flew in to view the latest of his collection.
Azzedine’s boutiques had opened around the world. His look was worn by Madonna. He designed Jones’s wardrobe for Bond film A View to a Kill. For bicentenary celebration of the French Revolution, he wrapped the opera singer Jessye Norman in a vast tricolour gown to sing La Marseilloise.
In 1984 he was voted designer of the year at the French fashion awards. Azzedine had not lost his independent mind. In 2008 he rejected a French honour - Legion d’honneur.
Azzedine Alia was born in Tunis whose father was a wheat farmer. His mother and grandmother influenced and inspired his upbringing. He moved to Paris in 1957 where he worked as an au pair and dressmaker to two aristocrats where he met private clients who were stars of French high society.
Compiled by:M. Nauman Khan / Ghulam Mohiuddin