Letter to Azzedine Alaïa
We had just been 18 years ago when we met Mr. Alaïa for the first time. He was a friend and a master. Tribute. - Didier Cometti and Angelo Buonomo
Never said it to you, but when we were ten years old, we would protect our school notebooks with covers of fashion magazines on which your creations appeared. Was it a form of intuition of this future relationship, made of friendship, benevolence and that protective spirit that you have always shown towards us?
It was the year 80, fashion was in full revolution: in our eyes it was at its peak. There was you, of course, that we attended the pinnacle, and then Claude Montana, Thierry Mugler and Jean-Paul Gaultier. You represent to our eyes the absolute dream. An untouchable universe seen from Basel where we grew up.
The idea of working in fashion became instilled in us, little by little, until it became obvious, an urgency rather. At 16 years we left. Direction Paris. Paris, for two teenagers crazy fashion, at the time, it was the promised land.
We started as photo assistants and two years after our arrival we finally met you!
It was raining ropes that day. Your address was still rue du Parc-Royal. We do not find the words to express the emotion that held us at the thought of being in your presence, touching your creations. No one but you can highlight the curves of the woman's body: your lines are so sexy, fluid, like a second skin. Protective dresses that give strength to all who wear them. A perfection even in the finishes. We saw you during the selection of dresses for the photo shoot that we had to do with Grace Jones.
When we arrived at the studio, we saw for the first time, understood the magic of your dresses. No sooner had she donned one of them than Grace Jones felt the strongest and most beautiful woman in the world! Your creations fascinated us. That day, we became passionate.
Since our meeting, we have very rarely shots without you, finally, without your creations: no other creator creates, does not cut, does not touch, does not carve his own model from the beginning to the end. It's unique in the world of fashion. You touch and adjust until the end, until the parade, until the shooting.
We have always felt privileged to attend your shows, watching your models worn by the most beautiful girls in the world, because they all came to you. And we were so proud of you the day you bought the building of the rue de la Verrerie, then the rue de Moussy, creator of your own empire!
Thanks to you, we learned to make clothes, like two self-taught girls who have never taken classes in cutting, sewing or style. But our curiosity and your example allowed us to understand how a garment was made.
When we decided to launch our own brand Didier & Angelo, in 1993, our biggest fear was to lose you, losing your trust above all. We told you about it. You answered us: "I want to see your creations! "
So we arrived at your place one day with our book under your arm. Those who know you know that you are facetious. You decided to play riddles: "I'll try to guess who did what," you said. We were relieved: since that day our friendship has intensified. Just like our respect.
You gave us advice and always said: "stay what you are, true to yourself, and make small collections: if you have a good idea, it's already a lot! "
You have always presided over the choices we made to dress our models or the celebrities we worked with. The day we arrived at the studio with Iman supermodel, you told us: "Vand take as always what you want. " It was the time when you created these incredible push-up leather bustiers.
Finally we left with you in person and your most beautiful creations, including a long gazar dress from the haute couture collection entirely embroidered with crinoline gold thread. You had not finished it yet, she was hidden under a big white sheet, but you absolutely wanted to try it on Iman. We had fun to dress together (see photo above, note).
Years later, this same dress was exhibited in the Matisse room of the Museum of Modern Art in Paris where some of your works were presented in relation to the exhibition that the Musée Galliéra, in Paris, dedicated to you.
When we decided to do photography for our own shoots, again you trusted us and encouraged us. You have always been there, in front of us, beside, behind, gently pushing us forward, believing, always believing, and never let go.
You were jokers and adored hiding to frighten us. Together we spent a lot of time talking about the job because it's our life too. But no complex, no need to philosophize or intellectualize fashion. It was always a simple sharing of our mutual passion.
This August you wanted to visit us in our workshop, but time did not allow you. From now on you will always be at home.
We thought you were immortal. Your work, it will be. You have put all your life, all your love that you shared with us all. We miss you so much! Our memories will gently fill this gap.
We were lucky to be able to say goodbye to you the evening of your departure. Looking at you, so serene, we realized that never again will we have the pleasure of arriving at your house and to hear you say: "Hello D'Artagnan! Come on!…"
How to forget your generosity, your kindness. You knew how to create your life as you wished. You were and will always be our greatest inspiration. We keep your beautiful smile as the last image. Rest in peace, you left for the longest journey.
D & A forever. "