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Azzedine Alaia Still Upset with "Dictator" Anna Wintour

Azzedine Alaia Still Upset with "Dictator" Anna Wintour

>> Azzedine Alaia is not letting up on his anger over the omission of his work from this year's Costume Insitute exhibit "The Model as Muse," and he continues to blame Anna Wintour.

Yesterday, he told WWD over the phone that she has snubbed his work for 15 years: “She behaves like a dictator and everyone is terrified of her . . . but I’m not scared of her or anyone.” Putting his money where his mouth is, he aims to continue his campaign against her.  The seven dresses he created for Monday night's gala — Linda Evangelista's, Stephanie Seymour's, and Naomi Campbell's among them — that went unworn at his request, he plans to loan them out for editorials.

So why wasn't he included in the first place? »
As for why the exhibit didn't feature any Alaia, Harold Koda, the curator in charge of the Costume Institute, rebutted the designer's claim that he was not fully informed about the exhibit or invited to its opening; in fact, Koda says early on in planning the show, he wanted to ask some of the supermodels for their Alaia dresses, but first thought he should make sure Alaia was comfortable with having his work on display:

I felt it was a courtesy to approach the designer. 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.

Koda admits that Alaia was never formally approached, only informally:

We would have loved to have had his pieces in the show, but there was a lot of miscommunication.  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, so I honored it.

So is it time to take sides? WWD thinks that Alaia should "pick up a phone and call Koda" instead of waging a campaign against Anna Wintour.

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