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Alaia Pulls Dresses From Costume Institute Gala After Exhibit Snub

>> Anna Wintour received criticism yesterday for co-opting the Met's reputation for her own means, but new Costume Institute Gala-related developments snuff out those complaints in a second.  Seven models — including Naomi Campbell, Stephanie Seymour, and Linda Evangelista — were to wear Azzedine Alaia creations to the gala tonight, but the designer has asked them not to wear the dresses because his work, though strongly tied to a number of the supermodels' careers, has no place in this year's exhibit, save for one photograph.

As a result, Naomi Campbell — as rumored — plus some of the other (unnamed) models will not be attending tonight in a gesture to the designer. A spokeswoman for Campbell confirmed this afternoon: “As Naomi has been the muse of Azzedine Alaia for 23 years, she feels she doesn’t want to attend unless she can represent his work.”  No word on whether Seymour and Evangelista will do the same.

Alaia blames Anna Wintour for the omission »

Alaia said over the telephone this morning that he was not invited to attend the gala opening, and when he learned his work was not included in the exhibition last week, he asked the models not to wear the dresses he had made. “It would have been silly to have seven girls wearing my dresses at the party and not have anything of mine in the exhibit."  He blamed the omission on Anna Wintour, who organizes the party. “She has too much power over this museum."

He also made a phone call to Marc Jacobs on Saturday to voice his displeasure, which Jacobs commiserated with: “He’s very upset. Azzedine is a great friend of mine. I admire him so much… He’s had a huge influence on the way women are shaped, the way women look. I do think he’s one of the greatest influences. I’m really sad that he’s not part of this exhibition.”

Harold Koda, the Met's chief costume curator, said that Wintour has no involvement in Costume Institute shows and explained that Alaia had not been asked to loan garments for this particular exhibit because the curators didn’t believe the designer would agree to participate in a group show.
*image: source

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