“It Was All Imagination”—Arthur Elgort at the Fondation Azzedine Alaia in Paris


Yesterday afternoon in Paris, as men’s fashion week was wrapping up, Arthur Elgort held court at the Fondation Azzedine Alaïa, welcoming old friends and peers including Sarah Moon, Dominique Issermann, Paolo and Laetitia Roversi, the models Marpessa Hennink and Linda Spierings, and scores of others to the opening of the exhibition “Azzedine Alaïa, Arthur Elgort. Freedom,” curated and directed by Carla Sozzani and Olivier Saillard.

Elgort’s wife, Grethe—a theater producer, director, choreographer, founder of the non-profit organization Ardea Arts, and former dancer—and two of their three children, Sophie and Warren, were on hand too (their youngest, Ansel, was in Tokyo). Sophie, also a photographer and a new mom for the third time, flew in for just 24 hours. Warren, a filmmaker and photographer, snapped pictures as a 12-minute trailer of his just-completed documentary Arthur Elgort: A Family Affair played on loop in an adjacent space. In it, Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington recount how Elgort taught them pretty much everything about their trade.

In the exhibition, a collection of 30 photographs, mostly spontaneous, playful shots from the 1980s and mostly never published, show Spierings (“I liked working with her because she had a body; she wasn’t skinny”), Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Veronica Webb, Grace Jones, and others, alongside mannequins dressed in the clothes they modeled, for example the long, hooded bodycon dress in purple jersey from the spring 1986 collection that Jones wore to the Oscars de la Mode in 1985.