Welcome Back To The Runway, Azzedine Alaïa!
The days of Azzedine Alaïa’s playing shy with the runway are over! After an eight-year absence of showing at the respective fashion weeks, the coveted designer wowed his devoted followers with a collection of fall/winter coat dresses, leathers, knitwear and stunning evening wear culminating in an endless applause that forced French Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand to coax the famously shy designer out front to accept a rapturous standing ovation.
Playing with a fall palette of blacks, charcoals, deep greens and eggplants and a smattering of cream, Alaïa presented plenty of outer-as-inner wear both in his favorite felted-wool, with a rounded shoulder and bell-shaped flaring from the hips and a smartly-cut trench style in patented alligator-embossed leather.
The leather carried through onto a few smart two-piece suited pencil skirt looks, one paired with a jacket and the other with a zipped sleeveless top, and also used to trim a green coat dress.
There was plenty of plumage – which I can’t seem to get enough of – in Alaïa’s collection. From a fully-plumed belted coat to skirts and dresses embellished with deep garnet-colored layers – a stunning feature next to the sharp black hooded and sleeveless tops. His sparing use of metallic and sheer in the evening pieces managed modern, grown-up and feminine in one fell swoop.
And then the knits… oh… the knits…
The sheer architecture of Azzedine Alaïa’s knitwear is what really brought the house down. Working with the same mill in Italy for the last 30 years pays off for the designer as he rolls out several short fitted jackets and a stunning number of elegant evening wear – lining the body to the hips and then flaring out in a rush of ruffly coals to the floor. “You just don’t see clothes like that,” on devotee gasped at the end of the show. “There’s everyone else. Then there’s Alaïa.”