Azzedine Alaia has always forged his own path through fashion, which has included deciding when, where and indeed if he will present his collections to industry peers. The show he held yesterday at his late 19th century headquarters in Le Marais was the first since 2011, which itself followed an eight-year break from the couture week schedule. But despite this notorious reputation for bucking the system, it’s his craftsmanship and covetable designs that ensure the talented Tunisian designer continues to be held in high esteem by his contemporaries and loyal customers alike.
A total of 68 looks were shown by Mr Alaia, deftly balanced between classic house signatures and fresh new styles, and all predominantly crafted in his favored black, white and oxblood color palette.
Standout styles included an array of outerwear, which ranged from heavily patterned fur cover-ups contrasted with sleek snakeskin trenches and short, sharp military-inspired coats.
Dresses sported familiar Alaia-esque silhouettes, figure-hugging bodices extending into swishy skirts, enhanced by pleating or strips of fine metal grommets or supple leather strips.
Boots were the footwear of choice, from ankle-grazing booties to snug over-the-knee styles, finished in soft black suede, multicolored patterns or a dramatic leopard print.
This comeback of sorts served as a reminder, if one were needed, as to why Azzedine Alaïa is lauded as a legendary master of his craft. His unique blend of equal parts wow-factor and wearability shows no signs of waning, much to the obvious delight of the 400 strong audience and, no doubt, his global fan base.
Photos: Giovanni Giannoni/WWD