‘J’suis Snob’, the gloriously humourous and much loved chanson Francais sung by Josephine Baker was the opening soundtrack to Azzedine Alaïa’s highly anticipated couture collection. It set the tone and pace wonderfully as each of his models elegantly picked their way across the runway presenting about thirty looks. Invited to see the show at Alaïa’a famous studio on Rue De Moussy, a building in which the celebrated designer also resides, were devoted clients and very select members of the fashion industry elite including Donatella Versace, Sophia Copolla and i-D’s Edward Enninful and Charlotte Stockdale. Patent crocodile dress-coats (infact embossed leather and a theme peppered throughout the collection in black, navy and green) and forest green pea-coats defined the opening looks. Long, shaggy sheepskin was dyed green and hugged the shoulders while the material was cut to cinch in on the waist. Asymmetrical zips appeared on body-con skirts while shirts were white, smartly cut and buttoned down. This collection accentuated hips and shoulders aka the signature Alaia hourglass shape that he refines each time he releases a collection. On feet were lace-up shoes with a high and thick, convex heel made from the crocodile, embossed leather. As the show progressed to evening wear velvet was used on voluminous, floor-length dresses and stenciled to reveal different materials underneath. Indeed one had large silver petals underneath that kicked out from the waist then via the bodice reached up and crossed the models neck like gentle vines. The final walk-through by the models was accompanied by Beyoncé’s “Girls” and the audience, many misty eyed, gave their applause unreservedly.
All images courtesy Alaïa