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“Designers all have a world, but Azzedine Alaia has a universe,” said Donatella Versace. (www.fashionologie.com)
After eight years of abstaining from the runway, Azzedine Alaia closed out the Fall 2011 couture season on Thursday. Alaia is not connected on facebook, twitter or in advertisements but he still seems to bring the world to him. His clothes just speak for themselves.
In his most recent fashion show in Paris he showcased elegant and feminine styles and designs on the runway. The models wore a variety of neutral beige colors and he also incorporated darker colors such as black and red for the fall season. Among the designs were several dresses that reached above the knee with feathers, hooded couture dresses, reptile skinned pencil skirts and blazers, long trench coats and fur coats. All articles of clothing displayed were meant to flaunt a woman’s natural shape and beauty.
Among the most uplifting designs was a loose-fitting halter dress in a black punched fabric with an attached metallic slip. The collection of this couture season also included the designer’s signature sculpting techniques which made their way into his famed skater skirt featured on coats and cocktail dresses, some of which came finished with Mongolian fur at the hem. Fur also made its way onto select shoulders for a lush finish.
Alaia is a Tunisiam born couturier and shoe designer. He has been known to refer to himself not as a fashion designer but as a “batisseur”; a builder or a couture architect. His designs emphasize structure and purity of form. The fabrics, rigorous tailoring and sewing are exquisitely constructed to engulf the body comfortably. He is a born perfectionist who hand finishes each garment in his collections.
Today, he demands a formidable presence on the fashion scene, but for thirty years he was virtually unknown. Alaia studied sculpture at the Beaux-Arts in Tunis before coming to Paris in the 1950′s and taking on fashion design. He lived in a tiny apartment on the Left Bank, paying rent by babysitting and designing clothes for the Comtesse de Blegiers. An apprenticeship at Christian Dior lasted a mere five days, followed by two full seasons with Guy Laroche; a French Fashion designer.
The well known Alaia style started to emerge in the early 1980′s. It consisted of models walking on the runway wearing riveted leather, zipped dresses and a prevalence of knit fabrics in addition to experimental mixes of lace and leather.
Throughout the years, he has had his designs worn by celebrities of all styles and taste. Ranging from the young starlets to the older icons including Miley Cyrus, Megan Fox, Rhianna, Michelle Obama, Katie Holmes, Jennifer Anistonand, Victoria Beckham and the list is endless.
Alaia is like an artist, skillfully creating his artwork. Artwork that may not be showcased on a canvas or painted with a brush like Picasso but art that is worn on the body to inspire and create draw dropping masterpieces that can enthuse a generation.
The finale featured a floor-skimming belted dress in a gold-on-black fleur-like brocade pattern that fell down to the ankles. Leaving everyone to wonder what Alaia will have in store for next season.