NEW YORK--While the country grows more preoccupied with dressing down, Mary Jane Denzer is thinking of ways to dress people up. She has arranged for Paul-Louis Orrier to work by appointment at her eponymous White Plains, N.Y., store from June 20-24, where he will design one-of-a-kind gowns and cocktail dresses retailing between $5,000 and $7,000. Orrier, known for his intricate draping and luxurious fabrics, will return for a week in January to design for spring and summer. Other high-end retailers such as Amen Wardy and Martha's were forced to close, but Denzer's business continues to grow. In September, she relocated her store from Post Road to the corner of Maple and Mamaroneck Avenues, more than doubling the selling space. Denzer contends that the Westchester, an 850,000-square-foot mall that opened March 17 in White Plains, has not slowed her business. She expects to do $5 million in sales in the new location this year, compared to $3.5 million in 1994. "There are a lot of gorgeous stores in that mall, but they don't have the upscale merchandise we carry," Denzer said. "Neiman Marcus is the only store of our caliber, but they don't have the selection that we have. "As far as my customer shopping in a mall,' she said, "it's too much of a hassle. They like to pull up to our door and have their car parked. They like the ambience and serenity of the store." Denzer carries the collections of Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, ChloA, Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Lacroix and Jacques Fath, among others. However, she felt her assortment lacked drop-dead evening gowns. "There's a tremendous void in magnificent evening clothes that really have a flair," Denzer said. "That's what Orrier is all about. He'll spend two hours with each customer designing a dress before he comes up with exactly the right thing. He'll thoroughly research her before he makes his final draft." Denzer scoffs at the concept of dressing down. "Dressing down is not for people in the real social set," Denzer said. "They're still having all their parties, galas, balls and weddings. "People who wear Orrier really do want to be noticed," Denzer added. "It's not flashy and it's not gaudy. But it has so much style. I'm so tired of all the copies, bad fabrics and lack of creativity that I see. It's the same thing over and over." Denzer expects to take orders for at least 10 dresses next month. "We've already sold one dress," she said. "It's a real experiment, but from the customers I've spoken to there's been tremendous interest. "I did a fabulous business with Orrier until he did his last collection for spring 1994," Denzer said She noted that since then Orrier has been designing for private clients in Europe. Denzer commented, "When he told me there would be no more couture I was totally crushed. "He knows how to make a dress fit," added Denzer, saying, "He knows how to make a woman look great."
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast