The windy city was the last stop on a whirlwind U.S. tour for Christian Lacroix. The French designer blew into town to show Chicagoans his spring collection and accept the Chicago Historical Society's second annual award...
The windy city was the last stop on a whirlwind U.S. tour for Christian Lacroix. The French designer blew into town to show Chicagoans his spring collection and accept the Chicago Historical Society's second annual award for excellence in design.
The fashion show, which took place in a tent built for the occasion in the courtyard of the Historical Society, included several of Lacroix's favorite Parisian models. The production got a standing ovation from the crowd.
The award was particularly appropriate because at one time Lacroix wanted to become a fashion curator himself. "Without the history of costume, I wouldn't have become a designer," he said.
Lacroix complimented Chicago on its elegant architecture and on the style of its women.
"They are conservative, but with a personal touch," he said. In Marshall Field's, which sponsored the show and carries his line, both the classics and the crazy stuff do well, he said.
Lacroix himself illustrated both sides of the style coin during his visit. Dressed for our interview in red corduroy pants, a blue denim shirt and a riotous patchwork tweed jacket, he wore a conservative black tuxedo for the party.
And the party guests? If they couldn't get their hands on a Lacroix original, many paid tribute to the designer's love of lavish colors by leaving their usual understated black dresses on the hanger and pulling something brighter out of the closet.
Lacroix, who made his name as a designer of high-priced haute couture, also donated two couture gowns for the museum's collection. He laments the fact that couture has become less acceptable -- at least in public -- in the austere Nineties.
"Wearing genuine fashion is an uplifting and optimistic approach...minimalism and black and white doesn't make the fashion world work," he said.
He noted the important role couture has played in helping French craftsmen, for example weavers and embroiderers, to survive. "Couture customers are like patrons," he said.
However, he recognizes that even his ready-to-wear line, where jackets exceed $2,000, is out of the range of the average woman and said he is working on a third, more affordable line. He relishes the challenge of "providing the same fantasy and wit at a lower price."
“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