Fashion Scoops: No Mercier for Balmain … Back in the Saddle … Fashion’s Fleur
NO MERCIER FOR BALMAIN: The calendar for the couture shows in Paris in early July just came out — and Balmain isn’t on it. Sources said the house has parted ways with designer Laurent Mercier, who stayed for only three ready-to-wear...
NO MERCIER FOR BALMAIN: The calendar for the couture shows in Paris in early July just came out — and Balmain isn’t on it. Sources said the house has parted ways with designer Laurent Mercier, who stayed for only three ready-to-wear collections and one couture outing. It could not be learned if the couture atelier is kaput, or if a search for a successor is under way. The house has had a revolving door in its rtw department, and many couture clients exited along with Oscar de la Renta, who bid adieu after a decade as its couturier last July. But sources said Balmain remains the leading suitor for the soon-to-be-shuttered Thierry Mugler fashion house. Balmain president Alain Hivelin and other key executives were traveling in France Thursday and could not be reached for comment. Could they be measuring up Mugler’s high tech factory in Angers, west of Paris?
BACK IN THE SADDLE: Less than two weeks after rejoining her signature fashion house, Jil Sander faced the press in Paris Wednesday night at the launch of her new women’s fragrance, Jil Sander Pure, created by Coty Inc.’s Lancaster Group. So what’s it like for Sander to be back in the fashion spotlight? “On the one side, it seems like I never left,” she mused. “On the other, three years seem like a long time.” No matter. Sander looked radiant and confessed it’s been hard to keep herself away from designing her next men’s and women’s collections. “I’ve been working every day, up to 24 hours a day,” she said. “Everyone’s motivated, happy — almost emotional. Maybe it’s like it had to be.”
FASHION’S FLEUR: Fashion legend Fleur Cowles was on hand at Henri Bendel Wednesday afternoon perusing the Fifth Avenue window it has created in her honor. The retailer is working in conjunction with Pratt Institute’s Manhattan Gallery, which is featuring a retrospective on Flair Magazine and its founder Cowles. Despite her years, Cowles hiked upstairs to Tiffany Dubin’s Lair in Bendel’s to see vintage copies of her old magazine. “I love thisshop,” said Cowles. “It has always meant luxury and elegance and is one of those old traditions that hasn’t broken down.”
“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