Those were among the dozens of questions Loulou de la Falaise juggled Thursday afternoon as dozens of workers scurried to ready her signature fashion boutique for its grand opening today at 7 Rue de Bourgogne here.
To be sure, Chinoiserie figures prominently as a theme — with a dash of Egypt and a soupçon of Africa — in the 1,600-square-foot, two-level shop, decorated in an eclectic, colorful style by her brother, Alexis.
There is a lot for the eye to absorb: Antique Chinese cabinets and modern accessory cases in glass and red lacquer stand against walls painted robin’s egg blue and mustard — with a band of burgundy in between. A staircase painted mint green and carpeted in red winds its way up a loungy area with floral chiffon curtains billowing onto the floor and a burgundy sofa decorated with brocade pillows depicting camels and other exotica.
"It’s rather full of fantasy, the whole thing," de la Falaise allowed, surveying the store from her perch on a red stool printed with gold butterflies. "The idea is to have fun. I like the idea of a shop looking a bit like a house."
But there will be merchandise everywhere: sweaters in the Chinese cabinets, jewelry inset in wall-mounted cases and ready-to-wear filling racks of painted bamboo. De la Falaise said she prefers to "mix things up" to encourage people to linger, have a coffee or a glass of champagne. "The idea is to have fun," she said.
And buy something. De la Falaise’s assistants were still finalizing prices, but they range from $190 for horn and gold-leaf bangles, to $610 for a wrap blouse, to $1,060 for satin jacquard trousers. (Prices are converted from euros at current exchange rates.) Double-layer cashmere sweaters are about $950, while a three-piece mannish pantsuit runs about $4,300. A made-to-measure service will also be offered.
De la Falaise declined to give first-year sales projections for the shop, which she said is self-financed. After 30 years as the muse of Yves Saint Laurent and a chief creative aide, de la Falaise opted to launch a signature collection, sold initially only at the Left Bank shop, which has offices and design studios above.The retired couturier, his business partner Pierre Bergé, Catherine Deneuve and Hedi Slimane are among the glitterati expected tonight at a cocktail to toast the worldwide debut. De la Falaise is mulling a larger press event during Paris Fashion Week, March 6-5.
“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