Remember when knitwear presentations meant an endless variety of supersoft cashmere V-necks in more colors than can be found in a Baskin-Robbins display case? Yummy, but boring. Well, Malo and Ballantyne, in their respective presentations this week, set out to prove that cashmere can be as luxurious as it is feminine.
Eskimos have multiple words for snow, and Malo had an equal amount of variations when it came to the snowflake. The creative minds at the Italian company spun snowflakes into cashmere macramé, then painted icy blue and green snowflakes onto the pattern. The intricate snowflake motif popped up again on laser-cut beige and cream cashmere coats. Yet Malo is more than a one-yarn brand. In its first major Milan presentation, the Italian company focused on its growing group of products, which include cashmere and croc home accessories. Yet its pastel astrakhan coats, boots and bags would make any winter princess as giddy as a sugarplum fairy.
Dreary weather couldn’t dim the bright mood at the Ballantyne presentation on Monday night. Walking into its showroom was like walking into a layered Technicolor dream. Deep Kelly greens, cheerful yellows and watercolor lilacs popped up on feminine duster coats, sweetheart-neck prom dresses and slim skirts. Since the Italian investment fund Charme bought the venerable Scottish brand early last year, management has sought to increase Ballantyne’s ready-to-wear offerings without negating its famous argyle sweaters or its intrinsic Englishness. No worry there, with artichoke-print silk blouses and dachshunds cuddling up on V-neck sweaters. The company’s little argyle knits may have had “Nobody’s Perfect” embroidered on the front, but the collection sure came close to girly flawlessness.
“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