Crystal chandeliers. Traditional ballroom dancers. Same-sex ballroom dancers. Mini orchestra. Rufus in Judy mode. Another campy fragrance launch (men’s). Champagne for everyone. And oh, yes, beautiful clothes. Welcome to Paris!
Whether one loved or loathed the shtick, and there were naysayers, on Monday Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren showed a Viktor & Rolf collection that epitomized the wondrous possibilities of Paris fashion. Here, high chic, hyperbole and even silliness can coexist on the same runway, as can a lineup that runs from real to real couture to theatrical frolic or even folly.
Before the show, the designers said they were drawn to the disciplines of figure skating and ballroom dancing because those arenas seem superficial but require work and extreme control, elements the pair wanted to fuse in their collection. Thus, there were riffs on sheer with glitzed-up illusionwear, faux suitings zipped up the back like male skater getups, a too-kitschy star theme and one or two über-flounced frocks.
But there was so much more, in clothes that were classic, conservative even, but that displayed the designers’ hyperfocused imaginations and incredible skill. Theirs is a deft balancing of cut and decoration.
Most stunning, a complex fringe motif transformed the familiar — trenchcoat; goddess gown — into the extraordinary. The fringe then got scaled down for detailing on blouses and lean dresses. And there was ample smart tailoring, as in sleek coats worked in moody degradé. Finishing it all: strappy platforms atop enormous cut-crystal heels.
“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