Naomi Campbell on the catwalkAzzedine Alaia show, Runway, Fall Winter 2017, Haute Couture Fashion Week, Paris, France - 05 Jul 2017

INNER CIRCLE: Azzedine Alaïa’s couture show on Wednesday — the first by the house in six years — sparked special memories for Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Farida Khelfa, who joined the likes of Daphne Guinness, Nicolas Ghesquière and Stephen Jones in the front row for the event, held at the designer’s Marais headquarters.

“It’s a very special place here at Azzedine’s,” said Bruni-Sarkozy recalling “shows here with all the girls, and days and days spent here, sometimes for fittings, sometimes just hanging out.” The singer said she has a new album due out on Oct. 6, “and I’ll be coming to America to promote it.”

A few rows down, Jean-Paul Goude, who was catching up with Patrick Demarchelier, at one point pausing, mesmerized, to stroke the photographer’s feral eyebrows, also shared his personal memories of working with Alaïa.

“I remember when I was living with Farida, one of my great loves, we hung out a lot together and I was very inspired by the fact that he was not only Azzedine Alaïa but that he was from the other side of the Mediterranean, like Farida, and that fascinated me,” said Goude, who revealed he’s working on a capsule for the Spanish clothing label Desigual. “You’ll recognize it immediately, it really looks like something out of a commercial of mine, so I don’t know if it’s sellable.”

Fashion curator and historian Olivier Saillard, who in January will join J.M. Weston as artistic, image and culture director, shared some color on what we can expect from him in his new role. “I prefer old shoes, from the Thirties. For example, I asked J.M. Weston for these, their Le Chasse model from the Thirties,” he said looking down at his feet. “I have always thought, you can dress in different ways, but the most important thing is to have nice shoes.”

Saillard said he plans to continue staging ephemeral exhibitions like the one currently showing at Florence’s Palazzo Pitti, “but I want to focus on my performances alongside my role at J.M. Weston.” A performance around his first creative effort for the house is planned for next June, he said, adding: “It won’t be a new collection in the conventional sense. My first step will be to focus on the very classic shoes they used to do in the past. Some of them have not been reproduced, others are still produced.”

Another footwear house received a special commission from Alaïa for his show, meanwhile. Salvatore Ferragamo sent out a release after the event revealing that it had been contacted by the designer for a special series based on the iconic Indiana pump boot in stretch cotton created by the house’s namesake founder in 1925.

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