This brisk and pretty show – with a gust of sportif and a smattering of shine – blunted the aggravation of its inexplicable timing on a Sunday afternoon more than two weeks after the close of the international fashion circuit.
While Parisians were out brunching and taking advantage of fine weather and Sunday shopping hours in the Marais district, Azzedine Alaïa loyalists packed into his headquarters to witness his take on athletic style, merged with shapes from the Sixties and groovy optical prints.
Zippered blousons, swingy tennis skirts and plunging swimsuit bodices felt like new territory for the exacting designer, who replaced the leisure in ath-leisure with glamour, paving bodycon dresses with silver studs or jet beds and boxy tanks with crystals. He tempered the volume at the hips and the signature skater flare of his skirts, which is looking dated.
Flat shoes and sandals in hole-punched leather – and hair wound up in laces, like ballerinas during rehearsal – heightened the active allure of the collection.
A series of gently flaring shifts with bars of color seemed liked a new take on Yves Saint Laurent’s famous Mondrian dresses, a comparison Alaïa rejected backstage, saying he designs without references, “the same way I always have.”
Crisp white blouses and jersey jumpsuits came with ballooning bishop sleeves, bang in line with a big spring trend.
“I loved it,” Melissa George said after the show. She flicked through the camera roll on her phone to show Alaïa holding her infant son, Raphael, who has accompanied her for fittings, sitting on the designer’s lap while he sketches. “Now I want to bring my second to meet the master,” she said, referring to her 10-month-old.
The Australian actress just wrapped “The Butterfly Tree,” in which she plays a burlesque dancer who is the object of a father and son’s affections. George said she rehearsed to the hilt, even though her character is “not a very good dancer.”
“But I wanted her to be the best she could be,” she said with a smile.