More than 25,000 archive pieces are currently being organized at Azzedine Alaïa’s former residence on the Rue de Moussy, which is in the process of becoming a foundation honoring the late fashion designer’s legacy.
“We’re in possession of all the pieces he ever designed, as well as all the patterns,” said Caroline Fabre Bazin, the Parisian label’s studio director. “We have all the material to work on his heritage.”
All of Alaïa’s signatures — the embroidered jacquard dress, the nipped-in waist, the leather bra, the raffia cage skirt — were worked into the label’s spring 2020 collection, which was sweeter and lighter than previous efforts. Dominant tones were black, white and nude, with some occasional pops of color in the form of red knitted dresses and a kaleidoscopic leopard print on a clinging minidress.
The collection allowed for glimpses of Alaïa’s eye for garment construction: The pleats of a leather skirt, a riff on a piece designed in the Eighties, were held together by a thick belted waist, while movement was added on a black knitted dress thanks to diagonal ribbing running from shoulder to hem. The designer’s fascination with flamenco was visible on a long frilly dress with lace inserts, while new this season was the use of tulle in thin strips on a white cotton shirt.
Also presented were pieces from the Editions collection, exact re-creations of pieces from past collections, using the same fabrics, patterns and even manufacturers. Some were updated for current trends, like a tailored denim jacket whose extreme shoulder padding was deflated. All the items carry a label specifying the exact collection the original piece was taken from, with almost museum-like precision.