Alaïa

5 things To Know About Alaïa’s Intimacy-Driven SS23 Show

5 things To Know About Alaïa’s Intimacy-Driven SS23 Show

“It’s about femininity and a sexuality that’s both rough and elegant at the same time,” star designer Pieter Mulier told Vogue about how he’s modernizing Alaïa for a new generation. Here, five things to know about his latest empowering collection.

It was intimate in every way
Photo: Courtesy of Vogue.co.uk
It’s all about intimacy at Alaïa. For his third show since taking the helm as creative director, Pieter Mulier opened the doors to what will become the maison’s new flagship store on Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré and created a series of narrow runways that had guests up-close and personal with his looks. “Let’s put our phone down,” he wrote in his usual self-penned letter, placed on every seat, and while no one did, the sentiment was on-brand. So was the collection that unfolded: a tactile, body-conscious and consistently sensual demonstration of the codes of Azzedine Alaïa seen through the present-day kaleidoscope of Mulier.

It was shapewear 2.0
Photo: Courtesy of Vogue.co.uk

“It’s still about taking the codes of Azzedine and bringing them to a new generation. It’s about femininity and a sexuality that’s both rough and elegant at the same time,” Mulier said after a show defined by its tactile base layers: tight, soft, translucent cashmere body suits that created a foundation for almost everything else that fashioned his looks. “Sometimes clothes can be very restrictive, but these are literally like bodysuits. I told the knitwear team, I want something bodycon that’s not viscose, but is highly stretchy and comfortable.” The impact felt astutely relevant in a fashion world increasingly interested in the shapewear that was always a natural part of Alaïa’s expression. This, of course, was the superior answer to recent interpretations.
It featured an illustrious cast
Photo: Courtesy of Vogue.co.uk

“It’s about purity: silhouettes that are so simple,” Mulier said. “That’s why I opened with four silhouettes that looked so simple. They’re so sexy, but they’re covered three times. It’s three layers. She has a body, an underbody and a skirt.” The idea permeated the collection, even when volumes magnified in huge cocoonish overcoats, poncho-like scarf coats, and the biker jackets and cocktail dress hybrids that brought a certain ’80s sensibility to proceedings. It reached a climax when Linda Spierings – an Alaïa legend – walked the show to a spontaneous applause, followed by a cast that included Mariacarla Boscono and Doutzen Kroes with a perm.
Draping was key
Photo: Courtesy of Vogue.co.uk

When it came to the leather tied to Alaïa, Mulier expressed himself through draping inspired by the founder’s first show. “1984. I’m obsessed with the first show. Not many people know it. And it was basically draping with viscose – he invented that thread in Italy – and draping with leather. Many of these skirts come from him. It’s a perfect drape. I always wanted to drape, but I never draped in my previous jobs. I don’t want to say ‘goddess’, because I don’t like the word, but it’s really about empowering.”
Mulier gave us leg heels and ankle rings
Photo: Courtesy of Vogue.co.uk

In the shoe department, Mulier introduced a heel sculpted in the shape of a woman’s legs, which had audiences’ eyes peeled. “It’s a vintage shoe from Azzedine. In 1992, he did 12 pairs with the same heel. It’s quite famous. It’s black lacquered with a red sole. It never showed. It was for backstage. There are photos on Stephanie Seymour. We took it and made it into a heel for now.” The heel played tag with Yeti boots adorned with a big metal ring, which also appeared on the sleeves of coats. “It made me think of an astronaut when we developed it, but it didn’t come out like that,” Mulier smiled.
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk
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The 15 Best Looks from Pieter Mulier’s Second Show for Alaïa

The 15 Best Looks from Pieter Mulier’s Second Show for Alaïa

Alaïa FW22
Pieter Mulier unveiled his second collection for the storied house of Azzedine Alaïa off-schedule on Sunday, earning a standing ovation for his work. With the aim of keeping the signature house codes intact while adding a bit of himself to the collection, Mulier’s designs struck a balance between appealing to both, the younger and highbrow generations.

First seen in the creative director’s debut, mermaid and peplum hemlines were further exaggerated while the bell-bottoms were derived from the late Tunisian couturier’s Spanish skirts from 1982 and 1988. The collection was also big on tailoring which was important to Mulier, as seen in the slightly oversized coats and tuxedos in stark contrast to the figure-hugging catsuits and bodycon dresses that are making a comeback. The knitted dresses with face coverings were special in that they were a result of the fashion house’s collaboration with the Picasso Foundation and Mulier’s way of paying tribute to Alaïa who was close to the Spanish artist’s family. Each one mirrored the bottle-like ceramics Picasso created in the 1940s, in embroidery that took over the entire dress.
Bold, art-like, and pragmatic, the collection lends a hand to Mulier’s woman, which is one who dares to accept it. “You can put a skirt on it and style it down,” shared Mulier with Vogue. “We showed it on these beautiful women… they can. And if you want, you can.” Take a look at the best pieces from the Alaïa Fall 2022 collection below.
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Join Yasmine Sabri in Embracing This Summer’s Boldest Trend with These Animal Print Dresses

Join Yasmine Sabri in Embracing This Summer’s Boldest Trend with These Animal Print Dresses

Animal print — a trend that emerges stronger than ever just when you think it is no longer around — is making a bold return for summer. Spotted all over the 2021 spring/summer runways, from zebra prints at Bottega Veneta and leopard prints at Tom Ford, the pattern holds plenty of style potential. Unconvinced? Take a look at Egyptian actor Yasmine Sabri’s leopard print maxi dress which made a strong case for the trend taking stars and It-girls by storm.
Wearing the pattern is all about the colors and the way the pieces are styled. While minimalists can add a statement patterned accessory to elevate their outfits, maximalists can go big by mixing and matching different prints. As it crops up nearly every season, it’s safe to say that animal prints are an investment and fashion risk all in one. If Sabri’s holiday look has inspired you, scroll through our edit of 10 animal print dresses you can embrace the trend in.
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5 Things to Know About Pieter Mulier’s First Show for Alaïa

5 Things to Know About Pieter Mulier’s First Show for Alaïa

Imaan Hammam. Photo: Courtesy of Alaïa
“It’s for my generation to explain to the younger generation what Alaïa is, and bring back sensuality, tailoring, and the ease it had in the ’80s,” Pieter Mulier told British Vogue of his fabulously democratic opening gambit at the storied house. Here, five things to know about Alaïa’s new look.
Photo: Courtesy of Alaïa
Pieter Mulier wants to democratise Alaïa
It wasn’t the pandemic that made Pieter Mulier move his first Alaïa show outside, into the street by the maison’s Le Marais ateliers, at 9 o’clock in the evening. “I would like to make it democratic again,” the Belgian designer said after the show. “In the ’80s, a lot of women bought Alaïa, especially in America. And then it became a little bit more gallery, more museum, more distant. That’s why we did the show in the street: to literally bring it to the street so you can see these pure lines, which are, in the end, simple sweaters and leggings that everybody wears.” Between Mulier’s tight, lustrous red or white evening dresses, plumed fishtail skirts that moved like waterfalls, and fringed monochromatic bandeaus, “simple” may not be the word that came to mind. But, as Mulier said, ease was always the magic ingredient to Azzedine Alaïa’s inimitable sense of sensuality.
Photo: Courtesy of Alaïa
The show was a new exercise in the grammar of Alaïa
Making women feel good is a feat often attributed to the Tunisian designer, who died in 2017. Alaïa did so, not through the sweats and sneakers that somehow define comfort today, but by constructing elegance through ease. In that ethos, Mulier detected an immediate contemporary relevance. “I wanted the first collection to be a white platform of the codes that are important for Alaïa, to explain it to the new generation, who doesn’t know it, unfortunately. It’s for my generation to explain to the younger generation what it is, and bring back sensuality, tailoring, and the ease it had in the ’80s.” While many young people will recognize the signatures of Azzedine Alaïa’s work – the hooded silhouette, the bandelette dress, the sculpted knitted skirt, the laser cut belts and boots – few perhaps see how to translate that into a real-life wardrobe. And so, Mulier set out to do just that.
Photo: Courtesy of Alaïa
Mulier almost left fashion
The designer was in talks with Alaïa’s parent company, Richemont, for nearly a year before taking the job. “I thought I wouldn’t do fashion anymore. After New York, I thought it was finished for me. I didn’t want to do it anymore: sneakers, sportswear, all of it,” he said, referring to his former job at Calvin Klein with Raf Simons, who attended his Alaïa debut. Mulier, who studied architecture, started interning for Simons’s eponymous label in 2002, and expanded his career working for him at Jil Sander and Christian Dior. When their New York adventure came to an end, he took a long break. “I talked to a few houses, but it was never on a human scale. I wanted something small.” Mulier found his answer in Alaïa, a house that always did things on its own terms, outside of fashion schedules, trends, and scrutiny. Now, Mulier’s challenge is to retain those values but create a connection to the elusive young generations.
Photo: Courtesy of Alaïa
The collection fused functionality and sexuality
Mulier’s proposition for the post-pandemic youth seemed tailored to that ambiguous sweet spot many are dealing with at a moment in time when dressing up feels foreign and fantastic all at once. You could find proposals for that sensibility in Mulier’s hybridized stocking-leggings – casual but very much not – or in the knitted dresses that twisted around the body as an alternative to the primness of a waisted dress. Sure, there was plenty of evening pizzazz, but at its core, his Alaïa collection was about reintroducing the founder’s codes to an everyday wardrobe. Take, for instance, those gladiator sandals feathered from a single piece of suede, his knitted mesh dresses, or the oversized shiny raincoats with lace trims; all embodied by functionality disguised in a big fashion statement.
Photo: Courtesy of Alaïa
Alaïa won’t turn into an influencer brand
In so many ways, Mulier’s Alaïa debut seemed made for a fashion show culture ingrained in social media, where the Amazon cast, high-octane sexuality, and pronounced glamour he put on his narrow outdoor runway (a photo op in itself) are sure to go viral. But Mulier said he isn’t going to pander to that market. “I don’t care about social media. I am on it, but I don’t think this is a house for social media. We talk about sexuality and how sex works on social media, so I hope it does something new for social media, but it’s not made for social media. It’s made for real life.” Don’t expect to see the usual celebrity suspects of that arena in Alaïa looks any time soon, either. “I said no to everybody so far. It’s such a small brand. It’s like an artwork. And I want to take care of it. The moment you throw it on It-girls or big influencer girls, it makes no sense any more, for me,” Mulier said. “We’ll build a family slowly, but I’m in no rush.”
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Originally published on Vogue.co.uk

Paris Hails a Bombastic New Shopping Address with the Reopening of La Samaritaine

Paris Hails a Bombastic New Shopping Address with the Reopening of La Samaritaine

Inside La Samaritaine – Paris. Courtesy Karla Otto
Before French President Emmanuel Macron met with Justin Bieber and his wife Hailey, at the Elysées Palace in Paris, he was alongside LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault to cut the proverbial ribbon on one of the most beloved department stores in all of France. The reopening of la Samaritaine—affectionately referred to as “la Samar” by Parisians—has finally occurred, 16 years after closing for renovations.
La Samaritaine Paris. Photo by Matthieu Salvaing. Courtesy Karla Otto
The department store is featured in a 1907 steel frame and glass Art Nouveau building by Belgian architect Frantz Jourdain that overlooks the Seine on the right bank in the 1st arrondissement. It is listed as a historical monument by the French Ministry of Culture since 1990. La Samaritaine houses the French art de vivre, which translates to shopping, eating, and culture. No less than X fashion houses are curated to offer a very French mix and match style–think Alaïa, Loewe, Alexander McQueen, Chloé, Chanel, but also regional names like Shourouk and Vanina are alongside a blend of Scandi-cool brands like Ganni, Rotate, and Rains. Meanwhile, avant-garde Parisian sneaker brand Shinzo Paris offers a unique concept featuring 100 m2 of exclusive, ethical, and responsible sneakers, each one fulfilling one of their five criteria: local, recycled, vegan, organic, or reconditioned. Look closely and shoppers will see there are many limited editions and previews available to La Samaritaine along with what is the biggest beauty space in Europe exclusively featuring Dolce & Gabbana Beauty, Helena Rubinstein, Clé de Peau Beauté, SK-II, Fragonard, Orveda, and Sulwhasoo. There are also five beauty spaces including a spa and a house of perfume.
La Samaritaine beauty space. Photo by Matthieu Salvaing. Courtesy Karla Otto
There are 12 spaces to eat everything from caviar to burgers, while books by Assouline and a pop-up Perrotin Gallery will seduce tourists and Parisians alike. Take the elevators to the top to witness the spectacular Art Nouveau peacock fresco restored to its former glory. At 3.5 meters high and 115 meters long, it is the work of the architect Jourdain’s son Francis. Alternatively, shoppers can also climb the 270 original oak steps . The railing has been restored with 16000 gold leaves. The artist Francis was also commissioned by his father to decorate the store facade with enameled Volvic lava that serve to soften the structure. Adding a touch of contemporary architecture are the glass waves forming the facade of the Rivoli street side designed by Japanese architects of the Sanaa agency.
For a lucky few, after a full day of shopping and sightseeing, La Samaritaine is adjoined by a Cheval Blanc Paris hotel, complete with a Dior Spa.
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Who is Pieter Mulier, the New Creative Director of Alaïa?

Who is Pieter Mulier, the New Creative Director of Alaïa?

Pieter Mulier. Photo: Pierre Debusschere

The name Pieter Mulier will be familiar to true fashion obsessives. The Belgian designer has had a hand in some of the most influential collections of the past 20 years, having started his career as an intern at Raf Simons’s eponymous brand in the early aughts and risen to become Simons’s righthand at Jil Sander and Christian Dior. When Simons was appointed the chief creative officer of Calvin Klein in 2016, Mulier was installed as his number two, with the title of creative director of womenswear.
But for many outside the industry, Mulier’s name and work might be less known. Maybe that makes him a perfect fit for Alaïa, founded by the Tunisian designer Azzedine Alaïa in Paris in 1980. The maison has long done things its own way, shying away from the fashion calendar and only showing a collection when it was deemed ready by Alaïa himself. Fans of the 2014 documentary Dior and I, which chronicled the making Simons’s first Dior Haute Couture collection, will find in Mulier a similar attention to detail and care.
Here, a breakdown of everything you need to know about Alaïa’s new creative director.
Mulier Isn’t Formally Trained in Fashion Design
Born in Belgium, Mulier studied at the Institut Saint-Luc in Brussels, a university that has produced an astounding amount of comic book artists and illustrators. Mulier, instead, studied architecture. His mentor Raf Simons studied industrial design at Genk’s LUCA School of Arts.
Raf Simons and Pieter Mulier take a bow after the Calvin Klein fall 2017 runway show in New York. Photo: Getty Images

Mulier Is Really, Truly Simons’s Right Hand
Thanks to Instagram, we know that Mulier started interning at Raf Simons amid the making of the brand’s fall 2002 Virginia Creeper collection. Since then, Mulier has been a constant presence by Simons’s side. He became the brand’s head designer by 2003, overseeing its menswear collections until 2010. From 2006 to 2009, he consulted at Jil Sander, where Simons was creative director, joining Jil Sander full-time in 2010. When Simons left Jil Sander in 2012, Mulier went with him; they took up residence at Christian Dior less than a year later.
“It evolved from being colleagues to a friendship now. I always think it’s like a ping-pong game,” Mulier told Another magazine in 2015 of his relationship with Simons. “He taught me a lot about art—you know his references are a lot of art and architecture—and luckily this is also my background, so this helps, and I think it works in both ways.”
But Mulier Did Not Join Prada With Raf Simons
When the pair’s stint at Calvin Klein ended in 2018, they returned to Antwerp. But while Simons worked on his eponymous label, Mulier seemed to be recalibrating. When the former was named Miuccia Prada’s co-collaborator at Prada in February 2020, the latter was not part of the deal, to the surprise of industry insiders. Many assumed a plum job was on the horizon, though it was Mulier’s partner, Matthieu Blazy, who made headlines with his appointment as the womenswear creative director at Bottega Veneta. Maybe we didn’t have our ears close enough to the ground: After nearly two years at home in Antwerp, Mulier is assuming one of the most coveted jobs in Paris, stepping into the shoes of a true master.
Read Next: Supermodel Cindy Bruna Remembers Her Most Cherished Memories with Azzedine Alaïa
Originally published on Vogue.com

Supermodel Cindy Bruna Remembers Her Most Cherished Memories with Azzedine Alaïa

Supermodel Cindy Bruna Remembers Her Most Cherished Memories with Azzedine Alaïa

Cindy Bruna wears Azzedine Alaïa. Photo: Instagram/ @maisonalaia

Since his passing in 2017, Tunisian couturier Azzedine Alaïa has been immortalized through his iconic brand and genius designs. Over the last three years, some of the biggest names in fashion have paid tribute to the creative maestro. One of the latest stars to honor the great designer is French-Italian supermodel, Cindy Bruna, who recently celebrated Maison Alaïa’s new Editions collection by starring in a video, sharing her fondest memories of working with the King of Cling.
The three-minute video, developed by global e-tailer Net-a-Porter and titled “First Time…with Alaïa”, saw Vogue Arabia December cover star Bruna feature alongside British model Yasmin LeBon and Chinese actor Zhu Zhu, as the trio discussed their experiences working with Alaïa.
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“This first piece I ever got from Alaïa was a T-shirt, that he gave me when I was 17,” says Bruna. “Obviously, I still have that piece. I just love it. It was really special because it was a gift from him,” she adds.
One of the 26-year-old model’s first jobs was with Alaïa. The Tunisian couturier took Bruna under his wing as she first stepped into the modeling world. When asked about her favorite memory of working with Alaïa, Bruna noted an encounter in his kitchen as one of the best moments she shared with the designer. “It was his jokes and the realness of the moment that we were all sharing together. Spending a week with him and his team and all the models, it was really, really precious,” she said.
“I can really say that he was the one who made me believe in myself, even when I was actually doubted in the model industry,” she added. “That gave me the strength to finish school, move to Paris, and start my career.”
The late Azzedine Alaïa and Carla Sozzani. Photo: Sylvie Delpech

Alaïa passed away on November 18, 2017, but has left behind an everlasting legacy, with his creations still adored across the world by celebrities including Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Kate Moss, and his long-time friend Naomi Campbell. Continuing the designer’s work, Masion Alaïa recently released its Editions SS21 wardrobe, recreated from the archives between 1981-2017, through a visual dance masterpiece.
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Alaïa Reveals Its Editions SS21 Wardrobe Through A Visual Masterpiece

Alaïa Reveals Its Editions SS21 Wardrobe Through A Visual Masterpiece

A still from the artistic dance of Alaïa’s Editions SS21 wardrobe performed by Hajiba Fahmy. Photo: Courtesy of Alaïa

The house of fashion maestro Azzedine Alaïa has just revealed its SS21 Editions series of cult pieces, in honor of the late Tunisian designer. Embracing nostalgia, the collection has been recreated from the archives between 1981-2017, and was presented through an artistic dance performance.
Maison Alaïa‘s latest wardrobe was introduced by Godmother of the Editions: supermodel Naomi Campbell who was joined by fellow model Karlie Kloss on the brand’s Instagram page, as they discussed the timeless silhouettes that have been reimagined for the new collection. The artistic performance was then shared across the Maison’s Instagram and YouTube platforms.

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A visual masterpiece, the dance presentation of the collection, which is the first ever in Alaïa’s history, was performed by French-Moroccan talent Hajiba Fahmy. Described by the Maison as a “force of nature”, Fahmy is a creative star in her own right. For the past five years she has been working with Béyonce, joining the singer on her world tours, including her famous Coachella performance. The dancer and choreographer wore an elegant Alaïa creation as she performed the dance.
Screening in Dubai of Alaïa’s Editions SS21 wardrobe including a special display of three Editions looks. Photo: Courtesy of Alaïa

Live streamed from the cultural arts center La Gaité Lyrique in Paris, the powerful performance highlighted women at the heart of the iconic label, and literally shone a spotlight on the intricate details and exquisite craftsmanship of the SS21 Editions wardrobe.
Alaia corset handbag

The performance was screened at the Nasab Rooftop in Dubai to a host of special guests, including UAE-based influencer Rania Fawaz, Egyptian actor Salma Abu Deif and Lebanese-Iranian fashion journalist Diala Makki. As part of the event, a special display of three Editions looks were showcased on mannequins. Guests were also given an exclusive first look at the new Corset handbags, which are inspired by the iconic Alaïa belt silhouette.
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12 Azzedine Alaïa Quotes to Live By

12 Azzedine Alaïa Quotes to Live By

Azzedine Alaïa photographed by Patrick Demarchelier. Courtesy of Azzedine Alaïa

It’s hard to believe that it has been three years since the sad passing of the beloved Tunisian couturier Azzedine Alaïa. The designer passed away at the age of 82 on November 18, 2017, in Paris. Nicknamed the King of Cling, Alaïa was, and is, a legend in the fashion industry. So renowned for his stunning form-flattering designs, it’s said that models would refuse their booking fees, and instead asked to be paid in the clothes on their backs. Aside from his superb design talent, the couturier was also full of wisdom. His insight into life and fashion reflect his intellect, passion, and fierce independence. Here, we remember the iconic designer by reflecting on his most quotable quips below.
On fashion:“I make clothes; women make fashion.”
On being free:“I refuse to do things that I don’t want to. I do what I want. I am free.”
On expectations:“A human being is not a machine. Especially when it comes to creating.”
On his obsession:“My obsession is to make women beautiful. When you create with that in mind, things can’t go out of fashion.”
On his favorite color:“I like black, because for me, it’s a very happy color.”
On his work ethic:“Perfection is never achieved, so you have to go on working.”
On the importance of seduction:“I think women should be seductive not triste. There’s enough sadness in life now without making women look sad, too.”
On the relevance of fashion:“Fashion will last forever. It will exist always. It will exist in its own way in each era.”
On his aversion to success:“As for success, I don’t care for it. It is a fragile thing.”
On his style:“I’ve been wearing Chinese clothes since I was 14. I can’t wear a suit. I’m small, and when I put on a suit, it’s not possible.”
On happiness:“You have to take things with a lot of laughter. I laugh with everyone, that way, I will be able to die happy.”
Read Next: 12 Of Azzedine Alaïa’s Best Red Carpet Fashion Moments

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