One of the designers who, quite literally, shaped my impressionable younger self back in the 80’s was the original designer of the now-ubiquitous ‘bandage’ dress…no, not Hervé Léger…but Azzedine Alaïa. The designer dressed every iconic Supermodel of that decade, from Naomi Campbell, to Cindy Crawford, to Christy Turlington, to Linda Evangelista. But what I especially liked about Alaïa was his background as a sculptor, which explained the sleek body-consciousness, as well as the tactile qualities, of his work.
Late last year, while Ito & I were preparing for a trip to Paris for my birthday, I was excited to find out that a retrospective on the designer was opening at the newly renovated Museé de la Mode in the Palais Galliera at the time we would be there. This gave me the perfect opportunity to see the clothes up close and to appreciate the strength in the simplicity of his designs. I particularly loved how his clothes unabashedly celebrated the female form, following every curve or subtly emphasizing it with defined waves or unexpected texture.
If there’s anything that never fails to give me a thrill, it’s great fashion design that manages to transcend trends and move effortlessly from the past into the future. (Photographs were not allowed, but of course we had to sneak a few shots–how could we not???)