“This collection is about simplicity and purity,” wrote Pieter Mulier of his latest Alaïa outing, which was unveiled in a series of intimate salon-style shows held inside the brand’s Rue de Marignan boutique. Sandwiched between haute couture collections taking place across Paris, the designer’s ready-to-wear stands out for its sculptural elegance, for its intimacy, and its ability to strike an emotional cord, as Mulier continues to pay respect to the codes of Azzedine whilst pushing the maison forward.
Mulier built the collection around a single yarn, merino wool, and explained backstage he’d worked with only a handful of ongoing collaborators of the maison to develop bespoke fabrics. He called it “reducing to an essence” in a quest for design freedom; how restriction allows for great innovation.
There was plenty to marvel at here. How about the artfully-draped, plissé frocks and ballooned trousers, made from thin, layers of organza, which moved like jellyfish floating underwater? Or those bandeau dresses, hugging the frame in a way only Alaïa knows how to achieve, constructed from a 3D-printed belt that snakes the models frame before clipping into place?
The collection was “based on the curve, on the circle,” wrote Mulier, “the curves of women, and circles of friends, of chosen family, an idea essential to the essence of Alaïa”. Dotted throughout were elegant coats and animal-print dresses that came with shaggy, puffball hemlines and sleeves, while a standout fluffy, tiered coat looked like the most delicious sweet treat. It was delightful in every sense.
Photography courtesy of Alaïa.