Azzedine Alaïa's Couture Comeback

By: Valeria Ramos

If you're familiar with Tunisian born designer Azzedine Alaïa, you'd recognize his couture collections for their rich fabrics, impeccable details and powerful silhouettes.

In 2011, Alaïa retired from couture, following an eight year break from designing, much to the fashion world's dismay. Several years and seasons later, Alaïa has made a return to the catwalk this month with a fall couture collection that has got everyone buzzing. 

photos via wwd

Leather, printed fur and pleated skirts were featured throughout the collection, and the models sported saran wrapped headdresses, with none other than Naomi Campbell leading the pack. 

Very rarely do we see designers in the fashion industry who work like Alaïa - at a leisurely and inconsistent pace. With an interest in quality and content over sales and public opinion, Alaïa is a designer known for doing his own thing on his own time. 

Former editor-in-chief of French Marie Claire, Catherine Lardeur, shared that Alaïa's work ethic and creative intentions are what make him stand out from the pack of top designers around the world.

In an interview with Crowd Magazine, Lardeur stated, "Designers nowadays do not create anything, they only make clothes so people and the press will talk about them. Alaïa remains the king. He is smart enough to not care about having people talk about him. He only holds fashion shows when he has something to show, on his own time frame."

With a succesful career spanning over 30 years, Alaïa has remained true to his aesthetic and design process while still maintaining a relevance and adaptability to current fashion trends. 

"Fame has not changed him at all," shared longtime friend Naomi Campbell in an interview with The Independent "He still works the same way he did when he started. He has to look at every pattern. He still goes over everything; every single thing. He doesn't let anything go without having looked at it and restitched it and repined it," she said.

One aspect of this collection that most intrigued me personally was the cohesion of each look from top to bottom. The shoe choice played a major role in this, as the boots were actually created in collaboration with Salvatore Ferragamo specifically for Alaïa's collection. 

With a majority of good reviews and press following his comeback collection (not that he cares), it is clear that after all these years Alaïa still has his finger on the pulse of the fashion world and will continue to design and create at his own pace. For me, the inconsistency of Alaïa's shows reflects positively on his creative intent, and only makes his work that much more exciting.