Azzedine Alaïa: Ready-to-wear SS17

There’s something nice about the way that Azzedine Alaïa marches to the beat of his own drum rather than chase the the traditional fashion circus. He shows only when he’s ready, a small gathering in his studio, and when all is over keeps quiet about any influences or inspirations he may have drawn from for what he’s just shown. There’s no press release to explain any concept or idea that may be behind his designs, he simply lets his work speak for itself. And there was a sweet innocence to the SS17 Azzedine Alaïa collection, with a touch of sportif chic. Could he be paying homage to that concept of sportswear in it’s 1920s vein? There was certainly an element of tennis dress to this in the flared silhouette of the short dresses and simple tank top shapes. This was a relaxed showing for him. Less insanely sexy glamazon, more a sweetly naive young woman. Working mainly with dresses, their shape felt less structured, softer somehow. The fabric seemed to move around the body rather than with it. Obviously, this being Alaïa though, that was an effect not achieved through the use of lighter fabrics, but move through the weave of his signature cloth and the way his masterful gift with a pair of scissors. He’s probably the only man who could take a piece of cardboard and with one swift move shape it into a light as air creation. The summery palette of whites, shot through with red and blue underscored the lightness of this collection, but that was probably as far as the sugariness went. After all, no likes it when things get too sweet. Studs, and more structured, almost Mondrian inspired read and black pieces, kept the steeliness, sense of strength that comes through in his work, right at the centre of this collection.