Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
Looking back at the two calendars in the Paris events this fashion month, there was one show in particular that we wanted to share with you here: the ALAÏA WS22 (winter/spring) street show conducted under the artistic direction of Pieter Mulier, who made his debut in the role.
For Belgian designer Mulier, having autonomy and freedom to follow his intuition without abiding by the expectations of the fashion establishment is evident in the way he combines material and immaterial elements in his work. In some circumstances, this kind of freedom is built into the foundations of the fashion house. To ALAÏA’s luck, the timeless work of Azzedine Alaïa (1935-2017) has fallen into the faultless hands of Mulier to continue his legacy.
Words can’t describe the appeal of a solid relationship between ready-to-wear and couture. For the Alaïa-Mulier crossover, the prospect of Mulier revamping the archive of a fashion house seems both brilliant and understated. His decision to open up the archive and respond to Alaïa’s work has resulted in an outstanding fusion between the two designers; neither has been reduced to simply embellish the other’s work, and both styles preserve and retain Maison ALAÏA’s indestructible design values.
When a design director is hired to rewrite an archive at a fashion house, it tends to cause a media frenzy. On the contrary, when Pieter Mulier took up his position at Maison Alaïa, it brought out a kindness in the media response, the same kindness its founder instilled in the company, long ago.
Mulier’s takeover of the master’s premises – Azzedine Alaïa’s Rue de Moussy in the Marais – feels both respectful and daring. For Maison Alaïa’s WS2022 collection, Mulier added a twist to the ergonomic shapes of his predecessor, and introduced empowering tailoring, hooded silhouettes, and drapery evocative of Alaïa’s Mediterranean heritage. The addition of stonewashed denims emphasized how impactful democratized couture techniques can be. The footwear highlight was the heeled mules in patent white leather, which leave the wearer’s sole partially exposed due to a hollow carved out of the heel.
Listening to the percussive sounds of musician Nicolas Godin (Air), the show conjured up images of a family enjoying a late summer night on the seafront. Showcased in front of the Parisian headquarters, the collection is entirely dedicated to celebrating the signature ALAÏA silhouette, a feature that we will never tire of.
Winter-Spring 2022 is Pieter Mulier’s first season for the ALAÏA family, proficiat!
See our favorite looks here!
Marcelo Horacio Maquieira Piriz
Video © Courtesy of Pr