Fashion Updates | luxury

The Seine River becomes the bridge for Alaïa’s refined luxury

Published: July 22, 2023
Author: Fashion Value Chain

After five nights of violence and unrest in France, the off-calendar fashion shows on Sunday, July 2 – the day before Paris Haute Couture Week – faced uncertainty and concerns about their relevance in a turbulent social climate. The security risks associated with organizing large-scale events were also at the forefront. Despite some calming of the riots in the French capital the previous night, festivals and concerts had been cancelled over the weekend.

Amidst this uncertain backdrop, Celine’s fashion show and subsequent party were cancelled just a few hours before showtime. Creative director Hedi Slimane stated that holding a fashion show in Paris would be insensitive and inappropriate given the situation. Additionally, the timing of Celine’s show would have made it difficult for guests to attend both their show and the Alaïa show, which was scheduled just 30 minutes prior.

The other two fashion houses on the Sunday agenda, however, chose to proceed with their shows. Patou showcased Guillaume Henry’s latest collection at the Wagram concert hall, while Alaïa had an ambitious plan to gather around 200 guests in an outdoor setting at sunset. The pedestrian runway of Léopold-Sédar-Senghor, which connects Quai Anatole France to the Tuileries Garden, was transformed into a temporary podium to showcase Belgian designer Pieter Mulier’s creations.

Similar to Louis Vuitton’s recent show on the Pont Neuf, the Seine River served as a witness to the event. However, the atmosphere was tense, unlike the night of Pharrell Williams’ debut. Closed to the general public, the runway attracted the attention of bewildered tourists and the quays reflected a calmer ambiance than usual. Few locals were seen strolling, and the terraces of the “péniches” operated at half capacity.

Amidst the city’s sombre atmosphere, Alaïa’s show offered a moment of refined elegance that left a lasting impression on the guests. The collection embraced the concept of ‘quiet luxury’ and showcased a timeless, sophisticated wardrobe with noble fabrics and powerful elegance. Leather played a significant role, with long coats, short double-breasted jackets, pencil skirts paired with corset-style tops, and structured long-sleeved dresses with puffed sleeves. The collection also featured a range of accessories, including long gloves and minimalist handbags.

Mulier’s collection paid homage to the late fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa with its precise lines and unique style. It celebrated the purity of women’s bodies through alluring, fitted dresses, tailored pencil skirts, and hourglass silhouettes. The collection embraced sobriety with touches of relaxed sensuality, incorporating transparent fabrics and latex dresses. The color palette consisted of white, black, and various shades of brown, with accents of mustard, orange, light blue, and even red. Traditional elements like classic collars and fur stoles added a timeless touch.

Mulier was met with applause as he made his appearance, and the models, including Irina Shayk, Mariacarla Boscono, and Vittoria Ceretti, gathered beneath the bridge on one of the quays. The collection was a testament to Alaïa’s legacy and left a lasting impression on the captivated audience.

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