Alaïa Winter-Spring 2024

Alaïa Winter/Spring 2024

July 3, 2023

In the hushed ethereal twilight of a Parisian summer evening, Pieter Mulier, summoned forth an unexpected vision on the iconic Léopold Sédar Senghor footbridge. The Alaïa Winter/Spring 2024 collection radiated an unmistakable aura of ’40s glamour, underscored by a playful provocativeness that firmly set Mulier’s name in the annals of the House of Alaïa.

The breeze kissed the Seine, causing barely a stir among the form-fitting garments. Fitted latex trench coats and feathery accessories shivered momentarily under its touch, but otherwise remained as still as statues. Their immovable devotion to the body’s curves, a tribute to the late Azzedine Alaïa’s “king of cling” title, hinted at a deeper narrative.

Mulier’s collection, like a masterfully shot Herb Ritts photograph, was characterized by an idealized, almost cinematic quality. His ensembles created a bold interpretation of vintage allure, embodying stern 1940s glamour while simultaneously highlighting the sensuous contours of the female form. It was a symphony of seamed leather, glossy latex, polished knitwear and unabashed skin.

The procession of models on the footbridge, confidently navigating its wooden slats in elevated pumps with dramatically arched heels, was a spectacular sight. Each figure was a living testament to Mulier’s mastery of sartorial architecture. Even the quirkily offbeat leather pillbox hats and the robust tailoring of the opening garments – commanding wool flannel coats and jackets with a dizzying array of buttons – didn’t detract from the showcase’s overall aesthetic cohesion.

In the backstage tumult beneath the bridge, Mulier revealed his inspiration for the show: time. “Alaïa Winter/Spring 2024 is about taking time for everything“, he said. This concept found expression in the meticulous execution of his designs – in the intimate intricacy of the closures, the complex positioning of leather on neoprene, and the careful moulding and seaming that resulted in breathtakingly tailored body casings.

Every dress bore the signature of a tailor’s hands. Mulier had also summoned the expertise of corset artisans to refine his bombshell silhouettes. The result? Clothes that adhered to and celebrated the body, showcasing the sensual power of femininity. As Mulier declared, “For a man, power comes from the shoulder. And for a woman, it’s more from the female curves“.

Invited guests, like Tracee Ellis Ross and Rita Ora, unfolded three-legged stools – innovative invites that doubled as seating – in designated spots. Their reactions were a testament to Mulier’s groundbreaking approach to immersive fashion. “The furniture that you can take home is genius”, Ora enthused, playfully testing out her chair.

The climax of the show was a series of gauzy tube dresses, adorned with dense hydrangea-like ruffles that burst forth from the hips – a fitting metaphor for the Alaïa Winter/Spring 2024 collection, which successfully accentuated female power through detailed craftsmanship and sartorial audacity.

In an era when fast fashion often prevails, Pieter Mulier’s work for Alaïa is a refreshing ode to the art of “taking time”. His skillful merger of form-fitting designs with classic glamour is a timely reminder of the intimate relationship between fashion and the human form. This innovative collection is a declaration of Mulier’s reverence for the art of fashion design, his respect for the heritage of the House of Alaïa, and his understanding of a woman’s relationship with her clothing.

The collection underscored the power of transformation. From the strong-shouldered opening coats that embodied empowerment to the more provocative body casings that celebrated the sensual, every piece told a story of transformation and adaptation. It was as if each garment in the Alaïa Winter/Spring 2024 collection was a chrysalis, ready to release a woman’s inner power.

The rhythm of time resonated in the show, not only in the meticulous detailing but also in the cyclical evolution of fashion itself. The show redefined notions of femininity and the ’40s glamour, repackaging them for the contemporary woman, while retaining the signature “cling” of Alaïa, a nod to the past.

The collection bridged the gap between eras, revealing the interconnectedness of fashion’s history and future. It was a testament to the cyclical nature of style – how past trends and aesthetics can be reimagined to suit the evolving fashion landscape.

Mulier’s take on the concept of time also underlined the importance of fashion as an individual journey. It championed the notion of investing time in oneself and one’s appearance, even in a world that often demands speed and instant gratification.

Concluding with a flourish of gauzy tube dresses, the show was a display of visual poetry. Each ruffle, meticulously designed to bloom on the hips like hydrangeas, seemed to echo Mulier’s sentiment: the power of women is derived from their femininity, their bodies, their curves.

The Alaïa Winter/Spring 2024 collection is an exploration of Alaïa’s legacy and a testament to Mulier’s innovative design ethos. It is a collection that asks the viewer to pause, to appreciate the timeless elegance of the past and the daring confidence of the present, all the while looking forward to the promise of the future.

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