Fashionably Late

Azzedine Alaïa Fall 2015

Azzedine Alaïa Fall 2015

Azzedine Alaïa refuses to be a slave to the fashion calendar, and so last Friday afternoon, two days after the official end of Paris Fashion Week, he began to present his Fall 2015 collection in a casual manner at his rue de Moussy headquarters. The delay is slight, but significant—creating some distance between Paris’s haute razzmatazz (front row sightings of North West and previews of Zoolander 2) and his masterfully cut women’s wear collection of curve-hugging knitwear and razor-sharp tailoring. Like Saint Laurent before him, Alaïa doesn’t set out to reinvent the wheel each season; he’s a wardrobe-builder who plays to his strengths. This season’s pieces played with prints, and drew inspiration from classic schoolgirl uniforms, with a few seductive twists. His cropped capes, which evoked the character Madeleine from Ludwig Bemelmans 1940s children’s book series, come in a scallop-printed black leather with either a fur collar or hand-painted fringe. And, although he is known for his use of fur and animal skins (Alaïa once lined a mink fur coat with more mink, and famously created a coat with an entire crocodile’s skin running down the back), his thick rib turtleneck dresses this season are paired with chubby jackets, covered in a constellation of sculpted faux fur. They are, in the words of Derek Zoolander, “really ridiculously good looking”—without a hint of hype.