A homage to Alaïa – man, master, maison – and to femininity, which Azzedine Alaïa cherished and championed above all else. A celebration of the innate and eternal values of Alaïa, of the power of the hand, and instinctive creation.
The focus is the female body, the corporeal and physical, delineated in fabrics that, in their comfort and architecture, become a true second skin. A sensuality and sexuality evoked through material, silhouette and craft. An emphasis on the unparalleled skill of the ateliers, on creation as a creative act. A remembrance of the hand of Alaïa.
A return to foundations – back to the beginning to mark a new beginning. Leather, metal, knit, cotton, textiles used in unconventional silhouettes, unexpected occurrences. The codes of Alaïa. Embellishment is keyed into the fabrics of the clothes and accessories themselves, becoming an inherent part of their physicality. Complexity fused with simplicity, purity – hooded silhouettes and drapery evocative of Alaïa’s Mediterranean roots and his unparalleled knowledge of French couture. These hallmarks are unmistakable, coded into Alaia’s cultural identity.
Alaïa’s clothes are for the lives of women. The debut Alaïa show by Pieter Mulier takes place in the open on the Rue de Moussy, the home of the Maison since 1987. The streets of the Marais frame these clothes within the reality of now, alongside the gentle memory of the life of Azzedine Alaïa, who lived and worked here.
The soundtrack for the show is a collaboration, between Nicolas Godin (Air) and Alaïa, using the percussive bells embroidered onto couture gowns within the show. The music combines with that created by the passage of models during the show: the rhythms of bodies in motion, of women in life.
The Alaïa Maison has always had a very strong, almost carnal, relationship with artists.
Located in the heart of Paris, the emblematic ateliers on rue de Moussy are home to numerous works of art.
One of them, the bronze breast by César from 1966 was made at the height of the Pop Art period when he began his body moldings. The Pouce in 1965, was then followed by the Sein. The French sculptor moulded the breast of a Crazy Horse dancer.
For him, this vision captures the perfection of the female body. It is a territory, a fantastical island, a free form.
The sculpture, which is positioned in the courtyard of the Alaïa ateliers, made an immediate impression on Pieter Mulier upon joining the Maison. For his first collection at Alaïa, Pieter was inspired by César’s gesture: to dress the woman’s body with precision, poetry and modernity.
To embody her free beauty.
This work of art stood out as an obvious choice to mark Pieter’s first show for Alaïa. The Winter/Spring 22 presentation will take place on rue de Moussy, the heart of Alaïa.
With the help of the Fondation César, Pieter Mulier decided to reactivate an original engraving of the Sein by César designed by the artist in 1970 — to bring it back to life in the form of an invitation.
More than a simple motif, each invitation is a work of art, numbered and limited. Produced in the heart of Montparnasse in the Idem printing house, which has worked with legendary artists such as Picasso, Calder, Matisse and Léger since 1881, the invitation offers a vision shared by Pieter, César and the Alaïa Maison.
It symbolizes common values. Precision, modernity, and poetry dress women.
“The breast is really what speaks best of who they were, César and Azzedine. Two instincts. Two geniuses of the hand”.
Stéphanie Busuttil-Janssen, President of the César Foundation
Leading up to the presentation of the Winter/ Spring 22 collection, Pieter Mulier wanted to celebrate the emblematic shapes of the Alaïa heritage.
These archetypes form the very identity of the Alaïa Maison.
They are the matrix, its raw material.
Pieter envisaged bringing together the Alaïa icons — bodysuit, corset belt, corolla skirt, hood, jumpsuit among others — as a series of photographs.
These icons deserved the eye of an icon: Paolo Roversi.
Shooting the garments in his Paris studio, Studio Luce, he transformed fashion images into true masterpieces.
He considered light like a Flemish painter, arriving at chiaroscuro, shadow play and unexpected perspectives.
Thanks to a Japanese yarn with reflective properties, the clothes capture the light of Paolo Roversi. The female body becomes a sensual and sensory sculpture.
The clothes become the skin and the skin becomes the clothes.
Paolo Roversi’s eye, combined with Pieter’s creations, give the Alaïa legacy an unequalled dimension.
They are the Archetypes — each one a testament to how the woman’s body and the heritage of Alaïa are united and remain indivisible