Saturday, April 27, 2013

Azzedine Alaia

    Fashion and design is not a simple thing to talk about. Everyone has their clear cut opinions of what makes something amazing or terrible. Many people who aren't very well versed in fashion will just say, ''Oh, I love Chanel!'', or Dior. These are amazing fashion houses, but when you don't look past the biggest brands, you can easily miss some amazing but not as well known designers, like Azzedine Alaia.
   Alaia's designs can be described as exotic, unusual, and ornate. The detailing is well put on. Many of his designs have very lush aspects, but he doesn't go overboard and turn it into a giant bear outfit. His early designs are the best, as with many brands, the designs are becoming a bit more toned down ( Chanel sneakers?). I don't really understand why fashion houses do this. They cheapen the clothes and/or shoes, but they don't cheapen the price. That isn't going to appeal to couture buyers, and no average person (me!) could afford it.
    My favorite Alaia outfit is one that's worn by Tilda Swinton in W's May 2013 issue. It's big, with exaggerated 19th century style hips. I'm pretty sure it doesn't include the organ misplacing whale bone corset, luckily! It's a plain blackish green, with a tent like skirt. I love designers who can make a whole new look but not just add a bunch of details and embroidery.
    Ruffles and layering are another component of most of Alaia's work. They're very subtle and don't look overdone. He can design beautiful, unique,  fun outfits, while making them wearable. I think some designers make outfits that are pretty much unwearable just for shock value. Like Alexander McQueens famous Armadillo shoes. I adore McQueen designs, but by looking at those shoes we can all agree every great designers has their moments. Another ''design'' element from Azzedine Alaia's clothing is their lack of ridiculous cleavage dresses. I hate those.
      Azzedine Alaia unfortunately does not have a website, and most of his ready to wear is sold on world wide high end specialty websites. A YouTube search will show his shows from the early two thousands.
     This video was the best one, in my opinion. It shows some of his best designs and really exemplifies the key parts of his design philosophy:

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