Fashion

Alaïa RTW Spring 2022: The new generation steps forward

Pieter Mulier presented his collection for Alaïa. A breath of fresh air for the fashion house, which has not had a creative director since the death of its founder.
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ALAIA COLLECTION WINTER SPRING 22

When Azzedine Alaïa died in 2017, an era came to an end. But Alaïa left behind a path for the next generation, which is now being blazed anew. A challenge for all those who follow in his footsteps, because who could fill and design the aura of the Alaïa name, which lies as the perfect intersection between fashion and art, taking craftsmanship to a new level? 

Such a successor has been found in Pieter Mulier. As the next "captain" on the ship built by Alaïa, he works tirelessly with precision and dedication to create a vision that mixes emotion and joy. Whenever Pieter Mulier, who remains in the background, took the opportunity to make his statements, the fashion scene was thrilled. And he has now succeeded in doing so: Alaïa takes off for a new generation.

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Pieter Mulier

Pieter Mulier may not be a household name (yet), but he's the longtime right-hand man of an industry great who has had a major impact on fashion in recent years: Raf Simons. As Raf's colleague, whom he accompanied from Calvin Klein to Christian Dior, Mulier now stands alone in front of the curtain for the first time. Standing ovations came from Simons, who sat in the front row alongside Monica Bellucci and Farida Khelfa and was present for his friend's debut.

RTW's Spring/Summer 2022 collection marks Pieter Mulier's debut at Maison Alaïa. Pieter Mulier presented his collection in front of Alaïa's store on Rue de Moussy in Paris. And he did so with flying colors.

The designs presented are a tribute to Alaïa's heritage as well as the generation of his fans and collaborators. Maison Alaïa is a family of craftsmen who are the DNA of the brand. This meant for Mulier the launch of the collection as the first thank you and monument to the great master. Moreover, these creations become a tool to introduce the fashion house to Generation Z - who may not know the name Azzedine Alaïa. (The Millenial generation is still more familiar with her as an eternal movie quote from the movie "Clueless"). 

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The show started with "tailoring" (a sophisticated tailoring technique often applied to suits), although Alaïa, as a fashion house that does very well in precise sewing, never committed to "tailoring" before 2017. The collection has a clear direction of the sexy keyword. Body-hugging dresses, sheer fabrics, latex, and leather appeared in alternation. The minimalist designs as a balancing factor here let materials come to the fore.

With techniques that cross a creation with a single seam, you can see what the know-how behind it means. Mulier makes the impossible possible. By comparison, even a typical T-shirt pattern requires at least three pieces. 

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To celebrate the beauty of structure and materials, these creations do without embroidery details. While beaded embroidery is one of the standout features of couture, such details are unnecessary in the design thinking of Azzedine Alaïa and Pieter Mulier. According to the new creative director, "The fashion I've always loved is associated with simplicity, we don't need to get too involved in a product. Even small things can perfect perfection."

The collection focuses entirely on the silhouette. At this point you may have immediately thought of Balenciaga's haute couture, Alaïa in particular was a fan of Christóbal Balenciaga and the designs of the two technical masters share many similarities.

Back to the show; With the utmost respect for the silhouette, but with a sense of reduction, combined with a sensitive mind for trends, is the formula that Mulier has found. The new creative director seems not only to preserve and modernize the heritage but also to find a reasonable commercial direction for Maison.

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Undoubtedly, Alaïa is currently one of the few fashion houses to appoint a new creative director. The position, which has been vacant for four years, could have been replaced by a creative team, as others have done. Without replacing the brand logo or coming up with grand gestures, Pieter Mulier skillfully used silence to his advantage, which has an almost magical effect in a hypermedia world and is considered the Holy Grail of new communication in the fashion community.  

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