Photographed by Karim Sadli and styled by Joe McKenna, the Alaïa Spring 2019 RTW offering is comprised of the Éditions collection consisting of archive pieces that have been perfectly replicated as new ready-to-wear.
The dress covered in sinuous stripes that boasts a gathered cutout below the sternum was designed for the Summer 1990 season. A dark denim jacket that folds outward from the waist is from 1986. The gauzy silk mesh pieces date back even further to 1984. Éditions also consists of a demi-couture grouping that can be ordered from the showroom; see the full-length copper dress in ridged silk.
The main ready-to-wear collection, meanwhile, treats familiar volumes and fabrications with restraint and precision but also with freshness. Cotton shirtdresses were covered in laser perforations that have been delicately embroidered, and a white jacket in a looping openwork pattern looked even more handcrafted than lace. The looks encrusted with fringed raffia were made of woven raffia, which gives them a flattering harmony of structure and swish. And anyone who can’t imagine Alaïa without the fine-gauge knit, body-con dresses, and laser-cut leather belts, fear not, there were a few of these, too. A bustier with straps that crisscrossed the torso drew so closely from the DNA that it might as well have been vintage.
These looks and more—cropped python jackets, crisp poplin shirts, a selection of instantly desirable bags, belts, and shoes—were presented from an upstairs suite that serves as a guest apartment for the designer’s innermost circle. That the racks were surrounded by a stunning selection of iconic modern furniture (an industrial table and chairs by Jean Prouvé, the multiarmed wall lamp from Serge Mouille, seating by Pierre Paulin) further reinforced Alaïa’s mastery of a timeless aesthetic and the appeal in reissuing flawless design.
There were, however, two signs that those who make the decisions are not opposed to novelty. First, a sneak peek of the chic platform espadrilles in collaboration with Castañer and a forthcoming capsule of clingy dresses, T-shirts, and accessories emblazoned with the words, “Mon cœur est à papa,” the expression of love attributed to Naomi Campbell.