Last night, Azzedine Alaia presented his first couture collection since 2011. To his many loyal disciples, it will feel like all their Christmases have come at once. And if proof were needed of the importance of the moment, then you need only look to the show’s star model, Naomi Campbell, who made a rare catwalk appearance for the man she affectionately calls ‘Papa’.
Most designers have their legions of ardent fans just check out the dripping-in-Chanel/ Dior/ Valentino etc front rows to know this) but the enigmatic Alaia inspires a particular breed of fervour. His sculptural, body-conscious designs cinch and skim, always sensual but never quite erring into blatantly ‘sexy’. The collection shown last night updated Alaia’s signature aesthetic with rose-motif knitted dress, metallic knife pleated skirts and meticulously tailored tulle gowns.