Throughout fashion week, we’ll highlight the small details we saw on the catwalks that surprised or delighted us: Bring on the wearable mist machines and antique fork jewelry†
PARIS — Blink and you may have missed one of the most explicit tributes to Azzedine Alaïa from his design successor, Pieter Mulier, at the brand’s latest fashion show.
But there they were, catching the light in gold or patent black: a miniature representation of two slightly crossed legs, poking at the floor like the heel of a stiletto sandal—with the same kind of semi-subtle eroticism as the single mother-of-pearl nipple ring attached to it. about the turtleneck sweater of the first model to walk the catwalk on Sunday evening.
From a distance, the heel looked a bit like a devil’s forked tongue. Up close, it was less sinister—just two shiny, thin legs descending from a bare derrière placed just below the wearer’s heel—but still a little surreal: legs holding one leg up. Each of the round-toed sandals was fastened with four thin ankle straps with buckles.
But the shoes also played quite an important role in the collection, as Mr. Mulier continued to strike a balance between his own work and Azzedine Alaïa’s legacy of sensual couture. In a press release, the brand specifically pointed to the shoe as proof that the founding designer, who died in 2017, was “a constant source of inspiration, one that lives forever.”
The heel was originally designed in 1991 by Alaïa and Raymond Massaro, a French legend of boot making. The famous two-tone Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel sandal in beige, with a black toe? That too was developed by Maison Massaro in the late 1950s. (In 2002, the company was added to the métiers d’art craft stores owned by Chanel.)
That conservative low-heeled classic was the exact opposite of another famous Massaro creation: a staggering platform heel created for Jean Paul Gaultier in 1993, inspired by football boots and infused with the ability to drive fear into the hearts of even the most experienced high-heeled wearer. Heels. The cleats were also recently revived†
And so archive fashion wins again. Even if images of the original Alaïa shoe are still marked as “adult content” on at least one major image website.