Azzedine Alaïa’s New Boutique in Paris

Azzedine Alaïa’s New Boutique in Paris

Hot on the heels of his triumphant retrospective at Paris’s fashion museum, the Palais Galliera, the elusive Azzedine Alaïa scores a second victory with a soaring new boutique, his second in the ‘City of Light’. If you are unfamiliar with Alaïa, head straight to the Galliera*, while those who have followed the Tunisian-born couturier’s work since the 1980s – when he was catnip for supermodels – will rejoice at the opportunity to browse the master’s full prêt-à-porter collection plus shoes and accessories.

Housed in an 18th-century mansion on a quiet street within Paris’s ‘Golden Triangle’, the new shop is both supremely elegant and artfully minimal, with furnishings by the likes of Marc Newson, Pierre Paulin and Charlotte Perriand. Downstairs, there are undulating red banquettes for trying on shoes, which provide a nice splash of colour. The two upstairs floors boast a uniform whiteness which highlights Alaïa’s exquisitely-crafted clothes, all in black, white and luscious saturated colour.

The shoe collection is dominated by towering platform stilettos in laser-cut python, crocodile, leather, suede and mesh – booties range from about €1,500 to €2,300. More prosaic models – black-and-white ballet flats and a handsome flat ankle boot – can be had for €700. The accessories on all three floors are some of the best in Paris. Carry-alls, trapeze bags, clutches and wallets come in crocodile, python or superb laser-cut leather, in such colours as black, grey, dusky rose, pink or forest green. There are also soft knitted gloves, satin umbrellas and Alaïa’s signature wide belts.

The prêt-a-porter collection upstairs is dominated by woollens utilising Alaïa’s hallmark technique – many masterfully crafted in a single piece, to caress and flatter. Long dresses with flared, honeycomb-knit skirts or elongated skirts of lighter lacy knit come in black dotted with red or white, or colours like deep fuchsia, moss-green, and burgundy, many decorated with elaborate embroideries.

The highlights include a long black, Mary Poppins-style, floor-length coat embroidered with black metallic circles; a stunning sea green swing coat; a cropped biker jacket in leopard-print leather, and the dresses – every one of them.

Boutique Alaïa, 5 Rue Marignan, 75008 Paris, +33 1 76 72 91 11. By appointment only.

*Editor’s Note: The Palais Galliera is currently closed as it’s between exhibitions. The next temporary exhibition will open on March 1, 2014.

Originally published in the December 2013-January 2014 issue of France Today


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