Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Azzedine Alaia: Couturier To The Stars

The pink Alaia dress worn by Kelly Ripa..
Watching Live With Regis and Kelly yesterday, I spotted a pink dress that was high necked and fitted. I didn't see the opening of the show where Kelly walks onstage so I was unaware of what the whole dress looked like. It appeared to flare out a bit and I was intrigued enough to try to find the dress afterwards. Logging onto the the Live Website (where I don't think I've ever ventured) I noticed a feature called 'Kelly's Fashion Finder', this was going to be easy!

It was. In a strip running at the bottom of today's fashion story was a photo of the pink dress. I clicked onto it and the designers name appeared at right; Azzedine Alaia. The name was unknown to me proving that I have a lot of fashion left to learn, apparently he's been dressing the rich and famous for many years and lists our fashionable First Lady as one of his admirers and customers.

After focusing so much on dresses from the Fall Fashion shows last week, I was also pleased to find a designer who truly loves a dress like I do. I like the fit, the ruffles and the length of his clothes.

Michelle O. at the Nato Conference...
Searching for a bit of information about him I summarized the following from a Wikipedia entry.
Azzedine Alaia was born in Tunisia in 1940. His parents were farmers but he had a twin sister and a French friend of his mother who inspired his love of fashion. He began studying sculpture in Tunis where he learned about the human form helpful to him as he progressed toward fashion design. After graduation, Alaïa began working as a dressmaker's assistant an was so talented that he began dressing private clients. He moved to Paris in 1957 to work in fashion starting at Christian Dior as a tailor, but soon moved to work for Guy Laroche for two seasons. He moved up and around Paris over the years gaining experience and dressing well-known clients and produced his first ready-to-wear collection in 1980. The rest as they history.

...and at the American Ballet Gala.

So besides Kelly on TV, Michelle Obama wore Alaia's formal black knit sleeveless dress with a ruffled skirt to a NATO dinner in April of 2009. Also that year, she wore an Alaïa dress to the American Ballet Theatre Opening Night Spring Gala in New York breaking the tradition of American First Ladies wearing styles by American designers to official public events. French First Lady Carla Bruni also wears Alaia as does Gwyneth Paltrow,Heidi Klum,Jennifer Aniston,Jessica Simpson,Katie Holmes,Megan Fox and Victoria Beckham....I mean who's left?

Dresses are in the $1000-$2500. range.

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