Though Azzedine Alaïa started his career exclusively with haute couture-level creations in Paris circa 1981, the designer abandoned this intricate, old world artform in 2011 (after a previous eight year break, no less). That all changed Wednesday evening, when Alaïa staged a surprise couture comeback with a little help from friends Naomi Campbell and Karlie Kloss and some well-placed saran wrap headdresses.
Sporting the designer's opulent trademarks, like printed fur coats, leather toppers, and swishy pleated skirts washed in white, black, and oxblood, Alaïa's army of women were consummately powerful — and well dressed to boot (that's what tailoring and an understanding of feminine prowess gets you). Campbell, for her part, made a rare appearance on the runway and dedicated much of her recent Instagram feed to throwback photos of Alaïa and his shows, calling him affectionate phrases like, "#mypapa," "#legend," "beyond legend," and "icon."
Karlie Kloss, too, reveled in the history-making commotion, saying, "#WCW today and everyday @iamnaomicampbell. These two are true masters at their craft. Thank you @azzedinealaiaofficial for inspiring me (and the entire world!) with the passion and love that you bring to all that you do."
The rest of the fashion community naturally followed suit on social media, including designer Olympia Le Tan and New York Magazine's Rebecca Ramsey. The former wrote, "@karliekloss at the exquisite @azzedinealaiaofficial couture show 🖤🖤🖤," while the latter simple commented, "Now this is couture."
The Tunisian-born designer still has a unique hold on the industry, despite bucking the traditional system of showing up to 16 shows a year like some of his contemporaries (ahem, Karl Lagerfeld). As more and more designers get burned out creatively by the overwhelming business responsibilities fashion has in store for them, Alaïa made one thing clear today: 30+ years later, he's still got it.