Radiating from the Darkness Emerges the Alaïa Woman

Breathability, mobility, and comfort are sewn into the Alaïa fabric. Ensuring women feel as powerful as they look, the house redefines the shape bold glamour occupies in today’s world.

Slashing through the fog of distraction and décor, Alaïa returns to its roots; architectural and empowering, its Summer/Fall 2023 collection explores the seduction deeply embedded within the Alaïa name.

Last season, ruffles bounced against sheer fabrics as models glided down a stripped runway. Paralleling the show’s setting, Pieter Mulier peeled back layers of ornamentation to reach the brand’s core. Centered on a rugged, new order of elegance, the Paris-based fashion house showcased an eclectic array of new interpretations of its codes.

Towering figures of radiance emerged wrapped in opulent fabrics. Their trembling trains traced upwards to twists and luxurious turns resting on their hips.

Hooded silhouettes idiosyncratic of the house were presented alongside dazzling sequins. Alaïa accomplished what it has always been celebrated for; relishing in the feminine mystique, the house reinstated its supremacy in the domain of draping and ruching.

Oversized coats with sloped shoulders of pentagonal silhouettes radiantly clashed against those of the bodycon synonymous with the house. It was bold, sultry, and, overall, glamorous—all very unmistakably characteristic of the house of Alaïa.

Courtesy of Alaïa

This season, we’re drawn into the most intimate of settings as Creative Director Pieter Mulier deviates from the house’s repertoire of Parisian shows and brings us into his Antwerp home. Seldom do fashion designers invite the public into their homes—much less to present their latest endeavors. As the show begins, it becomes apparent the house has something different in store for us this season.

Engulfed in the darkness, only eyes and phones are visible amongst its audience. Emanating from the light enters the Alaïa woman enveloped in darkness. Her aura magnetizes light and shadows. As they dance around her figure, her presence is marked. All eyes are now on her.

Opening the show, the sinuous grace of a tailored mini dress greets attendees. With shoulders equally round and pronounced, Alaïa signals its narrative of scaled-back décor from last season is progressing to new heights. With its opening look flaunting an airtight waist and hips emulating a bell, sculptural sensuality becomes the mantra of the season.

Courtesy of Alaïa

The female body is a two-faced emblem of the house’s ethos; where sophistication and seduction collide, Alaïa redefines the shape bold glamour occupies in today’s world. Unfettered by the constraints of the conventional, its new order is fluid in movement yet rigid in structure. Through the seams of the collection, Mulier accomplishes a mirage only the keenest designers are capable of. Although its garments appear almost sclerotic in rigidity, each stitch is considered with the utmost regard to the modern woman’s needs. Breathability, mobility, and comfort are sewn into the Alaïa fabric, ensuring women feel as powerful as they look.

Framed by a plunging sweetheart neckline, a black jumpsuit is adorned with pins as embellishments. Glistening through the dark corridors of Mulier’s Antwerp home, the Belgian Creative Director further evolves Alaïa’s language of recontextualized masculinity through the lens of ultra-feminine seduction.

Courtesy of Alaïa

Simultaneously exploring the anatomy of the modern woman and that of Alaïa, he and his team find an intersection in which construction becomes a new means of decoration. The house reasserts that seduction lies within structure—everything else is superfluous.

Ballooning pants further embrace the collection’s architectural approach with expansive shapes. Born from circular cuts, they graze attendees as they flirtatiously glide down the runway. Paired with fitted turtlenecks and supple leather belts, their sum speaks a luxury ahead of its time.

A denim jumpsuit, too, arises from this mold, expanding on an intersection of elegance and everyday wear. With each look that passes, it becomes increasingly clear that Mulier and his team are designing clothing women can actually wear in their daily endeavors without compromising allure.

Conversely, an ultra-distressed knit body suit adds a rugged edge to the collection—this time toying with notions of deconstruction. Dismantling confinement, its shreds stretch and expand around its wearer’s figure to liberate the female form.

Courtesy of Alaïa




As the show progresses, silhouettes grow exponentially in volume. Coats with necks so high they kiss the heavens appear alongside expansive fur collars contrasted with shrunken waists. Evening wear is no exception, with voluminous skirts rustling as they glide past Mulier’s lavish book collection—best exemplified by this season’s finale.

When Pieter Mulier arose to Alaïa’s helm, no one knew what to expect. Alaïa had always been a name coveted by the lips of every woman. The question remained; how would the iconic brand evolve under a new reign?

A former student of architecture, Mulier couldn’t be more of an ideal fit. Over a year into his tenure, Alaïa’s Creative Director channels his predecessor’s prowess in chiseling the modern woman with equal grace and distinction.

Not only in his approach to shaping the new feminine ideal does he parallel the late founder of the house, but also in the way he presents and connects with the fashion community. Azzedine Alaïa—the genius and the recluse—relished in showing privately. Fashion, in his eyes, was an intimate ceremony shared by those united by their love of the craft.

As Alaïa presented its latest collection, the same energy emanated from the runway.

Simplified in design, nonetheless glamorous by nature, the collection exudes sheer brilliance in its ability to merge Alaïa’s legacy and Mulier’s dynamic vision for its evolution.

Azzedine Alaïa once said, “I make clothes; women make fashion.” While Pieter Mulier seems to be shifting the house’s vision to one of tailored minimalism, the core of its devotion to elevating women through craftsmanship continues to live on at Alaïa.

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