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Pieter Mulier's Alaïa Debut Is Full of Tributes to the House (and Its Founder)

The collection is "a celebration of the innate and eternal values of Alaïa, of the power of the hand and instinctive creation."
A model walks the runway, during Alaia, as part of Paris Fashion Week Fall:Winter 2021:2022

As another season of Haute Couture Fashion Week kicked off in Paris over the weekend, all eyes were on the house that Azzedine Alaïa built.

Since its founder's passing in 2017, everything the brand put out was the product of a collective of designers working off Alaïa's extensive archive — until this past Sunday, when Pieter Mulier, best known as Raf Simons's longtime right-hand man, took over as creative director. The excitement was two-fold: for what the Belgian designer would do now that he was going out on his own, and for what this new chapter of Maison Alaïa would look like. 

At least in this first collection, Mulier isn't straying far from Azzedine's vision. In fact, Spring 2022 pays tribute to the designer's legacy in ways that are both subtle and more instantly recognizable. 

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"An homage to Alaïa — man, master, maison — and to femininity, which Azzedine Alaïa cherished and championed above all else," the show notes read. "A celebration of the innate and eternal values of Alaïa, of the power of the hand and instinctive creation." 

Firstly, the show took place on the street where Maison Alaïa had its headquarters (and where the designer once lived). Then, Mulier focused on key silhouettes that have long been synonymous with the house — the bodysuits, the cinched waists, the hooded tops, the knits — that brought to mind some of the brand's most iconic looks from over the years. Plus, in a press release, Alaïa noted that, like its founder, Mulier would eschew the traditional cadence for showing new designs; instead, Alaïa would release two collections — Winter/Spring (available from December to May) and Summer/Fall (available from June to November) — a year, mixing haute couture and pret-à-porter. 

See every single look from Alaïa's Spring 2022 collection in the gallery, below.

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