Back during the Pleistocene Era I worked at Barneys New York in the advertising department.  The pay was terrible, but we did get a 35% discount off the astronomically priced clothing and twice a year we could buy two outfits at 50% off.  Of course I can’t remember ever being able to afford two whole 50% outfits so I always looked forward to the annual warehouse sale where you could pick up a nice Romeo Gigli shirt that someone had tried on with a full face of pancake makeup or maybe some Comme des Garçons pants that had rattled around on the racks unsold long past their seasonal expiration.

It was at one such warehouse sale that I purchased my very first piece of Azzedine Alaïa clothing—an off white skintight miniskirt that was actually a size too small (no trying on at the warehouse sale) which meant that I never actually got up the courage to stuff myself into it.  It hung in my closet for years—I thought, “maybe one day I’ll have a thigh-ectomy and then it will fit me,” but I never, ever wore the darn thing.  I did manage to keep both of my thighs, though so there is that bit of positivity.

Anyway, the white miniskirt and the fact that I could never wear it gave me some sort of weird love for Alaïa.  Over the years I’ve managed to wedge both my thighs into his designs and also both my feet into some of his awesome shoes.

Right about now a love song to Alaïa might not sound so wildly original since he put on his first runway show in about a hundred eons (or 8 years as the case may be) last week during Paris Couture and his name is on the lips of every fashion whore from here to Beijing.

However, in my defense let me say this.  I write this love letter not because I adore the wee man’s clothing—though I do indeed and I would like very much a pair of those boots and that lovely green coat he sent down the runway—no, my fawning comes from somewhere else entirely.

My newly re-sprung Alaïa adoration goes back a couple of weeks to his statements about two of my favorite fashion peoples, Herr Lagerfeld and Mistress Wintour.  It was as if Alaïa had spent a little time either in my head or at least reading The Nines and all of my rantings about Anna’s nude shoes and Karl’s questionable aesthetic.

Regarding A Dubs, the great Alaïa had this to say: “When I see how she is dressed, I don’t believe in her tastes one second…Anna Wintour doesn’t deal with pictures; she is just doing PR and business, and she scares everybody. But when she sees me, she is the scared one. Other people think like me, but don’t say it because they are afraid that Vogue won’t photograph them. Anyway, who will remember Anna Wintour in the history of fashion? No one.”

Well, someone has to remember her, don’t they?  I mean surely the nude shoe council will erect a life sized statue of her wearing those crappy Manolos she’s had cemented onto her feet for the past 15 years.

And as for the Kaiser, Alaïa isn’t much kinder, saying, “I don’t like his fashion, his spirit, his attitude. It’s too much caricature. Karl Lagerfeld never touched a pair of scissors in his life. That doesn’t mean that he’s not great, but he’s part of another system. He has capacity. One day he does photography, the next he does advertisements for Coca-Cola. I would rather die than see my face in a car advertisement.”

Yes, but can you see yourself making a chocolate sculpture out of your “muse” to sell ice cream bars?

You gotta love a guy who will stick his middle finger up at the untouchables and then go out and blow everyone away with the enormity of his own talent.  Mr. Azzedine Alaïa I think you are swell.  And I would like to own every single thing you ever made.   Especially that freaking white miniskirt, but in my actual size this time.


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