Azzedine Alaia revealed a new, unexpected side of his ideal women in his spring '91 collection shown here last week. Long established as a vamp, she now appears to have a ladylike side as well.
Since his first Paris show in 1981, Alaia has featured haute -corset looks and hip-length stretch dresses and skirts with the focus on black, white and unusual pastels such as seafoam green. But this season, besides hot pants and miniskirts in black-and-white houndstooth checks, there were warmer colors, especially raspberry, and mid-calf hemlines that represent a classically feminine option.
After his show he said that Tati, a popular chain of French discount stores, was a main inspiration for the new collection. Tati's corporate symbol is its name emblazoned on a background of red and white gingham. One strong example of the connection was a gingham-check halter top over skintight clam diggers in raspberry and ivory stretch canvas. The pants had football shoe lacings in back.
Alaia's elegant but carefree eveningwear was the surprise. A long, airy, white chiffon dress with gold-chain shoulder straps drew the loudest applause. Other luxuriously draped and pleated styles were shown over hot pants and bustiers.