A Tale of Two Skirts
Last fall, I was lucky to find myself in Paris for Fall Fashion Week. With some free time on my hands, I decided to explore the Marais in search of couture clothes on sale. This was not going to be easy, because most retail stores would wait until all fashionistas blew out of town before hanging their “For Sale” signs in the windows.
Using my friend Joanne Horning’s “Paris Style: An Insider’s Guide to Shopping and Dining” as my beacon, I found myself facing Azzedine Alaia’s sale outlet. My good fortune was holding up!
18, Rue de la Verrerie, 4th arrondisement 011 33(0) 1 42 72 19 19
Known for his figure sculpting clothes, Alaia has dressed everyone from Greta Garbo, who used to sneak into his atelier wearing a disguise, Lady Gaga and Michelle Obama. I swear that his clothes make everyone look fabulous!
Also, what movie buff can forget the Alaia reference in the 90’s hit “Clueless”, staring Alicia Silverstone. When mugged at gunpoint, Silverstone’s character protests kneeling in a parking lot in a famously clingy dress by a “totally important designer” by exclaiming, “This is an Alaia!”
The Deity of retail sales was smiling at me, as I entered the small and cramped room. Six or seven racks of clothes were on display and I quickly set up plucking out my favorites. With an enormous pile of clothes in hand, I was shown into a diminutive dressing room, which also doubled as a bathroom.
This was a real departure from the Alaia boutique around the corner, which is a gallery like space. It is minimalist and simple, allowing his clothes to shine. All the sales people are dressed from head to toe in black, as was Alaia himself who was fitting a woman in the large communal dressing room.
Since the room didn’t contain a full-length mirror, I kept popping out to use the one in the store. Imagine my surprise, when I ran head on into the original princess of reality TV, Paris and Nicky Hilton, who were waiting for me to clear out of the dressing room.
Outside in the courtyard, I spotted my usually unflappable husband gesticulating to me wildly in the direction of the sisters. He even had his smart phone out in hope he could sneak a photo of them. What is it about celebrities that make people behave half-crazed?
Fans waiting for days outside of the George V Hotel in Paris for
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West to show up
Returning to the dressing room I quickly tried on the rest of the clothes, before coming away with a very flattering navy blue dress and two flared skirts.
A contented shopper!
There are two types of shoppers, those who buy things without knowing what they will wear with them and those that don’t. I definitely fall into the latter category, until that day.
So the Alaia skirts have hung in my closet unworn for the last nine months, just waiting for a match. That is until the advent of summer, when inspiration struck.
Anyway, see what you think of my new ensembles.
Alaia skirt, Valentino shoes, BCBG jacket, Alaia top
Rose gold, diamond and pearl Starfish earing by Frank Ancona
Alaia skirt and BCBJ jacket
Tahitian and South Sea pearl earrings with diamonds (my own)
All fashions photos were taken be Ashley Urban