Azzedine Alaia – one of my favorite statement designers:
Lets face it, I’m a sucker for all things French, and their fashion is not exempt. I adore how they have so gracefully mastered the art of marrying simplicity and quiet elegance. Never over dressed, but never underdressed either, French women just know how to put things together.
When Danielle introduced me to my first Alaia, my reaction was “seriously? that much for a pair of shoes?” BUT….I now know better.
Azzedine Alaia was Tunisian-born, but his brand is Parisian. He started as an assistant dress maker and went on to become one of the most iconic and important designers of the 20th (and now 21st century). Whether a shoe, a handbag, or a garment- his pieces are always classy. They can make an ordinary outfit go from basic to zing just by showing up. Yes, the price is high- but the quality, fit, and longevity are there. A pair of Alaia shoes, for example, will wear like-new for many seasons (and they are surprisingly comfortable!). His handbags are always ageless and classy. Alaia pieces are sexy without being ostentatious. Don’t get me wrong, I love my YSL dress clutch, despite the the huge Y S L blatantly showing in front. But the Alaia? Its this gorgeous piece of art without saying “Hi, I’m a designer bag and I cost a fortune.” Its classic. Its elegant. Its demure. Its mysterious. LOVE!!!
Statement Pieces 101:
Just recently I learned there are three categories of clothing that are essential in making a complete wardrobe (I used to only own #3 and always had nothing to wear- which makes total sense to me now):
#1 Basics: tees, tanks, layering pieces
#2 Staples: jeans, blazers/jackets/cardigans
#3 Statement pieces– varies on individual choice. The piece thats thrown in the mix to make outfits pop and, well, make a statement. The “art” pieces of your wardrobe. I love my Alaia shoes as statement pieces.
When to start adding a statement piece:
Like in any sport or art, its imperative to learn the fundamentals before one can have fun. Once you master putting together a basic outfit (I’m still working on this), you can start throwing statement pieces into the mix. Have fun with it and chose what you want. I think the point of the statement piece is to express who you are OR who you want to be at the time/that particular day.
Disclaimer– be careful- statement pieces can be the most fun and act as an expression of who you are or who you feel like being that particular day, but a wardrobe consisting solely and entirely of statement pieces will result in mayhem. #learnedfromexperience. (*embarrassing blush)
Outfitting the statement piece:
I need to confirm with Danielle, but it seems some people choose to wear a lot of statement pieces at once (google Iris Apfel “more is more”), and other’s prefer a single piece at a time (ex. Jackie O). The other day MSM saw this woman at the gym carrying a 2k+ Louis Vuitton bag in which laid all her stinky used gym clothes. Seems extravagant to me. But a big point of fashion is to each his own, right? Its ok to make your own rules. These are just guidelines.
Spend on a statement piece? Its all relative and up to you!
Its not really about the money. Statement pieces can come in all shapes and sizes. In order to prevent buying something cheaply made and over priced, though (and those pieces are definitely out there!), its wise to learn how to distinguish good craftsmanship and quality fabrics. For now, I’m protected by Danielle. But its smart to learn this on our own too.
Weekend Outfit: Tank: Wildfox Jeans: Current Elliot Handbag: Givency Jacket:Vince Sunnies: Celine Lipstick: Armani
Au Revoir mon petit chou, bonne fin de semaine!