The beauty of a fashion archive lies in the story behind the pieces themselves, not just their design or quality. In the case of Alaïa’s timid sale opening today in Paris, that story is as relevant to the sale and the store itself as it is to the clothes. To kick off Paris Fashion Week, consultant Bryce Lahssan, of the (not-so-hidden) boutique Lahssan Paris, at 24 rue Molière, and fashion curator Sophia Elizabeth, of the vintage hub @thespaghettiarchives, have organized a sale of seven vintage garments by Azzedine Alaïa .
The boutique (lacking a sign) that Lahssan launched in 2020 is as sumptuous as it is secretive. He only sells one type of garment: a black vinyl trench coat with gold-tooled buttons from Goossens that Lahssan slowly developed in an Italian factory. “This store has become a nice place for my friends to come and sit and chat, share ideas and talk about the shows, trends, and designers. It has become a little lounge,” says Lahssan.
The social metamorphosis of the boutique was what led Lahssan to open its space to host this Alaïa selection. She contacted her old friend, the Sophia above who is a vintage expert. “I told her, ‘ I’d love for you to make a selection of pieces that go with the trench coat. The dress, the shoes, the bag… Everything to wear with the trench coat,” says Lahssan. Sophia Elizabeth agreed to be in charge of this selection, but on one condition: everything had to be Alaïa’s .
After all, Sophia Elizabeth shares roots with Alaïa, who was born in Tunisia, which increases their unconditional love: “I am of Mediterranean origin. Women have curves, we are voluptuous and sensual. Azzedine Alaïa captured that essence, and has always been one of my favorite designers,” the expert told Vogue. “In my selection, I wanted to highlight some pieces that marked my aesthetics, my way of seeing fashion”.
The seven pieces for sale include a fitted leopard print jumpsuit from the fall 1991 collection and a black spiral hooded dress from the fall 1986 collection. One of the most fabulous and legendary pieces is the black wool and leather beret that Naomi Campbell wore in the fall of 1991 and that happened to her hairdresser behind the scenes. However, Sophia Elizabeth ran into a major snag when putting the pieces together: “Nobody wants to resell their Alaïa pieces!”.
Luckily, those invited to the sale will be able to enjoy this unique opportunity to buy vintage Alaïa, which will continue during the fashion week.