Lorraine's Blog: Alaïa

Every woman should own a piece



When ELLE cover girl Naomi Campbell first started modelling at 16, she lived with designer Azzedine Alaïa in Paris. He took her under his wing and they are very close, like father and daughter. She talked of this fondly when I last met her at the ELLE Style Awards. She was, and still is, a muse for the designer they call ‘the king of cling’, and I can’t help but think of her and her feline grace when I wear Alaïa.


This white dress costs somewhere north of £1,500 and, while many may wonder at the price tag, the quality, heritage and workmanship that is embedded in the fabric of this beautiful dress is unparalleled. It’s a pleasure to wear.

Often, when I talk to high-powered women in industries outside of fashion and they ask me for advice on what to buy, I say invest in Azzedine Alaïa and, more often than not, they are surprised by my suggestion, instantly assuming they would never be able to wear the dresses he makes. However, their reaction is misguided. There are many pieces – and accessories – that would be right for women who wouldn’t consider Alaïa when buying a new-season wardrobe. His designs are for every woman who wants to be more confident with fashion and who values good quality design.

I picked this particular Alaïa piece because it represents spring/summer’s retro dress trend. There are so many pretty dresses to choose from and this one felt different and ticked the white trend box, too. Plus, the texture of the fabric gives it that retro feel that lace often induces. It is a dress that makes you feel special and, while ELLE’s fashion director Anne-Marie Curtis advised me to wear heels with it, I wanted it to be more like something I would wear wandering along the cobbled streets of an Italian seaside town, so flats felt better. Sometimes it’s good to see a story behind an outfit and that helps you accessorise it, too, which is why I chose the Zara clutch – it said ‘Lunch in Capri’ to me!

(Inspiration for today's look: Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.)

(An early Naomi ELLE cover)


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