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Under the helm of new creative director Pieter Mulier, Alaïa today has its finger firmly on the contemporary pulse while respecting its graceful heritage.

How do you know when fashion is good or not? It all comes down to emotion. Great clothes move people, they provoke a response and demand a strong reaction. Designer Azzedine Alaïa understood the power of fashion that challenged preconceived notions of femininity and his pioneering take on craftsmanship telegraphed strong messages about female sexuality. Dubbed the King of Cling, the Tunisian-born couturier rose to fame in the early 1980s with his flattering signature ‘fit and flare’ dresses which moulded to the body and earned him an esteemed client list including Greta Garbo, Grace Jones, Madonna, Michelle Obama and Rihanna. When Cher from Clueless was held at gunpoint and told her perpetrator “But this is an Alaïa!”, it meant something – namely that Alaïa had transcended fashion into popular culture. His influence overflowed from fashion into the broader world, making him an internationally known name.

Since the designer’s passing in 2017, everything the brand has put out was the product of a collective of designers working off Alaïa's extensive archive — until this year, when Pieter Mulier, a Belgian designer, best known as Raf Simons’ longtime right-hand man took over as creative director. With his first collection for the French house, Mulier proved he could speak Alaïa with a whistle-stop tour through some of the brand’s most iconic looks -­­­­ the body-con knits, the cinched waists, the corset belts, the highly controlled sculpted volume: sometimes billowing outward, sometimes skin tight. “It’s all about the construction of silhouette, conveying sensuality and attitude from fabric and fit and about making women more beautiful. It’s as simple as that,” says Mulier. “Alaïa was a classicist - he always did the same thing - but made it better each time,” Mulier adds about the founder. “It’s the opposite of what the fashion world is now, where everything always has to be new. That’s the beauty of this house.”


Quintessentially feminine but always imposing - the sculpted form of this bodycon mini dress tucks, grips and smooths to impressive effect.


A double winner, this corset belt isn’t just flattering (emphasising your waist if you have one, creating one if you don’t) but also transforms the pieces you already own and love. Your easiest accessory update.


After summer’s slew of cool-girl tent dresses, waist-cinching silhouettes are making a comeback. Sharp whites in precision-cut shapes and an elegant mid-length bring a new purity to winter.


Meet your outfit transformer. The top’s restrained minimalist design offers that sought after throw-on-appeal while the fit and flare cut delivers a breezy sexiness.


The coat of the season features cutting edge tailoring, elevated detailing and cosy-luxe texture. When wrapped, it’s like a real-life hug - ideal for a bleak winter’s day.


Another brand with enduring appeal and rich in history is Michael Kors. In Christmas With...Michael Kors, we catch up with the designer who is celebrating 40 years in business.