It's hard to believe but very stretchy fabric used in clothing is a relatively new phenomenon. It was only 20 years ago in the Eighties when lycra really revolutionised clothing.
The designer who really championed the more body conscious silhouette was Azzedine Alaia
Alaias creations follow the contours of womens bodies accentuating and celebrating them. They scream 'look at the curve from my waist to my hip' or 'can you see how long my legs are"
He takes the 'foundation' of corsetry and interprets it in stretchy, supportive and comfortable creations.
He famously said 'Its about how a woman feels when she is wearing one of my creations that is important".
I own one Alaia piece, a skirt and I can vouch for that.
For a start, if value could be measured in weight this garment would win hands down, it's made of a seriously strong knitted fabric, it oozes quality. It skims over my hip flattening and smoothing and rather than 'clinging' the stretch of the fabric just makes it comfortable enough to move and function in. Every seam is a work of art, they are double stitched in a couture construction called faggotting and when on the body they open slightly to reveal the tiniest peep of flesh.
The ridiculous thing is that I don't actually wear it very often as I feel slightly like my life isn't worthy of it.
Well I suppose I can always just feel good in the company I keep as other Alaia fans range from Naomi Campbell and Grace Jones to more recently Michelle Obama and Lady GaGa
"There is nothing better than a healthy body dressed in wonderful clothes" Azzedine Alaïa
To see more of Alaias work catch this exhibition at Groninger Museum, Netherlands until the 6th May