Pieter Mulier’s new Alaïa capsule collection celebrates the black dress

The emblematic Alaïa black dress is celebrated in a ‘simple, sensual and elegant’ 11-piece capsule collection by Pieter Mulier, photographed here by Paolo Roversi

Line up of women in Alaïa black dresses
Alaïa black dress capsule collection
(Image credit: Photography by Paolo Roversi, courtesy of Alaïa)

Azzedine Alaïa was a master of construction and form, perhaps best epitomised by his signature black dresses – an archetype of womenswear, honed season after season by the late couturier, sculpted to the wearer’s body and rigorously engineered. ‘An essential of everyone’s wardrobe, an emblem of the Alaïa vocabulary,’ says the house. 

Released this month, a new capsule collection by Pieter Mulier – the Belgian designer became creative director of Alaïa in February 2021 – ‘revisits and reintreprets’ the black dress with 11 new designs that each provides a riff on the house’s distinct codes (flared skirts, sculpting technical knits, leather, hooded details, among others). ‘Eleven pure shapes, created for all bodies,’ Alaïa says of the project.

‘Simple, sensual, elegant’: the Alaïa black dress capsule

Black and white photo of woman in short flared black Alaïa dress

Alaïa black dress capsule collection

(Image credit: Photography by Paolo Roversi, courtesy of Alaïa)

The various designs are captured by Italian fashion photographer Paolo Roversi, who previously collaborated with Mulier in July 2021, shooting a number of Alaïa ‘archetypes’ – a bodysuit, a corset bet, a corolla skirt –  just prior to the designer’s debut collection. Here, Roversi photographs the 11 designs on various women; a sparse white backdrop places impetus on body and silhouette. ‘[Roversi’s] vision emphasises the infinite possibilities offered by the 11 black dresses,’ says the house. ‘They sublimate every silhouette, matching anybody’s curves.’

Indeed, Mulier has previously spoken about a desire to create a ‘democratic’ fashion house – ‘that’s how I want to build the future of this legendary house; I can’t change everything – and I don’t want to,’ he said in the Wallpaper* Style Issue earlier this year (read our full Pieter Mulier interview). ‘But I want to try and give Alaïa to a bigger audience, to make it more inclusive.’

Close up of woman in black Alaïa dress

Alaïa black dress capsule collection

(Image credit: Photography by Paolo Roversi, courtesy of Alaïa)

A focus on the body remains central to Mulier’s approach, which he describes as a pursuit of ‘modern beauty’. ‘Beauty, body, sex – [Alaïa] is the only place where you can use the word sex without being vulgar. It’s sex that comes from the heart, from the inside, where beauty belongs and can be found.’

The capsule collection is available now in Alaïa boutiques and at maison-alaia.com.

Woman in flared black Alaïa mini dress

Alaïa black dress capsule collection

(Image credit: Photography by Paolo Roversi, courtesy of Azzedine Alaïa)

Woman in black hooded Alaïa dress turned to the side

Alaïa black dress capsule collection

(Image credit: Photography by Paolo Roversi, courtesy of Alaïa)

Close up portrait of woman in black Alaïa dress

(Image credit: Photography by Paolo Roversi, courtesy of Alaïa)
Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*. Having previously held roles at 10, 10 Men and AnOther magazines, he joined the team in 2022. His work has a particular focus on the moments where fashion and style intersect with other creative disciplines – among them art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and profiling the industry’s leading figures and brands.