Alain Paul’s SS24 debut collection, titled “La Première,” is inspired by the principles of ballet, which played a key role in his understanding of fashion. Showcased at the Théâtre du Châtelet, the collection is structured around the theater’s three dress codes: arrival, rehearsal, and premiere. This reflects the journey of ballet attire, from simple to captivating, reminiscent of aesthetic giants like Pina Bausch, Merce Cunningham, and Martha Graham.
The collection zeroes in on fundamental clothing pieces that designers study early in their careers – specifically, the tailored jacket and pencil skirt. This focus mirrors the ethos of modern ballet, where there’s a profound respect for classic craft, later reimagined and abstracted. The iterative nature of ballet is evident as the collection pivots around pivotal concepts. Notably, footwear in the collection, inspired by ballet shoes, gives a nod to the familiar foot-bone changes seen in dancers.
The first segment, “L’Arrivée,” reimagines the everyday tailored attire of the always-on-duty ballet performer. Here, pieces like elongated jackets and trench coats undergo metamorphoses to evoke iconic ballet postures and movements.
“La Répétition,” the collection’s second act, draws from the justaucorps, a staple in ballet training. In this section, traditional tailoring meets dance as rehearsal pants linings protrude to resemble integrated skirts. This act also incorporates designs that pay homage to Pina Bausch’s 1975 work, “Le Sacre du Printemps.”