Azzaro Couture Sophistication by Olivier Theyskens

January 25, 2021

The short film refers to the aesthetic universe of the late 60’s, early 70’s when freedom and recklessness were the order of the day. How does this period dear to Loris Azzaro inspire your creative work?

The emphasis of the video is primarily focused on the relationships of a man and a woman through a game of rapprochement and distancing, reflections and shimmering. It was important to me that we could not place the sequences of this short film in a temporal logic, we are rather devoid of landmarks and we evolve between a suspended present intertwined with what seems to be memories. The energy of the 60s – 70s is indeed a conductor of freedom that have been brought to the screen brilliantly thanks to the cinema of those years and to the emblematic actresses who often dressed in the creations of Loris Azzaro. The images of this period amaze and inspire me, I want to explore further on this facet of the house and also communicate it.

You intertwine this seventies aesthetics with a more mysterious universe, where reality alternates with onirism in a misty dream that resonates with the period we are going through, how does the current context influence your creation?

My reaction to our time is mixed: on the one hand I am looking for the timeless through creations expressing an obviousness or a force defying time, it is the desire to pursue a silhouette that we want iconic, like a delineation and an ode to femininity. The palette is dark with metallic accents and crystal sparkles. It is the same for the men’s wardrobe where the masculinity expresses itself in ample and fluid volumes. But on the other hand, the period also inspires me a lightness that I bring to my work punctually using color in creations whose spirit is infused with retro-futuristic touches and comfort. These two axes are alongside each other, one leading to Couture and the other to a daily ready-to-wear.

The film reveals the portrait of an Azzaro woman and man between release and ultimate sophistication. Can you tell us more about it? What universe did you want to create, what story did you want to tell through this video?

Mystery surrounds every relationship. It infinitely inspires cinema and literature. I wanted to express this mystery of relationships through scenes with accents of fantasy and idealism that also stand close to shadows and solitude. Most of the images play on the multiplication of reflections, distortion, proximity or distance. It seemed natural to me to confront this aspect of relationships with the changing elements of the passing of time.

The scenes in the film create a play of reflection in faceted or fluid mirrors, like a world that is fragmented and floating at the same time, why this choice?

Rather than one to the other, I wanted to privilege the relationship of the protagonists to their own reflections. I like this idea considering that they know they are seen too. This through the projection of the image, literally and figuratively.

We find this metallic fluidity in the choice of materials for both women and men, what does this versatile metal evoke for you?

I naturally associate the name Azzaro to this panel of reflections, metallic shimmers, shadows and lights. This is probably related to the must-see photos, often in black and white, that constitute the specific iconography of the house. Today the ultramodern technical quality of certain textiles allows for a subtle exploration of this trend.

We perceive allusions to the house’s iconic muses, such as Jane Birkin or Marisa Berenson. What were your inspirations and references and how do they inspire your creation?

They are close to me at all times because I think about them constantly. Every time I approach a creation, from conception to fittings, I think of women, and specifically of women whose free spirit flows, bringing emotion and truth, beauty and light.

Azzaro’s strong codes are present like the 3 rings embroidery that opens the movie or shimmering evening dresses dear to Loris Azzaro, how does this heritage inspire your collections?

Some very specific house codes give me ideas. It’s a chance for a designer to have “permission” to use codes that are the results of another creator’s work before you. When we want to refer to the universe of a house, we talk about the “soul” of the house. This soul is sacred and must be protected and loved while bringing new approaches to creation.

Music holds an important place for Azzaro, especially in this film. Why the choice of this particular title by Frederik Valentin & Loke Rahbek?

I knew the first time I listened to it that this is the track of the film. I heard it by chance and I haven’t stopped listening to it since. I have a personality that can be quite persistent when my intuition is strong. This piece with its heady and repetitive melody combines the lows and highs, a vulnerability instilled thanks to slight shifts in notes and chords, everything I like.

The displayed creations alternate between the extreme sophistication of Couture (with fully embroidered pieces such as a short trapeze dress with bright patterns or a white basqued dress constellated of crystals) and ultra glamorous dresses more refined in lurex velvet or crepe. Why mix these 2 universes?

I wanted to create a balance between the expression of ultra couture sophistication and convenience of design. This balance is expressed through surprisingly simple models and others with a more complex architecture. But the devil is hidden in the details and even the simplest looks reveal the hand of the house’s atelier.

The film also reveals a wardrobe for men in the continuity of the feminine universe with very strong pieces in liquid lurex or armor embroidery. How do you approach the creation of this universe?

The men’s collection is very much focused on a strong ready-to-wear for a modern man, which does not exclude the presence of some very couture Ateliers looks which are entirely embroidered. Bridges exist between the women’s and men’s collections thanks to certain materials that are common to them. Some designs also have this fluidity, but always with an adapted fit.

If you had to condense this new collection in a few words, what would they be?

I will say: Her and Him, Azzaro, Romy, Jane B, Tailor, Crystal, Timeless Allure, Simplicity and Sophistication.

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