A Fashion Icon & his Yorkies

We knew someone whose young teenager was scouted and recruited by a high fashion model agency to do runway work.

The kid was all legs.

And cheekbones.

Think Paris. London. New York. Barcelona.

The teenager’s mom “okayed” the venture, but only for a year………….and with misgivings.

At the end of that year, mom told us (with a measure of disgust), “All they really wanted was a coat hanger that could walk.”

Mom pulled her daughter out of modeling, sent her back to regular high school, and the last we saw of the young lady, she seemed very content with her life.

We were reminded of this when we came across something that Azzedine Alaia – the Tunesian-born and iconic “King of Kling – said back in 1990: “The base of all fashion is the body.”

We can’t explain the difference of opinion about showing off high fashion between what Alaia said, and what our friend related from her personal experience with her daughter, nor do we feel obligated to. At the time he said it,  Alaia was considered a genius of “cut and crape,” a philosophy that aligned with fashion mega stars of the day. His world was vastly different from the world of the models who would “strut his stuff,” sometimes young ladies from America’s heartland born with superb bone structure.

Our interest in the man is that the chap whose name was a signature label in fashion was a Yorkshire Terrier man whose dogs, Patte a Pouf, Barouf, and Wabo, were part of his work life. Dogs don’t get to choose their masters or mistresses, but by all accounts, he was devoted to his dogs. The linked photo in the paragraph above is of him with Patapouf and Wabo, walking in a Paris street with the model, Frederique van der Wal wearing one of his designs.

Alaia died in Paris in 2017 at the age of 82. Of him, British Vogue editor, Edward Enninful, said that he was a true visionary who would be deeply missed by “all of those who knew and loved him, as well as by the women around the world who wore his clothes.” Wikipedia says he was considered a father figure to the Fashion Super Star, Naomi Campbell,  since she was 16 years old.

As we lack permission to share photos of Alaia with his Yorkies, we used instead the artwork of the talented Lyn Cook.



Azzedine Alaia, Yorkie, Yorkshire Terrier, fashion

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