The Belgian designer showcased his first ready-to-wear and couture creations for Alaïa on Sunday night

Four years since the passing of legendary Tunisian designer Azzedine Alaïa, Maison Alaïa appointed a new creative director to continue the legacy of the man who perfected the knit fit-and-flare dress. The honour went to Pieter Mulier, the Belgian designer who served as Raf Simon's right hand (at Simon's eponymous label and later at Calvin Klein) for nearly two decades, and who later cut his teeth at Jil Sander and Christian Dior. His debut for Alaïa marks the beginning of a new era for the house, redefining Mr. Alaïa's brand of sexiness for today's woman. Here's what you need to know about Mulier's first collection. 

Besides the usual suspects on the Frow, who include Anna Wintour, Emmanuel Alt and Suzy Menkes, Mulier's debut was feted by the attendance of his industry peers including Raf Simons, who currently serves as the co-creative director of Prada, Pierpaolo Piccioli, creative director of Valentino, and Italian actress Monica Bellucci, among others. The show took place on rue de Moussy, where the Alaïa headquarters is located, as a tribute to Mr. Alaïa and his team. 

In lieu of standard show notes where the creative director often waxes poetic about the inspirations for the collection, there was a letter addressed to Mr. Alaïa from Mulier, making clear that the collection was a tribute to him. "I tried to be faithful to your creative approach. I even tried to get into your mind, but that's impossible," says the emotional confession. "Thank you for your peerless adulation of the feminine figure. You were a sculptor, a genius of the hand."  

 

Indeed, the clothes themselves saw many of Mr. Alaïa's trademarks refreshed, from the exaggerated corset belts that were paired with balaclavas and fish bone fringe boots, body con dresses in sheer pastel to the laser-cut chainmail knit frocks. But the highlights were when Mulier made the looks his own, bringing his love of clean, futuristic silhouettes to the fore. The show ended with a standing ovation and a yearning to see where Mulier will take the beloved label next.