At the 2005 Vanity Fair party for the Tribeca Film Festival, Nicole Kidman chose a backless Azzaro dress designed by Vanessa Seward that landed her on Vogue’s best dressed list of the year.
Editor's Note: Whenever I see a potential "relaunch" of one of my favorite designers I get equal parts excited and nervous. I love to see a name come back into the spotlight and carry on but at the same time, and more often then not, these relaunches end up being just terrible. Thankfully no matter what they do or how it ends up the originals will always be the originals. I also wanted to point out the little green dress below that Carolyn Murphy wore - I have actually sold a leopard version of that in the past and it was fabulous. I do have some Azzaro in the shop now so if originals are your thing - then click here to see them. I also wore one of the pieces in the shop now for my new weekly column on our blog. In it I chat a little more about Azzaro. Click here to pop over and read that. xx Cherie
To the modern shopper, the name Azzaro might not mean much. Aside from a smattering of celebrity dress credits in the mid-aughts, when Vanessa Seward helmed the label, the brand founded by Loris Azzaro has been operating mostly under the radar. In his ’70s heyday, Azzaro was the go-to designer for Hollywood’s most fabulous women, from Raquel Welch to Marisa Berenson. His Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré shop was the place they could find sparkling, backless, bias-cut things to wear to Champagne fetes on both sides of the Atlantic. When Mr. Azzaro became ill in the 2000s, he brought in Seward to pick up his mantle of otherworldly glam. With the help of Decades’s Cameron Silver, she dressed the likes of Diane Lane and Salma Hayek in new creations and outfitted Nicole Kidman and Carolyn Murphy in vintage Azzaro pieces. When Seward resigned in 2011, so did the buzz around the label.
That might soon change. French designer Maxime Simoëns was named artistic director of the brand today, following the departure of design duo Arnaud Maillard and Alvaro Castejón in July 2016. At his own label, Simoëns has dressed Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Léa Seydoux, and Beyoncé in languid, crystal-trimmed numbers. After parting ways with LVMH, which owned a minority stake in his brand, in 2015, Simoëns relaunched his label as solely menswear last year.
Here, we offer three looks from the Azzaro archive we’d like to see Simoëns reinterpret this July at Paris’s haute couture shows.
Carolyn Murphy chose a vintage Azzaro for the 2003 Met Gala celebrating the “Goddess” exhibition. Its backless and beaded look is typical of Azzaro’s early creations.
Diane Lane wore an Azzaro dress designed by Vanessa Seward to the 2004 Vanity Fair Oscar party that featured Azzaro’s signature crystal-trimmed, two-hole cut-out. The silhouette was a celebrity favorite in the ’70s and 2000s, with many an A-lister choosing similar styles.