Inspired by ‘The Couturier’ exhibition of the Design Museum in London, I decided to study Azzedine Alaia and the silhouettes he created. The Tunisian-born sculptor-then-couturier described himself as a builder. He thought with his hands, shaping the fabric by draping and cutting directly on the models’ body. His ultimate goal was to make women feel beautiful, but in the meantime, he pushed the boundaries between haute couture and ready-to-wear as well as those that defined the specific use of each fabric. Considering fabric in sculptural terms he reshaped the female body, reassessing a new identity to and exploring the different qualities of each fabric he used, in order to invent new ways to demonstrate and praise a silhouette, always conscious of the entire body. His creations included industrial design, and he always opted to transform the simple into the sublime. He used metal to lighten up leather, to add weight to chiffron and to replace decoration. His use of lace mirrored his love of Arab architecture, and instead of handling it as decoration or embellishment he rendered it an integral part of the structure. He redefined leather from a sexual and societal fabric of rebellion to a romantic and of utmost elegance one, playing with its fluidity as one does with chiffron. He explored the qualities of the fabrics themselves to create volume instead of using internal structures. Black was his favorite color, and he uplifted it by combining multiple fabrics to explore their textural qualities. He pacified velvet by referencing it to a noble past but at the same time a simple present, and used stretch fabrics by creating clothes that were anchored at strategic points, but not the expected ones. Azzedine Alaia, the sculptor, the builder, the couturier, gave the fashion world the permission and the chance to rethink and re-evaluate the silhouette and what could be achieved with fabric.