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Hoods are knocking runway doors again

Saint Laurent and Alaïa models remind 80s style and are celebrities' favourites

Hoods are knocking runway doors again Saint Laurent and Alaïa models remind 80s style and are celebrities' favourites

Charming, dramatic, elegant and a little bit mysterious. These are the characteristics that make the hoodie the new favorite among celebrities who, from Rihanna to Katie Holmes, are increasingly choosing it for the red carpet. The latest to sport a hoodie dress, all from Saint Laurent's latest collection, were Kate Moss and Amber Valletta at the WSJ Magazine 2022 Innovator Awards. Same Maison and same über-chic contemporary goddess effect also for Olivia Wilde to collect the Crystal Award, for her contribution to expanding the role of women in the entertainment industry, at the Women In Film Honors Gala. So what's so irresistible about the evening dress + hoodie combo? 

Although its exact origins are uncertain, we can say that the hood has always been a sort of status symbol. In antiquity it denoted royalty and power. Thus the ancient Romans wore it during prayer and members of the royal family added it to their cloaks to increase their authority on special occasions. Conversely, monks and nuns used it as a sign of humility and conformity. But it is not enough. The hood has at least two other practical functions: warming and masking, concealing. That is why 17th century women used to put a hood over their heads to maintain anonymity when visiting their lovers. It wasn't until the 1970s, when it became part of New York hip-hop culture, that the hood discovered its sportier, cooler side and became an appendage of the sweatshirt, still remaining one of the essentials of our wardrobes today.

In recent seasons, more and more designers have chosen to re-propose it on the catwalk in its most glamorous version, paired with long or wrap-around mini-dresses. It has been done by CoperniVersace, SchiaparelliDolce & GabbanaDion LeeRichard QuinnMichael Halpern, but, above all, Alaïa and Saint Laurent. Both brands drew on their tradition and succeeded in winning over celebrities such as Beyoncè. For spring/summer 2023, Anthony Vaccarello drew inspiration from Yves Saint Laurent's capuche creations of the 1980s, creating ultra-lightweight jersey dresses and blouses that enhance the body's curves, demonstrating the eternal appeal of a garment, the capuche, that the French designer first introduced in 1969. Alaïa's new creative director Pieter Mulier has also re-proposed the capuche dress, a classic that masterfully blends Eastern and Western fashion, often celebrated by the Tunisian founder of the fashion house. The definitive icon of this style? Grace Jones, unforgettable in the role of May Day in A View To Kill in 1985 also thanks to the hooded creations by Alaïa.

Thanks to the rediscovery by luxury brands, the celebs cannot do without the hoodie dress. In recent weeks, Paloma Elsesser has been sporting a vintage 1995 Issey Miyake one, featuring a pleated cape draped over the shoulders and around the face; Michaela Coel chose it by Ferragamo for the Los Angeles premiere of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Bella Hadid alternated three different ones during the Fashion Trust Arabia Prize in Qatar, including a fascinating and mysterious all-black one by Alaïa, of course. Who will be the next to succumb to the eternal allure of the hoodie dress?