The ultimate fashion status symbol is not an It bag, a coveted pair of shoes or a whispered up and coming label. Rather, it is a simple dress by Azzedine Alaïa. Sleeveless, cut above the knee, nipped in at the waist with a full skirt, and often featuring the Tunisia-born designer’s signature laser-cut perforations, these are what the women of the fashion and art worlds rely on as an unofficial uniform. Look at the party pages of any magazine and there will at least one of these instantly recognizable silhouettes. And as those images prove, such is their formidable fashion currency, the Alaïa dress is all a girl needs. Just add shoes (ballet flats work as well as Alaïa heels) as no bag, jewelry or watch is required. Want to be an Alaïa girl? Hit the gym and invest only in the original, as pretenders can’t mimic the stellar cuts of the inimitable Azzedine Alaïa.

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The best online selection of Azzedine Alaïa dresses can be bought at Browns:

http://www.brownsfashion.com/pages/category/category.asp?ctgry1=designers/index/women/azzedine_Alaïa &viewAll=true