8 posts tagged with Paris Haute Couture

Is it just me, or did Paris Haute Couture Week catch anyone else a little off guard? Because we’re an accessories site and haute couture and handbags don’t mix on any sort of grand scale, these shows mostly serve as a harbinger for what’s to come in the fast-approaching Fashion Weeks and the flurry of accessories that they bring, but a few of the collections are always interesting enough for us to break stride and take a look. This season, Armani Privé Spring 2011 is one of those collections.

Giorgio Armani’s couture is often worn on the world’s biggest red carpets, but the space-age fabrics and construction of this collection call to mind only one celebrity: Lady Gaga. Armani has provided many of Gaga’s more spectacular outfits for events and awards shows, including her fantastic 2010 Grammy dress, and the singer’s personal style has clearly made an impression on the legendary designer. Many of the lines retain Armani’s traditional modernist flair, but the futuristic materials and embellishments found therein can be credited to the aesthetic that Gaga has ushered into favor. It’s to Armani’s credit that he has chosen to take the zeitgeist by the horns and make some interesting clothing in the process. (more…)

Most people who follow fashion know the Chanel signatures very well: black, ivory, bouclé, suits, camellias, black, ivory. Rinse, repeat. Karl Lagerfeld’s Spring 2010 haute couture collection of graphic white and silver was a significant departure from the Chanel aesthetic that we have all come to expect, and his Chanel Fall/Winter 2010 Haute Couture collection is yet another giant step into new territory.

The most startling things about this collection were the surprising choices in color and proportion. Normally Chanel’s color palette is very predictable, but these clothes were rendered in the very un-Chanel shades of maroon, gold, navy and brown. Proportion was primarily at play in the collection’s suits and coats – abbreviated jackets were paired with below-the-knee flared skirts, coats were often boxy and straight or puffed to comical proportions. As always with Chanel couture, the real fireworks started after the show’s halfway point, where somewhat odd suits and jackets gave way to beading and embroidery so intricate and masterful that an in-person viewing would surely be required in order to appreciate the skill of the work in full. In the end, this collection should be counted as a bold achievement on the part of Lagerfeld and his team even if the suits and coats looked to hold it back at times. (more…)

I hate to say it, but John Galliano’s haute couture collections for Christian Dior have been a bit repetitive over the past few seasons. The clothes have always been suitably beautiful and ornate, of course, but I left the last collection unsure if I had seen anything particularly interesting or memorable. Well. That certainly wasn’t a problem I had with Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2010.

Perhaps it’s a result of the collection’s clear inspiration, but these completely gorgeous, pitch-perfect flower-themed dresses won’t be leaving my head any time soon. The collection is exuberant, vibrant and bold while still maintaining an obvious femininity and softness, which is a combination of characteristics that makes for utterly modern romantic dressing. Haute couture may be out of reach for nearly everyone, but here’s hoping that this aesthetic filters down the fashion ranks for the rest of us very quickly. The best looks, after the jump. (more…)

To finish out Paris Couture Week, I thought it might be nice to have something that’s not at all intellectual or challenging. If as many of you guys go out on Thursday nights as the people in my group of friends, then Friday morning is not the time to be looking at and making sense of Difficult Fashion. No no, Friday is the time for obvious things.

So, for the princess/teenage prom-goer/Oscar-winner in all of us, Elie Saab Haute Couture has the beaded, tulle’d ball gown that we’ve always wanted. In case you don’t have an occasion to which to wear a ball grown, there are a few super sparkly, pastel cocktail dresses as well, but don’t worry, they don’t skimp on the beading or tulle. Ever for someone like me, an Alexander McQueen fangirl that likes things dark and edgy if at all possible, it’s unquestionably fun to drool over something girl and light every now and then. Here’s your chance, folks. (more…)

To (very loosely) paraphrase the great Raymond Carver, Jean Paul Gaultier is what we talk about when we talk about couture. In a week of shows that have left me at times both dazzled and underwhelmed (Valentino, I’m looking at you), Gaultier showed up just in time to remind us all exactly why we’re here: because only a handful of people on the face of the planet are capable of so masterfully creating clothes that make us dream.

That’s exactly what we got with this woven, corseted, sombrero’d Mexico-meets-Avatar collection of things that no one could ever wear out into the real world, except for maybe Daphne Guinness and Lady Gaga. But the beauty of couture is that no one needs to wear most of it, which unshackles the designers and enables them to create truly resplendent and inspiring clothes-art without the burden of functionality (or the burden of reality, for that matter). (more…)

I’m…I’m underwhelmed. And a little sad, maybe. But mostly confused. Is this what Valentino Haute Couture is supposed to look like? Are they serious? I think we’ve been tricked. Fooled. Bamboozled.

It kind of reminds me of what would happen if Balenciaga and Valentino had a baby (the term ‘Valenciaga’ has already been coined elsewhere, I can’t take credit for it), and a few of the tight minidresses are reminiscent of Herve Leger, particularly with the neon inserts that were also in the previous Leger spring collection. Which is all fine and good, except neither of those designers make couture – they do a dandy job at pret-a-porter, but this is couture week, people. (more…)

Of the few shows that we’ve seen so far Givenchy Haute Couture felt the most like couture to me. As the line between a normal runway show and a couture show continues to blur and fewer brands present the highest of high fashion as time goes on and the customer base dwindles, I still thoroughly enjoy seeing a full-on, beads-and-feathers-and-funny-hats shindig.

Thankfully, that’s exactly what Givenchy gave us. Modernist lampshade-esque hats topped looks from ballgowns to jumpsuits, rendered in lace, beading, feathers and ruffles and then dipped in pure, unadulterated fabulousness. (more…)

Good news, everyone – it’s cool to be an uptight, rich plutocrat again! Adjust accordingly.

Really, where would those ideals be more appropriately on display than at the Christian Dior Haute Couture show this week in Paris? John Galliano styled his Cruella-meets-English-nobility show with riding crops and streaks of Bride of Frankenstein grey hair, and although I didn’t adore this collection as much as I did the lingerie-as-outerwear show from six months ago, I couldn’t help but smile. Haute Couture Week is like getting a big, beaded, sparkly fashion hug. (more…)

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