Haute couture, the most stare-worthy of all fashion was on display in Paris from the 23rd until the 26th of January. The audience, ranging from the most private of heiresses to Hollywood divas to the most prominent members of the fashion press, made a show out of their own appearances, while the models strutting down the catwalk wore the most exquisite, extravagant and expensive ensembles.
Atelier Versace‘s space-age glamazonians kicked off the shows early Monday morning – the collection was first Donatella has presented in eight years and as to be expected, her return to the official couture scene was anything but humble.
Chiffon mille-feuille, pompous forms and ladylike behaviour was key at Christian Dior in Bill Gaytten’s very christiandioresque couture collection. The finale gowns will be a sure hit with nostalgic-minded Hollywood divas come award season. Tres dramatique!
Alexis Mabille looked to the Golden Age of Couture for the inspiration. The somewhat Cristobal Balenciaga inspired collection was a tribute to the lush colour palette of the orient, but also to the beautiful craft that is couture. The blown out proportions, dramatic face paint and extravagant headpieces all added drama to the already lavish collection.
For Giambattista Valli, this was a special couture fashion week – for the first time showed as the official member of the Syndicale. As for the collection – it was as dramatic and romantic as ever, with the designer’s never-ending love-affair with exotic flowers and lavish embellishment.
We took one look at the couture invites and predicted a jet-setting collection from Chanel. The whole affair was a fine tribute to the glamorous days of air travel, when hostesses were chique and flying meant champagne and canapes, not lack of leg space and salted peanuts. The models were dolled-up to be as charming as the beauties on Pan-Am once upon a time. Never one to do things in halves, Karl had even set up the catwalk as an airplane. Buckle up and enjoy the journey!
Gym class heroes wearing heavy beaded gowns, leather corsetry and ethnic jewellery (notably the tribal nose rings) was the look at Givenchy couture. Wunderkind Riccardo Tisci continues his journey as fashion’s favourite through another successful collection.
Simplicity, elegance and painful precision to cut have always been Giorgio Armani’s mantra and there was certainly no lack of any of the mentioned qualities in his Privé collection. Reminiscent of Pandora in both the colour scheme and sensitivity, the collection played on the delicate juxtaposition of silvery greys and lush greens. The show however was as far away from a blockbuster as it could ever be – it was as refined as one would ever expect from Armani, even after Jessica Chastain’s shrieks in the front row after finding out about her Oscar nomination.
It was a stew of 70s romantic references at Valentino, from bow-collared silk blouses and puff-sleeved brocade coats to broderie anglaise and Laura Ashley florals. One would never think to use the names of Valentino and Laura Ashley in one sentence – in fact, I believe there is a law against it – but we can’t help but notice the resemblance in the delicate gowns. There was even a little bit of Great Gatsby present – after all, one of the most famous film versions was made in 1974 – but then again, an overwhelming flapper riot is predicted for the coming season across the global fashion scene.
Jean Paul Gaultier was en route to Camden via Paris. The designer paid a loving tribute to muse Amy Winehouse with a collection of her signature pencil skirts, ahoy-sailor T-shirts, 1940s tailoring, supermarket jewellery and glitterati. Not to mention her infamous beehive, which was present in every colour possible. Perhaps too soon after the passing of the newest member of the 27Club, but last night’s show definitely confirms her icon status – there will be many pages in fashion history books dedicated to her successful albeit short-lived career. Father Mitch was not impressed, but somehow, we believe Amy, whereever she is now, was.
Videos via Youtube; Logo Vogue Italia