Friday, January 30, 2009
It seems there is an elegant awakening at Givenchy.
Riccardo Tisci told Vogue's Sarah Mower that he had to consciously avoid his usual melancholy this season and that, "It was a little bit of a step up for me, to challenge myself to use color and show more day wear." While the palette was predominately still white, black and nude they were light and glamorous rather than the usual focus of severity. Romance was evident from the rose strewn black runway (a reference to Lawrence Alma-Tadema), an abundance of lace, and a dark sweetness. The girls looked almost ghostly and closer to Tisci's usual goth but paired with decidedly more glamorous and mature clothing.
Curves were embraced by the form-fitting fabrics many with puffs of Edwardian organza shoulders, and while there was a turn of the century flair through-out the collection, sex was on display with bondage straps peaking out unexpectedly.
But my favorites were the veiled priestess and hooded dresses that flowed so beautifully and were draped so perfectly I almost cried.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Looking at Jean Paul Gaultier's Spring Summer 09 Haute Couture collection was like stepping into couture heaven. Absolutely divine. Bank note inspired calligraphy swept through the inky collection with a nod and a wink to the financial down turn. Gaultier took a look back at the 80s with former super model Ines de la Fressange walking the runway. Cobweb style dresses were mixed with sharply tailored suits (an obvious homage to le smoking), lingerie and his signature corsets. Gaultier was innovative without being alienating a problem I've found felt with recent couture collections. This was beautiful AND interesting with superior craftsmanship for example the sharp angles were softened by the use of filmy fabrics. It was couture at its finest. Just exquisite.
Isn't the shot of lime green here just perfect? I think it might be my favorite look.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Is it possible to be a heavy cloud? Maybe a storm cloud is heavy? If that is the case then Christian Lacroix's SS 09 Haute Couture was a storm cloud. Everything was so weighed down the pieces looked almost comical. At least it brought some great color into a very gray day!
I don't have much to say except that I didn't like it except for the red gown above. I kept thinking that I had seen it all before and done better.
I will say that the makeup, jewelry, tights and hair was beautiful.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Only Karl Lagerfeld could make a collection almost entirely in white (with some notes of black) and keep me riveted. Karl looked to the uplifting inspiration of a piece of paper for Chanel's couture this troubling financial season. What is more hopeful or full of more possibilities than a blank piece of white paper?
It seemed as if the clothes were simply wearable origami so precisely folded and shaped were the shoulders, waists and hemlines. It was like the most supremely elegant paper dolls had emerged from thin air with just a snip here or there of Lagerfeld's scissors.
But of course paper wasn't the only material (the headpieces by Kamo were actually created with paper) used in the collection. Organza, tweeds, lace with crystal beads, pearls, ribbon trim, taffeta and chiffon were used in their airiest forms to create the most ravishing details. And if paper was his inspiration than white flowers (roses, camellias, and peonies) were the dreamy result.
As the collection was looking towards a bright future away from our current darkness Karl did make one change in a nod to frugality: for the first time in many seasons he didn't show at le Grand Palais with massive statues of Chanel's iconic imagery but favored the intimate setting of the Pavillon Cambon Capucines. And in case you were wondering Freja opened the show and was the bride! Bravo Freja!
It was hard to ignore the French haughtiness of the confectionary-like gowns that swept down the Dior runway. It was as if John Galliano said, "Let them eat cake!" in response to questions of global economic meltdown.
Still, it was beautiful but dull at Dior.
Still, it was beautiful but dull at Dior.
Maybe if another designer had done this collection it would be hailed for its construction and patterns but I think we hold John Galliano to a higher standard. He didn't do anything new but I did feel more of an emotional reaction to this collection than anything he did last year. Still, it feels like Galliano, when at his peak at Dior from 2001-2004, used to be able to take an array of inspirations to their most extreme and decadent and whip them into a fascinating, coherent collection. The Galliano flair and kitsch just seems to be missing for me.
Of course he is still a master courtier and Stephen Jones fantastical hats were amazing!
The influence of Dutch artist Vermeer was clear in the beautiful yellows and blues throughout and continued with more seventeenth century references such as paper scroll hips, cross-lace corsets, and elaborate collars. I especially liked the Delft porcelain prints on the sumptuous fabrics. Once or twice I even thought, "THAT is the dress Michelle Obama should have worn!"
Wouldn't that dress have been just divine on Michelle Obama? It seems like a modern take on Colonial Virginia to me.