The multi-billion dollar fashion industry is rooted in change—the change of seasons, style, and wardrobe— and couture is the driving force. The predominate showcase of an atelier’s craftsmanship, couture demonstrates the magic and dreams of what’s possible.
We drooled over the chic confections from our favorite couture houses of Elie Saab, Giambatista Valli, Valentino, Chanel and of course, Dior. We were also thrilled to see Russian street style star and designer Ulyana Sergeenko’s first collection. Here are some of our favorite looks and trends:
Designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino and Elie Saab both showed the glamour of couture in a line-up of whimsical confections. “Couture has to be magical,” insisted Piccioli, who along with Chirui crafted an artisanal collection complete with one outfit that required 500 hours to just create the crepe piping. Beading, sequins, and hand made tulle flowers showcased the femininity and richness of the season, a beauty any star would love to dawn on Oscar night (Elie Saab on left, Valentino on right).
The guests of Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel couture show descended into the Grand Palais until they reached a classical amphitheater. Karl, who is usually inspired by his dreams for his collections, was dreaming of Weimar, according to Tim Blanks, a sylvan hub of German Romanticism in the late eighteenth century. Romantic the show was. Beaded floral confections stood out on the runway, while Karl continued his creamy white Edinburgh tweed evolution from Pre-Fall. The dominate silhouette, framed shoulders, will define the Act I RTW Fall collection.
It’s hard to forget the reality Raf Simons brought to couture during his first outing at Christian Dior in July, where he showed a new take on Dior’s “new look”—the bodice of a gown paired with chic cigarette pants—a modern way to wear the beauty of a gown and the practicality of a trouser. While Raf’s first season centered more on the houses bar jacket DNA, his Spring collection hit closer to Christian Dior’s heart, playing with his love of the countryside and the flowers he grew there. Of course Raf would never just show flowers. The colors were bright, delicately embroidered, and combined with modern asymmetrical lines. The deep burnt papaya’s, oranges, and citrons are telling of what you’ll see from Isharya’s Indian Summer collection, a perfect pair to Raf’s serene vision.
We loved the red hued floral and garden influenced embroidery from Valentino, the work truly rooted in artisanal quality and fit for modern royalty. The red piped scroll dress in the center reminds us of the Hermes porcelain pattern Balcon du Guadalquivir, inspired by the ironwork of balconies overlooking Andalusian rivers.
FEMININE AND FLIRTY
Giambattista Valli showcased a truly feminine and flirty collection rooted deep in the florals and embroidery that appeal to his young jet-set clientele. We love the ultra girly pink vibe of his show, and textiles reminiscent of those found in the Far East.
DREAMING IN BLACK AND WHITE
Black and white, a strong theme from Spring’s RTW collections, is the perfect shade for designers to show of their extraordinary craftsmanship. The absence of color allows for the eye to focus on the details of a garment—floral embroidery, delicate pleating, or lace overly. The three gowns above best demonstrate the magic of couture…a feat no one can copy (Elie Saab left, Valentino center and right).
All photos courtesy of style.com