Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The Highlights of the Fall 2013 Paris Couture Shows

1) Valentino: Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri’s couture collection was inspired by 16th century wunderkammer, or “cabinets of curiosities,” that displayed natural artifacts, oddities and unique handcrafted objects. A coral motif was woven throughout the collection in lace and printed satin. The intricately detailed, one-of-a-kind gowns were counterpoints to more restrained, almost monastic, ensembles that have become part of the new Valentino code of elegance.
 2) Chanel: Karl Lagerfeld’s couture spectacle at the Grand Palais was a futuristic journey sprinkled with references from Grace Jones’ hats, to Edwardian style boots. Boucle knits were made space-age with shimmering, silver thread, while chiffon gowns were layered with a 3-D grid effect that resembled circuit boards. Erin Wasson closed the hard-hitting show in a long, white jacket buttoned top to bottom that allowed for a frothy train to extend from its tails.
 3) Christian Dior: Raf Simmons aimed to inject freedom, or diversity of choice, into his most recent couture collection. The designer channeled a myriad of travel references specific to the design house and relevant to couture’s global consumer. Fabric treatments and styling effects like shibori (the Japanese treatment that makes fabric spikey) and tribal collars reminiscent of Maasai warriors were juxtaposed with traditional French touches like buttons and pearls. Variety seemed to be the name of the game.

4) House of Schiaparelli Christian Lacroix stepped back into the spotlight to present a one-time collection created in tribute to the surrealist designer’s legacy. Lacroix showed mannequins in the Pavillon de Flore of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs that were dressed to the nines in pieces laden with Schiaparelli signatures, from monkey hair to exploding collars. It reminded many attendees just how much they’ve missed Lacroix over the years.
5) Atelier Versace Naomi Campbell set the tone for the ultra-sexy show in a pieced-together jacket slit up to there. Crystal hook-and-eye fastens were both done and undone to reveal lace underpinnings beneath gowns and suits inspired by starlets of the 1930’s.
6) Giambattista Valli knows how to decorate a girl, and flowers are no doubt one of his favorite decorations. Here, he found inspiration in various types of porcelain. The collection began with a series of white dresses swirling with white floral embroidery, followed by an explosion of color. While some trains overflowed, others were abruptly pruned. Valli’s younger customer will be pleased with leg-bearing variety.

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