To quote the song, I love Paris in the spring time -- especially spring couture time. Having just perused the handful of collections to float down the runways over the past two days, I can easily say that I am enchanted. If you shut out the noise and close your eyes for a second, you can almost pretend you are in a salon 50 years ago seeing the latest trends before the world even knows they exist. Exquisite nostalgia.
My favorites so far: click on images for a larger view; and do yourself a favor, turn on the music in the lower right column. fashion requires a soundtrack...
I really love the l'theatre feel of this collection; it lacks the severity that usually exists in a Chanel show. This is somehow simpler, a bit younger, and much lighter. The flats really exaggerate that and of course now I want ballet flats for everything (though my feet highly disagree). There were reportedly 10,000 beads used in this collection -- amazing the hours and time that go into couture garments.
Can I just begin by saying that although I do not always understand the millinery genius that is Philip Treacy, his "hats" (and that feels entirely too simple a word to describe them) really mesmerize me. This collection by Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy was said to be inspired by Japan and more specifically by toy robots and the Butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno. At first glance, to me, I certainly can see that but I also see an entomological extravaganza. Each one looks like a still insect of a rare breed about to take flight. Amazing architecture, that I cannot begin to understand the complexity of when it comes to cloth, deserves much credit.
Bouchra Jarrar is fascinated with asymmetry -- which is a beautiful thing. I love how unbalanced an asymmetrical garment can seem but, as he put, so harmonious. These pieces are all so very easy and sexy. I am a big fan. Can I please have that little black dress in every color?
Mabille actually constructed each piece first in stark white and then duplicated it precisely in rich, attention demanding color. Obviously, the white frocks didn't get my attention as much as the color and at times it was a bit confusing. But I do love the boldness of these designs. They look as if they were made for a duchess.
Jean Paul Gaultier
Congratulations to Jean Paul Gaultier who will have his first museum retrospective at The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts this year. It's about time. This collection was standard JPG blended with what seemed a bit of punk, a bit of burlesque and a bit of lady-like sex appeal. So, yeah, basic Gaultier. He does it like no other.
Again, major credit to Philip Treacy for creating such excellent and perfectly matched headpieces for this very unique Armani Prive collection. Armani was apparently inspired by the hues and glimmer of gemstones, which is terribly apparent. The slinky sheen of each piece took me a minute to completely adjust to but after the first few images, I was kind of hooked -- especially to the classic cut of all of the suits. It's very futuristic in its aesthetic but the actual tailoring is classic and impeccable. There was also the rumor that it was a bit "Lady Gaga" and we know that the designer has collaborated with her for some of her looks, but I really was reminded more of Debbie Harry -- especially with the super metallic leggings under skirts. Blondie, the original, 20 years from now.
There's a reason the Oscars are strewn every February with Saab gowns. He definitely knows his away around a woman's body. And, as usual, his collection was a crayola-soaked line up of colors but I especially loved the blush. It draws so much more attention to the actual detail of the dress because you aren't overpowered by the hue. It's all very sexy but simultaneously very lady like and that, honestly, is so much sexier.
Since Chiuri and Piccioli's promotion to head designers for Valentino, I have been repeatedly on the fence about their collections, if not one foot on the side of complete indifference. Slowly, I'm adjusting. It's a hard change to absorb -- Valentino is Valentino and to think of anyone else in his shoes (as if they could fit their feet) is still somewhat mind-boggling.
At any rate, I pseudo-like this collection as I did their A/W 2010. So that's two for...? Well, who's counting? But do let me explain my definition of pseudo-like. I actually love the details of every single piece above. I love the color, the weight, the delicacy, the complexity, and the juxtaposition of all of those things within one piece. But it seems to me that each show is struggling with an identity crisis of sorts. It borders tween and borders matronly at the same time. So, is that their version of staying current (tween) and keeping with the maturity (matron) of the line? I'm not sure but there are elements of both in almost every dress and it almost throws me off. Therefore, I am pseudo-in like.
Of course...I'd take any of them if you gave them to me. More from Paris tomorrow...