Spring Couture Continued

HAUTE COUTURE: SPRING/SUMMER 2014


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One report is hardly enough to feature and do justice to the numerous houses that put all their heart and soul into creating Haute Couture collections each season. Here are a few more examples for the Couture curious.

There wasn’t even a slightest hint of tension between classic traditional codes and minimal futuristic tendencies in Karl Lagerfeld’s latest Chanel collection. From the opening white dress worn by Cara Delevigne (yes, the star model and muse) to the wedding dress also modeled by Cara, there wasn’t a single outfit we wouldn’t love to wear. In addition to the Maison’s signature spring palette of white, beige and baby pink; sparkling – iridescent – holographic peacock tones complemented the sharply cut, neat short dresses and longer, ethereal evening ones. There was a definite sporty mood in the air as all outfits were paired with luxuriously embellished sneakers, while some of the chic ‘tennis-inspired’ dresses were worn with knee and elbow protectors, as well as trendy banana bags.

This season the spotlight was on Marco Zanini and his much-awaited first collection for the recently relaunched Maison Schiaparelli. Some models paid tribute to interwar elegance, while others had lively prints and were paired with impressive Stephen Jones hats that winked at Schiaparelli’s surrealistic humour. Although there were recognizable touches of Schiap everywhere, like oversized trousers, Art Deco prints, pointed hats, and draped dresses with voluminous skirts, absent was her very dear shocking pink. It is indeed with great pleasure that we witness the rare reopening of an Haute Couture Maison, especially one with a spirit and heritage as rich as that of Elsa Schiaparelli.

Georges Chakra’s large collection resembled an entire Haute Couture wardrobe: short cocktail dresses with tennis-like shapes and pretty flat sandals, well-cut white daytime outfits, embroidered pastel-toned mermaid gowns, spectacular metallic ball gowns in soft hues and sari-inspired, tonic coloured evening ones. In a few words, Chakra’s collection was typically Parisian: refined and discreetly chic.

Alexis Mabille presented an almost entirely white collection of evening gowns that owned the 1900 Paris air we’d spotted in previous seasons. Why does this collection remind us of Belle Epoque actress Sarah Bernhardt’s divine style? Could it be Mabille’s long fluid gowns, Greco-Roman drapes, hem embroidery, precious lace appliqué, Art Nouveau belts and light trains? Once again, Mabille leads us into his fantasy world with subtle references to the past and faultless taste.    

As for Julien Fournié, he combined futuristic cuts, mainly accented shoulders and sleeves in shiny, foil-like fabrics, with romantic flared skirts in soft, petal-coloured tones. The collection seemed to evolve around the wild flower theme, with pretty shiny ‘baby’ dresses at the start and longer more minimal jersey gowns as it progressed.

Last but not least, Indonesian designer Didit Hediprasetyo experimented with the Songket, a traditional Indonesian brocade textile with a houndstooth pattern, that is usually found on men’s suits. Hediprasetyo also used lambskin to make corsets, short dresses and beautiful geometrical jackets. A series of white lace dresses added a soft touch to this otherwise seductively strict collection.

 

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