VALENTINO’s couture duo, Maria Grazia CHIURI and Pier Paolo PICCIOLI, appear to finally settle into the maestro’ titanic footing; obviously they carefully studied Valentino’s couture vocabulary and philosophy for this collection. The many looks had a femininity that was both wraith-like and ever so well-bred; it might not be the ‘Couture Champagne’ of yesteryear, as today is undeniably a different place, but it was well-designed. The textile selections and immaculate treatments, especially the various embroidery treatments, were truly breathtaking.
ON AURA TOUT VU continues to live up to its name – “We Have Seen It All” is the translation from French. This team effort comes up with some rather outrageous stuff time after time. Call them, enfants terribles, brats, the way Jean Paul Gaultier or Walter Van Bierendonck were once called, but there is something timely about that quirky label. Firstly, they are invited to show alongside the masters; but, this label is as famous for its over-the-top looks as it is for its accessories. They love a good circus, and fashion is just the right audience for this audacious group.
Elie SAAB’s collection may as well be called a ‘One Note’ collection, and I mean a sublime one note! It doesn’t solely apply to its beauty, but also to its softness and exquisite finish. That famous expression, “I’ve died and gone to heaven”, applies in this instance. The looks are splendid on every account, still, not the most fashion forward. Mr. Saab deftly asserts his touch in the couture pantheon with great confidence; the 2012 Oscar’s red carpet moments might just be his next crowning.
Jean Paul GAULTIER is like a great wine; he gets better and more nuanced with age. Is the factor behind this latest lineup his recent separation from Hermès or his new joint venture with PUIG Group? Regardless of the reason, this collection is as masterful [we’ll do a full review of it soon] as it is Herculean; showing 61 looks is an incredible achievement in itself. Gaultier is possibly the most Parisian and the most democratic couturier to date. He finds inspirations in everything, from foreign cultures to world history to gender politics, and always manages a way to keep it Parisian –always finding ways to reinterpret his inspirations with humor and that ever-masterful hand. This collection is a true inspiration.
Maxime SIMOENS is a grateful guest; his collection had enough pizazz and commercial-appeal to please editors and retailers, and enough savvy to honor his hosts and clients. He seems devoted to tailoring in general as observed with his choices for dresses, day-ensembles and gowns; they are all impeccably rendered and shall make him a household name soon. His few whims came in details of feathers and fur, chandelier crystal beads and silk appliqués… a job well-done for such a young man. This new comer is definitely here for the long haul.
Still more to come…..
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