The couture shows are always exciting to watch as designers have more freedom to allow their creative side to come through in their designs. Not constrained by commerciality, couture fashion is usually more avant-garde and some of the time borders on unwearable! This couture season, designers displayed some level of restrain with many of the designs red carpet ready with minimal adjustments required.
Although Alexis Mabille said he was “imagining his women as jewels”, his Fall 2012 couture collection did not seem to have a strong enough theme tying all the pieces together. From deep velvets to standout pom pom like tulle shoulder detailing, the mix of materials, colours and styles seemed a bit confusing. Still, there were a few standout pieces, including beautiful dresses with cape sleeve details, which you could easy imagine on the red carpet.
Inspired by the concept of morning-to-midnight, Giorgio Armani’s 2012 Fall Armani Privé collection was based on a beautiful palette of dusty pinks, blues and purples, all of which you could imagine lighting up the sky in a dusk sunset. Models accessorised their outfits with little black berets by Phillip Treacy and beaded veils, which were used to create an atmosphere of mystery. The collection stuck to Armani’s style of classic simplicity, with a futuristic twist added with the sheen of the fabric and android inspired make-up.
With the theme New Vintage, Karl Lagerfeld presented a couture collection that was a twist on classic Chanel. The signature Chanel tweed was embroidered on tulle, taking couture to a whole new level. Smart suits with a nod to the 1940’s were paired with futuristic style sparkling, silver stockings. Speaking about the collection, Lagerfeld said “Vintage is depressing, but ‘new vintage’ is something to come. It’s preparation for something that could last.” The beautiful Grand Palais, provided the perfect backdrop for the colour palette of greys, pinks, blacks and silver. The interior was customized to a design concept used by Coco herself in her original salon. There is no doubt King Karl presented a timeless collection, which you could easily imagine in a lucky woman’s wardrobe for years to come.
Without a doubt, the most anticipated show on the couture week calendar, ex-Jil Sander designer Raf Simons presented his first couture collection for Christian Dior. After the unceremonious exit of John Galliano, Simons had big shoes to fill, and fill he did, with a spectacular presentation reflecting a mix of his love of construction, mixed with smooth, lady-like elegance of Dior. The walls were lined with over one million flowers, providing an amazing backdrop for this stunning collection. Simons successfully combined the classic shapes of the past, the first look based on the shape of the iconic Bar jacket, with modern influences, such as the fabrics inspired by contemporary artist Sterling Ruby and one of Simon’s personal favourites. After seeing Simon’s heartfelt and timeless collection, it’s safe to say, the Dior legacy is in safe hands.
Entitled ‘Constantinople’s Wake’ Elie Saab’s sparkling couture collection inspired by the Byzantine Empire showcased his signature style. Despite being heavily embellished, Saab’s stunning pieces floated behind each model, appearing to defy the weigh of the thousands of beads, crystals and sequins lining the material. Plunging necklines, thigh-high splits and figure-hugging silhouettes showed why Saab’s dresses are red-carpet favourites.
Based on a palette of reds, greens and black, Giambattista Valli’s collection came to life in a flurry of dramatic ruffles created from light as a feather fabrics prints with vibrant blooms. Stunning gold ivy leaf neckpieces and belts perfectly complimented the butterflies adorning the models. Veils across each model’s face were reminiscent of a lattice in a garden. Based on a fairytale-like story of fairies, nymphs and the more darker side of magic, Valli’s dreamy collection would not disappoint his loyal followers, and is sure to earn him a new legion of fans.
Images courtesy of Style.com