Couture Highlights That Owned Everything
Though all fashion of note is an art form in itself, couture is the chance for pure, unbridled artistic genius to emerge. This past week, the couture collections that debuted at Paris Fashion Week were literally among the most inspired, most imaginative, and most innovative that we have seen this season. From Chanel’s rejuvenation of the floral print, to Atelier Versace’s landmark collection of only curves, we round up the highlights of the week in couture.
To quote the immortal Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, “Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.” Only in the case of Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel’s vision for Spring 15 Couture, this statement holds entirely true without a drop of sarcasm. Florals reigned supreme across the spread of the overtly theatrical collection, expressed most clearly in the runway itself, a 6 month long construction that showcased 300 mechanical flowers that bloomed into life upon the start of the show. Evoking the refinement of the Ascot races in Edwardian England and the icy dexterity of a Technicolor future not yet realized. The highlights were the array of blouses and skirts ornamented with enough flowers to give the impression of a living, breathing bouquet, which created a stimulating dichotomy between the iconic Chanel blazers that Lagerfeld continues to evolve through each season. Groundbreaking indeed.
The glory days of Studio 54 seemed to come back to life in Schiaparelli’s latest collection, one that combined the elevated glam of late 70’s nightlife with a flavor of mysticism that was distinctly Arabian Nights. Headgear was the most accentuated accessory, with a spread that included Frida Kahlo-esque floral headbands, ornately patterned headscarves, wire-framed constructions, and even a fez. Schiaparelli in the founding days of the label was renowned for their wildly imaginative patterns, and that piece of heritage continues to be self-evident with this collection’s series of delicate hands, celestial starbursts, and even pop-up pinned hearts that were emblazoned across the lush scope of gowns and blazers. Amazingly, this entire collection was helmed by an in-house creative team, making the line all the more impressive. Who said disco’s dead?
As Raf Simmons embarked upon the task of creating Dior’s Spring 15 Couture collection, he must have been rifling through his old Bowie records, as the spirit of Ziggy Stardust hovers over almost every piece in this vibrantly arresting collection. The thigh high neon colored boots and glittery pantsuits and tops are pure Bowie, but the illustrious striped skirts, leggings, and tops were an amalgamation of all things 60’s mod, from Bond girls to Godard films. Being spring, they also naturally ventured into florals, but their touch was measuredly more geometric than some of the other patterns seen this season. It’s a bold step for Dior, a house where clear cubed heels and sheer floral housecoats would have previously been unheard of. To us, it seems that they were always meant to venture into the territory of redefining the mod girl.
At a glance, this year’s collection of Valentino couture may not be as immediately flamboyant as those in previous years, but the unmistakable elements of regality and splendor are just as present, if not more, than ever. The most innovative aspect of this collection is the patterns, an aesthetic engineered by designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli that brings to mind images of Imperial Russia, clothing that is a middle ground between traditional Oriental design and high Renaissance European craftsmanship. Note the spread of individualized cuffs on each and every dress, and the meticulously designed boots that are a staple of this year’s collection. Both in color palette and design, this collection is a little more understated and formal than some of the other looks on display, but it does nothing to take away from the sheer magnanimity seen here.
Before we can even begin to analyze the aesthetic of Versace’s Spring 15 Couture, we must take a moment to address the monumental innovation of this collection that has had fashion bloggers everywhere in a frenzy: the utter lack of a straight stitch. Donatella caused the stir of the week with this collection that boasts entirely curved lines, the ultimate accentuation of the female form. From a simple color spectrum of pure red, blue, black, and white, the breadth of designs that emerged was simply breathtaking, from curly-cue, red carpet ready dresses to two piece suits to slips with boots, everything was glazed over with the inspired classicism that only Versace can muster. The presentation was presided over by the likes of mother/daughter team Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson, driving the point of the mastery of womanhood ever further home.
Photos courtesy of Gianni Pucci for Style.com
Versace photos by Sonny Vandevelde