Friday, February 5, 2016

Still Talking About Couture Week

If you missed Couture Week, you're in luck. I am about to review the top five must-watch shows. Are you paying attention? Good. Right before you sit back, relax, and sign in to Vogue Runway (you're ultimate fashion week guide) to keep tabs on Fashion Month, you get to enjoy Couture Week and fantasize about every look you wish you had hanging inside your closet (or about attending the Oscars in one of those dresses). From the romantic Giambattista Valli to the spectacle at Chanel, Couture Week is a dream-like experience featuring such a wide selection of looks that it becomes almost undefinable. Couture is a runway of artwork and unlike ready-to-wear, it possesses the magical powers to seduce each and every one of us. Every dress invites you to discover its details with wonder and bewilderment as you become immersed in the catwalk. Now, are you ready to review?

It may be almost 30 minutes long, triple the time of your average runway show, but when it comes to Jean-Paul Gaultier, every minute is worth it. While I still feel nostalgic for the days of ready-to-wear, it's undeniable that Gaultier's strongest asset is la Haute Couture. Every runway show he presents tells an elaborate story and if you've ever seen one of his shows, you'll know that the spectacle is directly related to his own fun-loving personality. Now, let's get to the point, shall we? This show began with a wide array of models in fancy sleepwear for the rich. Some of the features included gold lame and traditional bedtime stripes, but the show was anything but traditional. It gleamed and sparkled like the two-piece outfits on the runway and show-pony chapeaux to match. The models walked down the runway with sass and a bag-girl attitude only suitable at a Gaultier show. It was all very "rock n' roll diva who stayed out very late at a Studio 54 party", demonstrated by the models with cigarettes hanging off their dramatic pouts. Everything was loud and vibrant with 70's deep V's and bralets that added much sex appeal. How do I score this one? I'd say 8/10. I've seen wilder Gaultier, but this definitely kept his fervor intact.

What can I say about Valentino that hasn't been said before? It is the definition of romantic, demure, and totally nostalgic for a time where high necklines and an elegant bodice were what people wore every single day. It perfectly encapsulates the mood we're all currently feeling by taking us back to the past, to a time where living in a castle was totally legit. It felt like an episode of Game of Thrones with Medieval headgear and velvet galore. There were several deep-V necklines, but somehow it came off as innocent and majestic rather than provocative in a Jean-Paul Gaultier type of way. For the most part, the colours remained earthy with some Roman goddess white numbers to take note of (notably looks 43 through 46). While the collection may seem dated to you, it's traditionalism is exactly what makes it fit so well with our nostalgia. Just turn on your television and you'll see that it's all about our history, an escape from selfies and smartphones. And I must say, even though I watched the show on social media, my mind was fully in tune with Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri, the brains behind the collection.

We may have lost Raf Simons at Dior, but the brand is still true to the original designer with an underlying feeling that Raf's influence is still very much present. The collection was feminine and sweet with flared hems and colourful prints that embodied the strong artistic influence at Dior. One of the dominant Spring 2016 trends made an appearance throughout the show: bare shoulders. Is it safe to say we may be spotting this one during awards season this year? Jennifer Lawrence, I'm looking at you. A few other characteristically girly touches were the ruffles, sheerness, and giant bows tied at the feet. Nothing captures Dior better than a classy stiletto heel with a hint of ooh-la-la. While most of the collection portrayed a strong sense of femininity, the oversized jackets and vests added some masculine edge to the collection. But rather than appearing out of place, they felt empowering in contrast with the softer looks. Raf may be gone, but his legacy lives on and so does Christian Dior's. This was only a hint of what's to come and I'm eager to discover the new touches that will be introduced to the brand during Paris Fashion Week.

Chanel would have to be one of the most highly anticipated shows at Couture Week. First of all, Karl Lagerfeld always manages to deliver nothing short of perfection regardless of how many collections he's scheduled to present. While Valentino brought a Game of Thrones touch to its runway, Chanel inspired itself from Star Wars with Princess Leia hairdos to compliment dramatic stage makeup. Though the beauty presentation may have been intense and theatrical, the clothing was anything but. Keeping the Chanel vision alive, Karl had his models walk the runway in classy suits in sophisticated colours like navy blue and white. The necklines were high and the hemlines were low, drawing attention to the details on each elaborate garment. Some of those details included Karl's customary fanny packs and flower motif buttons. As the show progressed, the materials got flowier and softer, appealing to our romantic side. What remained the same was the class and sophistication of every look, whether it contained a feathered skirt or a hint of sparkle. As per Lagerfeld style, comfort was key when it came to the footwear. Rather than put the models in sneakers, this season, they wore the black and white Chanel shoe with a grass-friendly wedge for your neighborly garden party. Now, I don't know about you, but I am ready for some hors d'oeuvres in the garden right about now.

While Chanel may be the most well-known and consequently, sought after, Couture collection, Giambattista Valli speaks to my soul and his collections, ready-to-wear and couture alike, never fail to capture my heart. Each piece is consistently beautiful with ruffled accents on sweet mini dresses and floral prints that can only make you think of a field of flowers on a bright sunny day. The textures at Giabattista Valli make you want to reach out and touch them through your computer screen as you watch each model cascade down the runway. While the show began with shorter hemlines, it took a turn halfway through with a few longer and fuller skirts (namely looks 16 and 18). At this point, we entered into the realm of black and white juxtaposed to create an image of a sweet girl with a hint of edge. The black cape dress on look 24 was a personal favourite of mine because it encapsulated the dark and romantic theme perfectly. And of course, it wouldn't be a Valli show without some extravagant tulle dresses at the very end that have developed into his personal signature.

Eager to watch the full shows? Don't forget to check them out via YouTube along with Then, I'd love to know which was your favourite. Was it Valli or Valentino? Or maybe it was Versace?

Ponder it,


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