Tag Archives: Giambattista Valli

Couture Fall 2015

Couture is less and less each year. Will it ever come back? Will we miss it if it goes away? Is it sustainable? It feels like many designers have taken the drama and theatre once reserved for the couture world into Ready to Wear. The opulence no longer reserved for bespoke. We see conceptual collections on the Fall and Spring runways as a matter of fact these days which kind of leaves the couture world out to dry. There was a time where Ready to Wear was strictly business, but an evolution – perhaps a revolution has begun and there seems no way around the inevitable. So let’s revel in the hand labored glory and decadence before it is gone forever. (At least in the commercial houses) Perhaps there will be personal designers hired by those who can afford it to make custom wardrobes, then we will have come full circle won’t we? I mean, we have boutique cheese shops now right? Full circle.

Alexis Mabille

This was less of a collection and more of a showcase. Perfect for couture. A wardrobe – I love when the designers do this because you get a full portrait of the customer. In this case literally as the models are likely customers who have been photographed beautifully in impeccable fantastical gowns.

I would pay money to see what happens with those beads on the first dress when she moves.

I love the colors together and the placement in the lace gown. Ice blue and cranberry are so dynamic and here they are so masterfully layered  – it’s exquisite. (I don’t think I have ever used that word here before). Then in the last that mossy green velvet ombre against the fleshy pale pink is totally inspiring. The crystal beading just pushes it over the top into total decadence. I feel moved when I look at this – it is like a Dutch painting. Masterful work yet these are just my three favorites, see them all here > Alexis Mabille
Alexis Mabille

Elie Saab

Here is an example of a designer who has taken the look of couture to Ready to Wear. Saab’s gowns in this collection would fit into any of his Ready to Wear groups easily. There is only the difference of the work involved and naturally the resulting cost. These are all beautiful gowns which will hopefully never be worn by a real housewife yet that seems inevitable too.

Elie Saab

Giambattista Valli

This one look was a standout – not just for the color but for the flawless draping. It is perfect. Perfect, timeless, flattering, strong, sexy, dynamic, stunning. Shoes? YES! Yes YEs YES

Giambattista Valli 2

I had to include these detail shots because they are just so beautiful and artisanal.

The last shot appeared in my pinterest feed and I was blown away by that cloudlike silhouette.

Giambattista Valli

Schiaparelli

Schiaparelli has become my hands down favorite couturier over the years. The back catalog of the house is intoxicating and full of surrealism. They stay true to the house and always offer some playful surrealist nods which are much appreciated, while also making modern costumes for extremely exclusive and damn lucky women. There are moments of ooh and ahh’s that are truly earned here.

Schiaparelli

Valentino

I feel bad saying it but I don’t think Valentino has ever been better than it is now. This collection is more of a full offering which seems crazy and downright foolish in this economic environment yet they do it every time. There were 59 looks in this collection. That’s a lot for a Ready to Wear collection let alone couture. They must be killing it financially to sustain this. Good for them – the clothes are truly special and I have said many times that they are the new vintage pieces. Designed for today, tomorrow, the future, the past. These are heirloom garments. The first group was my favorite featuring the Greco Roman Velvet gowns and jewelry. Audrey Hepburn could wear these as easily as your friends’ stylish Mother. The latter of the group aren’t as accessible and go back to that couture as costume idea but the they are stunning and exotic and luxury personified.

Valentino

Zuhair Murad

Another example – like Saab – of a designers whos couture looks and RTW could be interchanged. The theme here was celestial and at times got a bit too Disney for me. These three felt the most successful because they didn’t get too tied to the theme. These three evolved into inspired and inspiring.

Zuhair Murad


Fall 2014 Couture Review

Its a well known fact that couture has suffered in the last few decades. The glorious wealth that was the lifeblood of the houses has dwindled dramatically. Those houses that have continued to offer a couture collection do so cautiously and as a result couture is no longer the showcase it once was. Sure there have always been elegant sophisticated offerings but historically couture represented the high art of fashion.  The evolution has been of the fittest and we have seen the shows become more for the clients and less for the designer. Sad for the artists but good for the investor.  It seems that the transition from fantasy to reality has changed the perception a bit as well. At least for myself who now sees a couture purchase as a commitment and an investment.  More so than ever, it is about truly outstanding garments that do one or both of the following things: Make a statement and Encapsulate a persona.

Giambattista Valli

Old Hollywood meet young Hollywood. It’s not often where you see clothes that would work on such different types as Rihanna and Cate Blanchett – but here they are. This is “Hollywood” in the most flattering meaning possible. These are Lucille Ball by the pool in her heyday or Claudette Colbert gliding into 21 for dinner with her latest producer. I love this. Gorgeous!

Giambattista Valli

Elie Saab

Saab always shows red carpet gowns and dresses in both couture and Ready to Wear. He has it down to a science and is instantly recognizable by any in the know. This dress however is practically a departure from the beaded intricate looks for which he is known. This ombre firecracker is stunningly simple, dramatic, sophisticated and daring.  Normally I would shy away from something as telling of an era like ombre, (which could end up being the synthesizer of fashion trends) but here it is done with such subtlety that it looks natural. Lovely.

Elie Saab

Ulyana Sergeenko

German Bombshell. This is like if Disney did a spy thriller. Totally dramatic, totally sexy, pure fantasy. Modern Day Garbo with just the right amount of edge. The fetish folks will dig it, the Retro Girls will covet it and the glamourous will applaud it. Someone call Dita Von Tease!

Ulyana Sergeenko

Armani Prive

Speaking of fetish right? There seems to be an element of the underground being celebrated in this collection. The fishnet swing coat and rhinestone encrusted netting are so elevated here that they almost slip under the radar. The result is a suspiciously kinky and sexy story from the usually tame Armani. Not a beige in the bunch nor a pastel to be seen.  And those shoes – the shoes are devastating! Such a great interpretation. It’s wonderful to see this genre being given an elegant treatment.

Armani Privé

Dior

I will never look at Dior with the googly eyes I had for them when it was designed by Galliano – no matter what he was an incredible creative.  That being said, I can almost see his influence (at long last) creeping in with the addition of these frock coats. Perhaps someone over there is looking into the archives? Nonetheless, these coats – the fantastical frocks and the practical navy’s, are great. They hold their own despite not really seeming to belong to the same collection. Maybe the frock coats are just an example of the evolution which led to the modern navy looks on the left? I’m not sure the path but the outcome offers some lovely, totally chic staples. That first coat is so solid and so necessary that it’s like a smack in the forehead.  And the second – there is so much personality in that coat that you don’t even need the girl.

Dior

Valentino

Couture! This is what it is all about. Range.

This collection has the clean modern looks on which you would be confidant spending thousands of dollars. This white off shoulder is so thoughtfully cut that you can see they knew just how to get out of the way that fabric. One of the hardest things in design is to just let the medium speak – let it become it’s most beautiful manifestation without complicating it to satisfy your ego.

Valentino 1

Then there are the fantasy looks – the dreamy romantics you hope to see gliding down the runways so you can sigh longingly at the beauty.

Valentino 2

Finally they wrap it up with this stellar intricately beaded and encrusted gown that just leaves you breathless. This is couture.  Stand up and applaud – this is the real deal.

Valentino 3

As always feedback would be appreciated 😉

Until next time – Cheers!