Thursday, 29 January 2009

SS09 Haute Couture

(above: detail shots at Dior)

We already looked at the Dior show (here), but now we thought it would be fun to gaze wistfully at some of the incredible creations by the other Paris couturiers. As ever, we'll give a brief summary here, and then if you want to see a collection in its entirety you can follow the links beyond Hapsical to do that. We hope you don't think that us posting runway pictures is lazy blogging: we should get back into better form soon, it's just not only have we been struck down by a winter virus but the Hapsical laptop also seems to be vaguely unwell, and internet speeds are currently akin to wading through thick treacle.

Time to escape from all this into the dream world of Haute Couture:

Christian Lacroix:

Like John Galliano, Christian Lacroix is a designer who's really in his element with Haute Couture (more so, we'd venture, than with ready-to-wear), and this season he didn't disappoint, producing a generally stunning show which more than allowed for that all-important Haute Couture dreaming and escapism. At times the shapes became a little too Flamenco dancer for our liking, but Lacroix is masterful with colour, pattern, material, cut.. and even though things seemed a little subdued compared to his normal showings, this cheered us up no end.

Chanel:

We found Karl Lagerfeld's exclusively monochrome (and mainly white) collection a little too precious and cold in its colouring for our liking (in some respects we feel Haute Couture is not the time to hold back and restrain your urges for colour), but we could certainly appreciate the subtle design flourishes, the craftsmanship, and the overall ethereal qualities. We do feel sure that had we actually been there, the collection would have made much more of an impact, because in photographs the details of each outfit just get lost in a sea of repetitive white.

Jean Paul Gaultier:

Jean Paul Gaultier's main concession to the credit crunch seemed to be the motif of bank note designs and patterns emblazoned on some of the outfits, which added a fun touch to a solid show.

Givenchy:

A runway scattered with rose petals is not something you would automatically attribute to Ricardo Tisci, who is often predisposed towards a certain dark subversiveness, but the Givenchy designer proved that he has a brighter side too, with this elegant, light, flowing collection.

Valentino:

Drama has surrounded the house of Valentino recently since the designer himself retired only for his freshly appointed successor, Alessandra Facchinetti, to be unceremoniously sacked without explaination after just a few seasons, so this collection was perhaps lacking in what it could have been as the new (new) designers, Maria Chiuri and Pier Piccioli, are still settling in. That said, we enjoyed the overall elegance, and the slightly nostalgic feeling of very proper Italian couture, with few nods to modernity, even if it felt firmly rooted in the mid 20th century.

Armani Privé:

Although Armani's signature East-meets-West minimalist vibe was still as present as ever, the flashes of red, bright yellow, and violet were an unexpected addition to a generally successful show. It is not Armani's nature to let us enter the realm of fantasy and dream (as, say, Gallianno at Dior and Lacroix do) through his couture offerings, but that's not to say he can't still impress us with his more grounded, less embellished collections.

Elie Saab:

The glamour quotient is always high with Elie Saab's couture collections, and although the colour range was too limited for our personal liking, we generally enjoyed the collection, with its succession of glamorous ball gowns and elegant daytime options. We also liked the fact that the collection felt very Haute Couture and very extravagant, without being too ostentatious.

All images from Style.com. See full reports there.

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