Haute Couture houses Chanel, Lacroix, Givenchy, and Dior are currently showing in Paris, flaunting their word class custom dressmaking skills and attention to detail. While most dresses can cost as much as $100,000, it’s still fun to look at the highest common denominators when it comes to forward thinking fashion. Here’s a quick run down:
Karl Largerfeld stayed true to the Chanel legacy of nubby tweed suits and coats reinvented for the modern career woman. Each collection begs for a new take, and Karl offered interesting plays with proportion and silhouette, presenting jackets and dresses with long tales or trains and lovely lace patterned tights. I kept looking for a standout frock, and it came in a classic belted black shift with tulle. Unfortunately, for me, it was the sole standout:
Christian Lacroix seemed to be mourning the current state of his company with his latest and perhaps final Haute Couture collection. Using funereal blacks and navy blues, Lacroix relinquished his typical opulence and fearless use of fabric, opting instead for decidedly more subdued colors and surface decoration. Bereavement aside, Lacroix’s fine hand and history of grandiosity were evident in the details–swing coats with gold embroidery and fur accoutrements, neck high lace tops worn under cinch waist skirted jackets, and strapless dresses peppered with crystals and beading:
Riccardo Tisci also went for subdued colors like black or white, but amped up his collection with piles of statement jewels that seemed to draw inspiration from Moroccan royalty. Layered black outfits (replete with head scarves) were presented in contrast to gold face jewelry and stacks of chunky bangles. Intricate beading and embellishments contributed to a collection searingly rich in details, yet pedestrian enough to be worn by celebrity trendsetters:
Lastly, Christian Dior:
In high contrast to Chanel, Lacroix, and Givenchy, Dior went above and beyond blacks, grays, and whites to offer punches of bright pink, orange, and purple. On top of the onslaught of technicolor, Galliano continued to push the envelope with models shown in various states of undress, wearing bras with full skirts, jackets with girdles worn under sheer skirts, and slips with dresses. Exposed underpinnings aside, Galliano managed to harken back to Dior’s 1950’s cinched waist New Look while also offering silhouettes that would appeal to the modern well heeled fashionista. This collection made Haute Couture interesting and droolworthy in a way the others failed to do:
Which was your fave?
Take a look at Adriana’s Spring ’09 review here.