Natural and textured Spring Couture ’18

Haute Couture is sending a message, maybe not a meditated one, but it was clear. Nature, in most cases, was the inspiration for most collections. The textures, the roots, the flowers, the sky, the movement. In a clear or surreal environment, nature had a leading role in the trends that will be dominating the next year, in the clothes we all be able to wear.

Maybe it is also a cry for the industry to step back and slow down its pace. Many talented designers have resigned their posts due to the pressures of launching 6 different collection, tending to trends, and satisfying the loyal brand customers. And of course, battling the copycats, born and raised with the fast fashion brands, and their pressure to get people something new, every week. True fashion cannot do that, and neither this nature will be able to hold out for long.

Haute Couture is also feeling a lot more optimistic, the collections were full of colors (to the exception of Dior), filled with tulle, frills, sequins, embroidered flowers and a sense of lightweight, and a clear nod to the female empowerment. Many of the couturiers opted to show more pants, even tuxedo constructions owned by the softness, lightness and femininity. This is also a repercussion of all the social movements and distresses that we’ve been witnessing or have been a part of for the last year. Let there not be a doubt that fashion is a strong way to express one self for the human being.

Beyond all these meditations, the trends are clear, so get ready. Texture, a lot of it,  nature related, specially. Feathers, frills, embroidered flowers, and tulle will be making a strong come back, as well as some color block and as Galliano clearly stated with his Margiella collection, clothes that will shimmer with light.

An ode to slow Haute Fashion

So, the fashion industry has been experiencing some serious turmoil with the designers resigning, and maisons left without creative direction.

There are numerous reasons for a designer to leave. The discrepancies with the financial direction, the creative limitations or just a fight with the brand director. Case in point: Alber Elbaz. This is an ongoing fight, given that after his exit from Lanvin, his creative team has been very outspoken of their not so loved direction.

The rumor mill has it that Stefano Pilati is leaving Ermenegildo Zegna for Lanvin. So we haven’t hear the last from this particular case.

Now, there’s a new case of designers leaving and having issues with the brands, given the pace that fashion has come to thanks to fast fashion (we are looking at you Inditex and H&M). The luxury houses have to take on a much faster pace in order to catch up with the created demand of trends from the consumer, and the fact that fast fashion steals some inspiration, doesn’t make things any easier.

Designers who are artists first and foremost, are succumbing to the pressure of not having real time to look out for inspiration and the magic that makes luxury fashion special and different. I’ve written about this and I believe it is right. First, if the industry slowed down, we would be a lot more eco conscious and we’d stop creating obsessive consumption and actually create unique pieces that the people would want.
And there’s the internal job of the artist, of the creative process. If they have to put out around 6+ collections every year, there’s no real time to really fill the collections with inspiration and the love of creation that designers can give to their clothes.
Should these concerns go any further, we will be seeing a change very soon.

And now, in an ode for true inspirational, magic fashion, the latest Spring 2016 Haute Couture. You’ll notice the trends (beyond the pale rose and the serenity blue pentanes), we are aiming for colors, for very sheer and see-through fabrics, with a lot of flounces and tassels, mixed textures and flowers (that can’t be left out, because it is spring)

Alberta Ferreti with her Limited Edition, inspired in the Marchesa Luisa Casati with femme fatale in the 20’s silhouettes with a strong layer of animal inspiration, specially in the accessories.

Jean Paul Gaultier gives an homage to vintage french night life in his very particular way, enjoying that he no longer has his pet a porter line, and he can go all out and have fun and make great pieces in Couture.

Alexandre Vauthier just goes out for the sensual woman living the nightlife and enjoying herself. She’s a team and she’s elegant all in one. there are some powerful statements in this collection. And a lot of red carpet possibilities.

Armani Privé gives a sense of continuing his latest Couture collection that had flowy and soft, delicate fabrics with soft prints but this time he went for the mauve tone, going for lilac. And frills, bubble skirts and dresses. And the very trendy flats with straps.

Karl Lagerfeld is going eco friendly with Chanel, or as much as the brand is able to. He went for wild cotton and other natural fabrics, without forgetting the traditional Chanel linings, mixing them up with long printed playful dresses and some 20’s inspiration.

Dior has been left without a Creative Director. The kids who were working with Raf Simmons took over this collection whilst the direction looks for an appropriate designer. And of course, the result is that the brand suffers. This collection is not bad, it is just flat, there’s nothing surprising, nothing Dior-like but the basic guide lines. I don’t see Dior doing so well this time.

Elie Saab is changing. Or at least, the inspirations have changed. India meets boho-chic this could’ve been called. And it is just wonderful. It is the proof of craftsmanship, and shiny boots that everybody will love. Enjoy the flowy fabrics, the sari-like crossing, the beading and the embellishments, the show jackets with long necks and sheerness.

Giambattista Valli also homaged Paris (due to the terrorists attacks back in November), through its gardens and its flowers. And an encore from the last collection, Remember Rihanna in the huge pink layers tulle dress? Well, there’s a new version, with a black bandeau. It is not so creative, but it is beautiful. Oh, and the skirt with the short front and the long (even train) back are back.

I just don’t really understand Riccardo Tisci. I do not like most of what he’s done for Givenchy, and lately that horrifying lamp-like dress Cate Blanchett wore and the rather ill-fitting green gown that Julianne Moore wore for the SAG Awards. That one is actually in these pictures. It is not a bad dress, but it didn’t fit the redheaded actress right.

Maison Marginal has benefited greatly from the talent of John Galliano. The designer has refrained from his popular antics in the runway, and has found a way to mix the Marginal values with his own. As you know Margiela values are a little weird, and you can add to that the magnificent Galliano creations. There’s texturing, there are weird mixes and matches and some are big. And the boots are to die for.

Bertrand Guyon has also been a good match for Schiaparelli. He seems to understand the influences and inspirations that come with the brand. And this time, food and the lobster dress were the prime focus. All the elements of a picnic, including the blanket are included in the clothes, and it is a lot of fun.

I’ve always liked Ulyana Sergeenko’s collections. They have all that russian thing going on, and also that touch of femme fatale. The first collections were a little slow, and then they picked up. These one, I just didn’t get. There were corsets, and lingerie popping out, and 80’s trends, and country dresses. There was no common thread, no sense of order. It never built up ‘cause there was no where to go.

I love Valentino once more. The fact that Chiuri and Piccioli are aiming for their roman background has made their collections just the more beautiful. The last greek-roman one was just great, and this one is also fantastic. They went for a little baroque, but they kept the feminine, the sensual, the delicate and elegant, and the beautiful accessories featuring old coins, even in the feet.

Donatella Versace has gone to the vault of inspiration and it may have not been as good as they thought. The white suits with popping bright colors and slits are a good way to go, and even some of the roman inspired dresses, also rather colorful (like the one Brie Larson wore). But then there were all those weird Swarovski straps coming and going, like tying up the dresses pieces of a dress are a little bit too much. It is going for sensual and sexy to plain tacky. Maybe it’s time to back down a little.

Viktor and Rolf, as far as I’m concerned, do not design clothes to be worn, but to be seen as pieces of art. And this time, Pablo Picasso was the biggest influence. The eyes, the mouths, the heads, even the boobs were all marked out on very white canvas. Even over the models’ faces. It is interesting how art truly translates into fashion, the way Viktor & Rolf do it.

Zuhair Murad is a master of red carpet creations. The clothes are just picture perfect, and actually really beautiful. The dresses are dreamy, and this occasion is no exception. With the corsets and skirts worn by Elizabeth I and the english court of the time, the embroidered fabrics and the lace have a huge moment. Do not miss the wedding gown at the grand finale. Another master creation of artisan hands and dedication.

 

 

 

 

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