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.

 

 

 

 

Haute Couture, my love!

I get really excited every time Haute Couture begins. This week really allows the whole fashion industry to dream big, to turn fashion into art, and to determine almost every trend that we’ll be seeing the next year.

And this is sure a very particular Haute Couture Week. Giorgio Armani avoided his usual extra minimal creations and shocked in pop pink, metallic shades and fluffy coats. Karl Lagerfeld designed a jacket with 3D laser for Chanel, and celebrated his 50th anniversary as Creative Director of Fendi with a collection that has PETA crawling up the walls.
Viktor & Rolf showed literal “Wearable Art”, modifying the creations directly on the runway.
And trends are running a little wild for Fall&Winter 2015. A LOT of flowers and bright colors, specially bright pink, orange and gold. There are tons of sheer fabrics and cut outs, with those 70’s silhouettes that most brands hinted last season. 70’s is going on strong and fluorescent 80’s are well on their way. Also, Fur. Fur everywhere. Not only on Fendi’s Haute Fourrure collection, but almost in every runway, so get ready for some serious PETA fury, and tons of horrific posts on every single social network.
I have to say, this is some great Couture.

Karl Lagerfeld celebrated his 50th anniversary leading Fendi. This is also the first time the Roman based maison has a Haute Couture collection, which makes it even more special. Since the announcement, The Kaiser called it “Haute Fourrure” given the amount of fur he would show, and he was not kidding. This collection was different to the rest because it was mostly black and white, mixing chinchilla, sable, mink with feathers, seemingly plastic fabrics, diagonal lines and thigh high printed boots.
This is luxury and excess at its very best.

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What can you say about the Enfant Terrible of Fashion? Jean Paul Gaultier decided to stop working on his Pret A Porter collection and give his full attention to his Haute Couture. I’m sure there a lot of women disappointed, but the man is just as talented as he’s ever been. The collection has a clear nautical influence, but it is colorful, filled with gold-thread embroidery and with big weird head pieces. A lot of geometrical cuts, mixed textures and fun. You could feel the positive, fun emotion that surrounded the creations.

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I have to be honest. I’ve never really liked a Viktor&Rolf collection, and maybe because they have this abstract art vision towards fashion. This particular collection made that statement obvious. The pair has also ditched their Pret A Porter collection to focus on their “Fashion is Art” concept. They called this one: Wearable Art, and it could not have a better name. Viktor and Rolf were over the runway, fixing the dresses right there. You can see it.

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Alexis Mabille elebrated 10 years as a Couturier and has received the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres distinction. For this collection he called 15 of his muses, among them Ditta Von Teese and Berenice Bejo and portrayed them as the true people who wears these clothes, as the heart of couture. Photographer Matthew Brookes made an awesome job.

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Elie Saab has a very clear formula for his collections. He’s Red-Carpet-perfect-choice. The sequins and beads embroidered dresses with that ethereal feel and princess-like luscious fabrics makes you feel like you could wear each dress to just be around in your house, and feel like you’re the queen of everything. This time, Saab tried some palazzos which is the novelty, and those black gowns with the flowers… Trust me, we’ll be seeing a lot of these on the red carpets to come.

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Maison Margiela was without a doubt the place for John Galliano to make a full come back. The ability to experiment with fabrics, textures, images and contradictions that already came in the DNA of the maison were just the place to bring back the immense talent that Galliano has. And when I say contradictions, I mean a dress made of what could have been a bag for potatoes, to “origami-like” printed dresses

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Alexandre Vauthier chose Los Angeles as the muse of this collection. And fringes, fringes all over. At the edge of a dress, from the belts on the shoes. It empowers a woman who wants to feel like a sexy rockstar with cut outs, thigh high slits and super short skirts, very LA if you ask me.

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Mr. Armani shocked his audience as he drifted away from his usual minimalistic ways towards a very early 80’s bright colored collection, with a Punk feel to it. Filled with feathers and bright sequins, blue, green and pink over green and making an ombre appearance. It was an odd choice for Armani, even though the silhouettes of the gowns and the jackets clearly had the Armani seal all over.

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Bouchra Jarrar up until now, designed for the working every day woman. And the clothes were beautiful and functional, but this time she went for a younger woman, with crop tops and pleated sheer skirts over short ones. There was a lot of fur, even in the crossed crop tops, mixed with big waisted pants.

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This Fall, Chanel was showing in a Casino. Kristen Stewart, Geraldine Chaplin, Rinko Kikuchi, Rita Ora, Lara Stone, Vanessa Paradis and Julianne Moore played at the tables, while the models walked around with Lagerfeld’s creations.
Since he also showed his very first jacket cut out by 3D laser, the whole collection had that “machine over man” theme going on. With a classic Chanel and incredibly oversized coats and jackets, but doll-like cheeks, lips and hair.

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My dear Giamba, always so beautiful and so great. Giambattista Valli has this classic italian work and he mixes it with his inspirations. This time, he went for Talitha Pol and Syd Barrett, some psychedelic view with bright colors and textures, and those huge dark shades. From the short feathered dresses, to the long and incredibly big fluffy gowns and that long black dress with flowers. You just fall in love with all of it.

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Alberta Ferretti is also a new addition to the Haute Couture Week, with her Limited Edition line. And I saw this one before, and I think it is perfect. It came out of a glorious french palais, and it actually did ‘cause Alberta has moved her atelier to a french chateau, that once belonged to the Rotchschilds, at Rue Faubourg Saint Honore. It has the baroque, and the feminine. It is delicate and sweet, and it has an immense amount of artisan craftsmanship. It is beautiful.

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Raf Simmons has taken his place at Dior perfectly, I just don’t think this was his best work. The environment created for the collection was a sign for big things to come, and yet I was not that greatly surprised. The big coats, the white loose dresses, that seemed like old night gowns. The crystal sequined dresses, and the ones with the flowers were nice, but for me it felt a little lost. Like the pieces didn’t quite match.

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I believe I forgot that Marco Zanini left the creative direction of Schiaparelli, and from here, it looks like the very best thing that could’ve happened to the brand of my dear Schiap. Bertrand Guyon stepped up and took over the collection, and I think this one has got it right. The values, the muscles that conform the Schiaparelli brand. The quirky and the elaborated, from the prints on the dresses to the head pieces, the diverse influences, the man has the right idea.

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Ulyana Sergeenko has gone from really weird to chosen by Rihanna for her crazy videos. The woman takes all her inspirations from her homeland, this time from the Soviet Russia, with a very elegant point of view and a naughty one, with sheer pieces and showing a lot more skin that ever before. Maybe that’s another reason why she caught Rihanna’s eye.

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I’ve said ti before, and I will say it again: Donatella has made some great work with Versace. She’s kept the theatricality that Gianni had, but the clothes have a lot more understanding. They are sexy and bold, and yet they have that quality, that feminine trait. This time, Donatella went full 70’s flower child, with a twist. 25,000 orchids filled the crystal runway, as they made the silhouette of the Versace Medusa on the back, where all the models came from. And they had flowers on their heads, and their backs and they seemed to form the strings that kept the pieces together. It was simple and strong as most things in nature do.

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Dreamy Haute Couture

Yesterday was the last day of Fashion’s true dream-like event: Haute Couture.

In spite of them being shows of really unattainable pieces, this is where fashion finds its true art and inspiration. This is where the designers become couturiers and true masters of a very particular craft. This is where the word “trend” finds its true meaning.

And if you paid any attention, in the not so far future we will be dressing with long puffy skirts, a lot of sheer fabric, flowers and lines filled with color. We will see a lot of rock inspiration mixed with very girly, seductive traits, with fabrics with a liquid quality to them, with a lot of flow and movement and tons and tons of layers. Metallics, sequins, beadings and quite intricate embroidery will also be part of the inspiration for Prét a Porter’s season to come.

Karl Lagerfeld is a true master of fashion’s constant  innovative state. The man knows how to mix the always perfect tweed and the four pocket jacket, with an almost day to day clothings. In this runway he chose to make a gigantic flower garden that took 6 months to be made. And of course, as the flowers are colorful and sometimes big, so were the clothes. He keeps on pushing the crop top, which I don’t really appreciate, but it’s not everywhere. Playing with ate 60’s and 70’s silhouettes, there is quite some layering going on, and some fringes with sheer tule or organza.

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Of course, the novelty and highest of fashion news for this particular week, was the return of another master: John Galliano, for Maison Margiella. The french maison has been going under a lot of changes. The Martin has been dropped out of the original name, and went for the Dio disgraced designer to bring some of his incredibly talented eccentricity to bring the maison to this moment without loosing its values. That kind of job Galliano knows like the palm of his hand as he had to make it last for Dior for quite some time. So, yes. We saw all those crazy masks, and those face-like additions to some of the dresses. The mixing of textures was out of this world. And I surely believe that this will mean Galliano’s full comeback to the scene that once casted him away.

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Marco Zanini was let go from Schiaparelli and the team that was left behind has been taking care of the italian designer’s legacy. I have to say that I’m not sure anyone has completely gotten Elsa’s gist, an that is kind of sad. Then again she didn’t left too much to make a full brand with. So people are trying and this collection has been the best to date. Mixes the hats, and the dresses correctly, and also brought the brand to this actual moment, with the crop tops and all. But you’ve got to respect the colorful clothes and the amazing craftwork behind them.

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You all know how much I’ve praised Donatella’s latest job at Versace and Atelier Versace. I believe this time she went a little too far. She was insider in the female body, so no straight lines were found in any of the pieces. But there were too many cut outs to a point where the dresses went back to that tacky well-known Versace moment. There are somethings that can be rescued: the long jumpsuits, with asymmetric cuts on the top, the pant suits, the playful short dresses with shiny embroidery, and some of the not so show-off dresses. Blue, red, black and white were the color palette she chose.

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My dear Giamba. Always so full of strange ideas. The man got his inspiration from that MET exhibit named “Impossible Conversation” a One on one with Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada. He thought he could pull of something like that with Coco Chanel and Janis Joplin. And the results are debatable. He has that incredibly elegant seal that marks every single one of his collections. He works with layering as Joplin did with dresses and pants, and he uses massive amounts of perfect tulle to layer one of his spring matching gowns. Huge capes covering jump suits and dresses with 70’s silhouettes, and with that medium face veil so lady like. It’s just plain odd. It’s colorful, its playful, but it’s also confusing because Chanel and Joplin just wouldn’t have matched so well.

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Another designer with a rock inspiration was Raf Simmons, but his approach was completely different. Simons went for the chamaleon himself, David Bowie. The first pictures I saw of the runway, I just could not understand. The psychedelic skin tight jumpsuit and shiny high boots and those big fluffy tulle skirts. But once i knew where he was coming from everything made total sense. And he’s also channeling this constant evolving that fashion has to have, with the Bowie reinventions. Such a new look for Dior. The brand saw its legacy completed with the very feminine dresses. Raf also went for the layering with a type of crop top over the body of the skirt. He did this at the latest runway, but these ones are improved.

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Alexandre Vauthier went for the whole party with his brand new couturier naming. His collection went all rock&roll with plastic fabrics, strategic cut outs and a couple of pieces that seemed to come out of a mirror ball. It is a nice collection but not if you’re trying out your couturier name. It’s for the woman who will be partying for quite sometime.

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I’ve yet to understand the talent of Maria Grazia Chuiri and Pierpaolo Piccioli. I don’t think I’ve liked one complete collection since they took over Garavanni. But they have somethings that I appreciate and this collection has them. Flowy delicate gowns with very elegant and flirty details such as stars or poems written on them, or a soft touch of a rainbow. Percy lines at the necklines, and I make my point with this black velvet gown with a neckline that looks like wings. But velvet for spring? Seriously? The other part of the collection had that “coming out of medieval times” touch, with intricate embroidery which is hand made by very talented artisans, but it was like going from medieval to renalssance from one outfit to another. That part They could’ve saved us all.

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Bouchra Jarrar had chosen to empower women in their everyday lives, staying away from red carpet seasons or any place that you had to see a gown. Apparently, Jarrar has finally given up on this thought and finally has noticed how much help the artist provide by wearing your brand. So she had pant suits with fur and short dresses with a weird amount of zippers, for everyday activities, and made a very silky gown with a sheer cover and some beading. It is not Elie Saab or Zuhair Murad, but if she puts her head into it, she might a lot better.

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Armani decided a long time ago that he didn’t need to follow any trend but his own. That being the asian thing he has going on, even when he says the inspiration was just the bamboo, those kimono jackets and the huge vertical bows have “japanese” written all over them. He went from his very well known pant suits with crystal beaded black and navy blue jackets, and gowns with the bamboo stamped all over, in green or black. The sheer with Armani, never means showing too much skin, or any for that matter. He just layers it and gives that seductive airy quality to his pieces.

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Ulyana Sergenko is inspired by her own country’s history and I find that very interesting. But she’s loosing aim. Women do not want to look like matrioska dolls, they wanna be a little comfortable. And there are only 2 or 3 outfits that do not look like you can’t even move. It’s a fun runway to look at, I just don’t think it’s such  great idea for the real life.

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Jean paul Gaultier is enjoying himself since he shut down his pet a porter collection. This “61 ways to say yes” collection is the proof. These are 61 one ways to say yes to everything thats good and fun in life, not only to get married. It is meant to say yes to sex, to first dates, to new things, to new places, to new identities, to acceptance of the self, and Naomi Campbell was the big fancy bouquet.

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“There are strange evenings when flowers have a soul” Albert Samain wrote in 1893, his poems and his symbolism were the great influence in the Alexis Mabille collection. He aimed for flowers, but not the way Lagerfeld or Simons do, this was a darker side of the spring icon. Black lace and feathers, mixed with black and blue sequined gowns, capes and even a touch of hot pink and a huge bow completed his outfits.

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Viktor and Rolf also went for the full on bloom floral spring, with baby dolls. And over sized (which I believe to be an understatement) head pieces. The flowers were everywhere like the “flower bomb”, because those outfits did look like a greenhouse exploded. But let’s face it, it is Viktor&Rolf, it is eccentric and weird.

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Zuhair Murad and Elie Saab, the masters of the beaded and embroidered red carpet ready gowns.

Zuhair went for water as inspiration, because the dresses moved along and seemed dripping with beadings. Yet, there were blue, green and yellow pieces, along with the crisp white he chose to begin with.

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Saab went for the golden age of Lebanon, filled with joy and parties. He even threw a trip print, which is so unusual to the Lebanese designer. He went for feathers and beads, he mixed the textures to make a stronger statement.

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Couture going on fashionably street

I recently read that if fashion is made out of details, Cuture is made out of dreams. And I firmly believe it. Couture is the fabric of fashion’s biggest dreams.
And it has been proven over and over, now that Couture is going a little street to become a little more modern and a little closer to everyone.
Couture can be inspired by anything, There’s Gaultier who chose vampires, or Raf Simmons who took orchids and Marie Antoinette, or Ulyana Sergeenko, who’s closest inspiration is her motherland Rusia. This time, the revolutionary with a ton of silky fabrics.
We all know that Couture is only available to very few people who get to pay and wear the master creations, but it is also a source of endless inspiration for the more down-to-earth brands and for all of us who understand that fashion is creation, is communication and human expression at its best. And it is artisan craftsmanship work designed by a master fashion mind that makes us dream.

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Alexandre Vauthier is always a constant surprise and delight. He’s all for empowering women, making them look sensual and daring. This collection is not an exception, asymmetric cuts, down-to-the-belly-button necklines, high slit dresses, cut outs and crop tops, he went for a little rock inspiration with a touch of yellow and a spat of embellished very short red dress.I’m pretty sure the geometric patterns haven’t left us completely, since there are some harem pants with that fabric, but it’ll go out quietly soon.

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Bouchra Jarrar went also for the 50’s inspiration in a more true-to-date approach than Donatella. Of course, these pieces are far more tailored and more mixing masculine and feminine, with the bicolor man shoes. asymmetric bicker jackets, with flowy soft skirts and the perfecto pants in flawless satin. For Bouchra it’s just always simple elegance, in a woman who wants to try somethings new, but not go too far.

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The Kaiser again took Chanel to a new place, with the inspiration of architectonic works of Le Corbusier and avoiding the tailoring all together with fabric and intricate sequined pieces glued with silicone, as well as working with materials such as plastic, and suggesting sandals for winter. Then again, this si Karl Lagerfeld we’re talking about, and he can chose to put shorts under short skirts and a pregnant model bride to close his magnificent runway. Do not miss the golden embroidered dresses, the seined and very embellished details and the red. Here are the new trends.

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Unlike John Galliano, who was always up for a good dress up, Raf Simmons goes for the concept that Couture shouldn’t be only for special occasions, but for a daily life use. That is if you are talking about coats, simple dresses, and tailored pants that can be matched with a blouse and things that you can actually wear rather than a huge 18th century Marie Antoinette inspired dress or massive fur coats. This collection is rounded and complete, it is not what you’d expect from Dior, because most of them are just easy, every day wear. But as I was telling you, Couture has now started to take that path.

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My beloved Giambattista. Always going for eccentric looks, inspired this time by moorish and spanish tradition, as well as old Hollywood glamour. A little of a PJ’s wink and a lot of big colorful full skirted dresses, with stripes and embroidered flowers.Those petals and the mohair are just so out of it, and yet so beautiful. We will definitely be seeing a lot of Valli at the red carpets to come.

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As I warned this would happen, Maison Martin Margiela has gone for some creations a tad more wearable that all that crazy which with the mason started. This time they were playing exquisite corpse, which used to be a game surrealists played, by adding a part to a drawing in paper, an d then passing it along to somebody else who had no idea what was there, or what had been added. So yeah, this has Margiela written all over. Again repair in the very beaded, sequined work, we’ll be seeing a lot of that soon.

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Alexis Mabille has gone for the Susan Sontag’s feminine and masculine paradox, or so he said, because the collection is very girly in an old hollywood glam kind of way. To the exception of one pant suit, a huh waisted short and a skin tight jumpsuit, the rest are just perfectly crafted gowns and dresses. Maybe he got the idea wrong, but a job perfectly executed.

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Armani will always go to his comfort zone to start a beautifully crafted Couture runway. The red Lacquer was a main ingredient even when he started with pant suits and very elegant, classical skirts and jackets. And then all went sparkly beaded and tulle madness, with the red as the connecting threat of it all. It’s an experimental ground for everything to come, Armani has left it clear.

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I love Elie Saab, please don’t get me wrong, but he has done the same dresses over and over again for quite sometime now. Tha Couture collection is always aiming for night or formal events, specially those with a red carpet in them. Now he decided that pearls would be the perfect beading for his creations. He’s also going for short dresses for a cocktail event, some ombré effects, and stripes and sheer fabric. But it’s the same thing we’ve been seeing for a while.

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Ulyana Sergeenko went for a dark period at the russian history for inspiration. The time when the last czar was overthrown and the Soviet Union started. It could’ve been more believable if it didn’t all look like femme fatales and James Bond-Like spies. It will remind you a lot of Jean Pal Gautier’s corsets at the beginning of the 90’s decade. She’s going for the right direction, but she needs to find her own voice, sooner rather tha later.

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I have not liked the latest job of Pier Paolo PIccioli and Maria Grazi Chiuri at the head of Valentino. But I am always moved by those who chose to be inspired by their historical roots. This time Chuiri and Picciolini took inspiration from the 19th century reprise of roman togas and pre raphaelites, going back to nature and beauty. Even the production on the runway suggested it right away. This si a much simpler, nicer collection.

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Silver, turquoise, navy blue, and red were the primary tones at the Zuhair Murad architectonic inspired collection, with some geometric patterns and some very structured dresses. The more beautiful ones were those skin tight and the short ones that aimed to a younger type of client. Because, then again Murad is having the Elie Saab Effect, going for his classics, over and over.

Spring 2014 Haute Couture

I am a sick fan of Couture. I believe it is or at least should be the muse and inspiration of true fashion.
It’s the place where fashion truly becomes art, and allows the designer to become the couturier, the highest place in fashion hierarchy.
Not everyone goes the ART way, you can see Maison Martin Margiella, Viktor & Rolf and whatever is it that Marco Zanini was going after with his demi couture for Schiaparelli.
That’s the other thing, as you know Vionnet and Schiaparelli have been brought back to life, but haven’t found the right person to take the lead and figure out the muscle that each brand needs. Christian Lacroix took on the first Schiaparelli collection and as everything with Lacroix it was big, baroque and crazy. Zanini just tried to go with the crazy hats to make it seem a little Schiap. He’s clearly not the one to take on that brand.
Neither are Hussein Chalayan or Goga Ashkenazi for Vionnet, that collection had no direction, no resemblance to the true origins of Madame Vionnet.
Whoever is behind this come backs, has to look harder for designers that understand those roots, and bring them up to speed.

I’m going to simplify this one for you: we are finally leaving those horrible oversized silhouettes and finally returning to the curve hugging fabrics, and elegant and flattering drapings. Showing some skiing is coming back hard.
This spring will be a lot more feminine, not only with the silhouettes, but with the colors. You’ll see jewel tones, but soft pastels will be far more predominant. Flowers are giving a little way for butterflies. Gold will be black’s perfect pair, and animal print (big jungle cat type) will also be leading the trends.

Alexandre Vauthier always appears a little extravagant, but this time it was full on baroque and show off. Jewel tones over luxury silks, tules and braided leathers, with flowy or decadent draping and more skin showing that most of us really want or need. All the outfits were more night and party fitting, almost on the cabaret side of party.
Zuhair Murad gave a professorship on extremely delicate and feminine brocade and lace. Golden feathers accessories were the best companion to his creations. You cannot get more girly that beautiful soft dresses and gowns in pastel.
Whenever I see a Valentino Collection, I wonder what is Valentino Garavani thinking when he sees his brand shattered by Chiuri and Piccioli. Valentino was about sensual, feminine, modern yet elegant pieces. This collection just went all over the crazy. Maria Grazia and PierPaolo were inspired by Opera Arias. I love Opera, I’vee been taught and heard a lot of it since I was a child, and the concept of bringing the theme into Couture seems appropriate and fitting, unless you have crazy satin tigers coming out of the skirts or what appeared to be a potato sack.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand the work and craftsmanship being every piece, but the beautiful ones where the least. If they’re going to take cues out of Björk’s closet, they are bound to get it all wrong.
Elie Saab worked what he knows best. Tose beautiful red carpet gowns. But this time he took the time to amaze us all with that greek-roman goddess simple yet elegant dresses, as well as those colorful reverse ombre creations.
Armani decided to leave behind his trade mark grey, swapping them for all the shades of blue and mixing up casual wearable jacket pant suits (another Armani trade mark), with perfectly elegant dresses with a clear gypsy influence.
Bouchra Jarrar just received her haute couture appellation. This appointment makes a strong statement of her work. You can see that her collections are far more wearable than any other Couture one. Yet she choses to mix luxurious fabrics and bring them to and apparent every day use. The palette was as predictable as ever, this woman must hate color, because the one piece that stood out was a simple royal blue maxi dress.
The tormented Ulyana Sergeenko. She’s a newbie in the Couture Circuit, so she falls behind every single season. She was inspired by the Orient Express and the femme fatale silhouette of that time. They were perfectly made, and yet completely off based, with her huge balloon skirts.
I seriously believe she will finally figure it out.
The Kaiser is giving Chanel some really luxurious pairs of tennis. That mix of pastel tweed and sparkling tennis, knee and elbow pads would make Coco die all over again, but it’s a clear way of showing people that the highest fashion is going urban. This trend in particular walked all the way from the street to the highest form of fashion statements. And that is truly remarkable and fantastic.
Lagerfeld also is backing up the return of the tight, body hugging clothes, but then again Karl has a pretty tough stand when it comes to fat people.
The Greek -Roman Goddess trend is coming back with Alexis Mabille and Versace, but in different places. Mabille chose virginal white, with butterflies, long drapes and sheer fabric. Versace took the mewl glam, extra tight fittings to make the goddess stand out from every crowd, and a lot more skin, but at the end of it all, it is Versace.
Giambattista Valli truly loves his flowers, even when it is for bad girls that put on his couture right after a night of disaster. The draped mini skirts are the counterpart of long impecable taffeta gowns, and asymmetrical cocktail dresses.
Raf Simmons is weird. I have no words that match what I truly feel when his Couture collections come up. I’m pretty sure it has to do with all the love I had for Galliano, but this is so far away from the “New Look” Christian Dior origin. It’s technology applied to the best fabrics, and it’s craftsmanship to make them look so perfect, it had movement but the cut work was too much. And the over lapping of texture and fabric seemed like patches.

Alexandre Vauthier Couture S14

Alexis Mabille Couture S14

Armani Privé Couture S14

Atelier Versace Couture S14

Biuchra Jarrar Couture S14

Chanel Couture S14

Christian Dior Couture S14

Elie Saab Couture S14

Giambattista Valli Couture S14

Maison Martin Margiela Couture S14

Schiaparelli Couture S14

Ulyana Sergeenko Couture S14

Valentino Couture S14

Viktor&Rolf Couture S14

Vionnet Couture S14

Zuhai Murad Couture S14

Couture, we meet again

As you all know, every Haute Couture Week is my favorite. Couture is the pioneer and the beggining of every trend we’ll be seeing for a couple of years to come. It is also the place were designers can become truly artistic and jst work their art with no fear. That’s just a great moment of fashion expression, and we should always take as it is, an artistic statement, rather than real pieces of clothes.
This week had fantastic moments, and some stuff that was weird and off, yes I’m talking about Maison Martin Margiela and Viktor&Rolf.
But let’s begin with the colour trends we’ll be seeing from now on. The emerald green has not left us yet, but it’s transforming onto ther shades of green. Green is a very flattering jewel tone for every skin tone. As well as the navy and royal blue that are coming our way. Red will be coming strong as well as mauve; a little gold and champagne shades are the nudes and neutrals to combine with the brightness of the rest. And you can rest easy, black&white will be staying with us for quite some time. It’s easy to combine and every outfit can be turned into a very elegant and classy one, with this match.
Now, as to the true trend of the clothes: A lot of rock/punk influence, with flower patterns and asian (chinese) touches, and as weird as ti may seem, a little Victorian, but the again it will be winter, so the long skirts and the bulky sleeves will come in handy.

Alexandre Vauthier

Alexis Mabille

Armani Privé

Atelier Versace

Bouchra Jarrar

Chanel

Dior

Elie Saab

Giambattista Valli

Jean Paul Gaultier

Maison Martin Margiela

Schiaparelli

Ulyana Sergeenko

Valentino

Viktor&Rolf

Vionnet

Zuhair Murad

Aexandre Vauthier went for the rockstar/punk look and he pulled it off wonderfully. Mixing fur with leather and sheer fabrics, bright beaded jackets, and asymetric skirts. The cut out dresses with plunging necklines are so femenine and so sensual, he is clearly aiming for a younger target and people who enjoy the night life and pushing the boundaries.

Mabille got his inspiration from Boldini, an italian painter. And although his heart was in a good place, the collection lacked coherence. Trying to give some modern touches to Victorian styles is just not something you wanna try. Some of the outfits were clearly odd looking and not that appealing. He also ent for a lot of pastel and ombrè shades making a very weird colour statement. I loved the column dress with the cape that appeared to have a semi impressionist painting on it, but this was not Mabille’s best work.

My dear Giorgio Armani went for what he knows best, elegant and nude tones. Actually, the whole collection is called Nude.As you can figure out, it is very elegant, classic with a lot of pant suits is perfect silks and impecable hang. The frills went all the way to the evening jazzy dresses with bright beading. Marlene Dietrich-look alike models with long black feathers on the neck were the beauty touches, and it was perfect. We’ll be seeing a lot of this creations on next year’s read carpets.

Every day I’m more surprised of how much I love Versace now. And we have to acknowledge Donatella’s fantastc job as a designer, and for bringing this brand to the real women. It is still what Gianni wanted it to be. An italian brand for women filed with self confidence, and ready to show their raw sensuality and are never afraid to show a lot of skin. But Donatella’s view is more own to earth and far more elegant and less theatrical than her brother’s. This “goth-meets-great-everning-gowns” collection is just fantastic. THe mis&match of textures as the sheer crystal beaded skit with the knitted top, bearing midriff is just a great idea. The siren dresses in blue and red with the metallic collars, OMG, just making “good girls gone bad” dreams come true, with Naomi Campbell on tow.

Bouchra Jarrar has always seemed very weird to me. Her Haute collections have been, up until now, just plain off for the queen of fashion weeks. But this one was just another rock/punk demonstration, at its best. Again all in black and white, with twisted tops around the breasts and the arms. Midriffs showing, with delicate chains going fro one side to another over black capri pants. and crossed jackets with lots of zippers and chains. Couture du Jour her creator called this work.

The master of couture himself created a Victorian Opera “in ruins” theater to show everyone his latest Chanel meets Lagerfeld Collection. It is clear where Chanel begins and ends with the tweed mid and full jackets and the skirts with crystal beading, and the master mind of the Kaiser begins with strange looking dresses that mix every texture. Belted and layered dresses are the bet of Lagerfeld’s creations. Of course, we’re talking of the brand that this year has already beaten Louis Vuitton as the most sold brand in the world. So Karl can do pretty much anything he wants, as he has been doing so far.

Raf Simmons has proven the world that he was the right choice to fill the very big Galliano shoes at Dior. His creations are far less dramatic than Galliano’s, but then again that was always Simmons’ thing. Something dreamy, but real down to earth and convincing. This is precisely the king of collection that mixes both vast new looks for Dior with the simple freedom that the designer has. Beautiful jewel gowns, with layerd and cut out every day outfits, in bright red mixed with purple, and some different textures that provide the right look and feel.

There’s not a lot to say of Elie Saab’s collection. The man has found his perfect combination of short cocktail dresses and long beautiful gowns, filled with crystal beads and a variety of necklines for every taste and event. It’s pretty much what we have seen for the last years. And the same goes for Zuhair Murad. This time, apparently his inspiration came from roots or plants or something that are all over the sheer panels of fabric in most of his creations. Also a mix and match of short dresses and gowns and some skin tight jumpsuits. If you are ging for soomething beautiful and not so edgy, these two can be the right decision.

My couturier Giambattista Valli, the man inspired by flowers, strong bold colours and, in this occasion, china porcelain. Mixing crossed jackets with extra bulky short skirts with the china flowery pattern in white and blue, and that extra fabric that almost turns into a huge ribbon, and provides the right amount of volume to the asymetric dresses. Long at he black, and thight baring at the front. My favourite, the bold yellow gown with the delicate flower pattern.

I’m going to dive right in into Maison Martin Margiela and Viktor&Rolf. I have to be honest, I really don’t get this conceptual fashion thing they got going on. It’s just plain horrifying. It means nothing to no one, and honestly, why should any one consider jeans a part of Couture? When I say this is the place for the designers to turn into artists, I mean inspirational fashion not crazy runways with models with their heads covered in beaded masks, or a black conglomerate, that no one would ever dream to wear. Do this people understand what fashion is? Maybe some of you out there understand this conceptual thing like it, I would love to know and understand.

Jean Paul, the rebellious. The hellish child of french fashion and beloved creator of the Madonna Bustier and the outwear lingerie. I love him, because he’s not worried about becoming the next fashion hit, He’s already done that and he’s having fun with the people who love his clothes and ideas. That’s what his latest collections scream. This raw, animal , going for the tough ladies outfits is all about. The leopard print even on the stockings), the crazy tall hairdo’s, mixed with 50’s fashion, the textured bustiers and the flowy dresses, it just makes a great fun collection.

Ulyana Sergeenko has started a Haute Couture house with no training and very little education of fashion worldwide. She brings a lot of his rusian or ucranian roots to the table, and it’s good and different, but it is always so out there and not really comprehensible. This time, she brought back her orthodox background mixing fantastic culottes with volume with really conservator dresses, with long sleeves and not and ounce of neckline, or incredibly short skirts and necks covered with fur. She’s trying, and searching for the right type of influence. I believe we will see something really great, pretty soon.

Maria Chuiri and Pierâolo Picciolini went for baroque, and unexpected. And as it truly was different, I also did not love this collection. Valentino has its core at elegant flow-y, bright colored outfits, and this went to the right opposite. Raelly heavy Fabrics, baed on gold and, if I may go a little out there, trying to look a lot like the latest Dolce&Gabbana baroque collection, but gone wrong. Not well executed at all.

Goga Ashkenazi has he incredibly difficult job to ake VIonnet the brand that it was when Madamme Vionnet created it. And I believe it’s harder given the fact that there aren’t a lot of elements to truly create core values that define the brand, in order to mix tradition with modern fashion. This collection was great, filled with evening and event gowns. But let’s face it, Couture is something tat (the people who can afford it) also wants to wear at any give moment, and you cannot wear one of theses dresses to go to the market. Goga has a long way to go, and a lot of research to do.

And I will take this time to go out of my mind crazy with the Schiaparelli Haute Couture Capsule, created by non other than the fantastic Christian Lacroix. It’s just the Couture dream that fashion lovers expect.
But let me explain myself a little better. Elsa Schiaparelli created her brand at the same time that Coco Chanel and Christian Dior. She was heavily influenced by surrealism, Dali, Buñuel and those crazy fellows that were creating art at the time. Her designs were just as crazy and filled with inspiration. Of course she wasn’t as successful as her fellow fashion designers and the brand, as well as Schiap, disappeared. I love her crazy outfit, deserving of Haute Couture recognition.
Christian Lacroix is the master mind behind Lacroix, and its marvelous Couture legacy. THe man decided he didn’t wanted to do Pret a porter and was ripped of his own label. He has been given the chance to do this, as he loves Schiaparelli as well. And the result is a mix with he lobster dress, and the monkey fur, with the baroque bright, volume filled Lacroix seal.
I think I’m in love.

En el pasado…

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