I know that couture week generally isn’t where most people look for everyday fashion inspiration, but sometimes it’s just fun to marvel at the intricate detail and expensive price tags on couture garments.
Fall 2012 couture was shown recently in Paris, but in case you missed it…here’s your update. Decorated face coverings are in.
Models walked two by two down the Armani runway, decked in satin suits in pastels shades and little black berets, most recently reminiscent of Marc Jacobs’ FW11 collection. Silhouettes were structured, but not too tailored, and featured some interesting sheer elements. The beaded veils (as seen on the cover page) were introduced about one-third of the way into the collection, along with some pretty sequin-y cardigans. But wait, there’s more! Color-blocked coats, galaxy/desert prints, and spiky hats by Philip Treacy led a transition into the final dark, velvety, intricately beaded pieces. My favorite was the last look; a long black velvet dress with delicate sprinklings of sparkle, worn with t-strap shoes, a slim clutch, and a pale beaded that veil that seemed almost wearable.
MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA
As we saw at Armani, face coverings are in. And as usual, MMM took it to a whole other level. Covering model’s faces is nothing new for the design house, but these masks were so exquisite (and blingy!) that it was easy to forget the simple nude and sheer facial wraps of past seasons. There were only 15 looks, but each was on point, featuring repurposed materials (like doorknob accents!) and unique prints, mixed in with delicate laces and the standard “Tabi” boot. Are you excited for their H&M collaboration yet?
This was probably the most talked-about collection of the season, and I’m sure you know why. Raf Simons (previously of Jil Sander) recently stepped into the position of creative director of the iconic label, and fashion royalty from around the world showed up for his first show. Per his style, he didn’t disappoint. Simons’ signature style was definitely apparent, but meshed perfectly with the traditional Dior sensibility. Veiled faces and pale pink dresses echoed his last collections for Jil Sander, but cinched waists and full skirts marked the line as definitely Dior. It was almost a revival of Christian Dior’s New Look from the 1950s, but in updated modern colors and graphic tie-dye type prints. Slim pants, peplum tops, and pointed toe pumps helped modernize and keep the collection very of-the-moment. Simons’ design sense is a definite departure from that of the showier, admittedly crazier John Galliano; it’s a refreshing change of pace.
Lace, sequins, chiffon, and tulle. We’ve seen it all before, especially from Elie Saab, but each season I can’t help but count his collections among some of my favorites. They’re all just so…pretty! And there’s nothing wrong with that. Fall 2012 Couture has been filed under “stuff I want to wear if I ever get married (to an investment banker).”
Known for…well, strangely themed collections (remember Spring’s flower-heads?), Mabille’s designs this season might be described as something close to “tame,” save for the Cindy Lou Who-meets-unicorn hair. A string of looks in gold lamé were a miss for me, and the collection lacked a certain cohesion, but there were some standout pieces. Namely, a black sequined mini-dress and lace insert maxi dress, both fit for a walk down the red carpet.
Dark colors were dominant in this show, but were made interesting through the use of luxe materials and embellishments, wavy asymmetrical cutouts and a new, modest take on the sweetheart neckline. Lighter looks featured delicate flowers and detailed paisley prints, in mostly natural browns, pinks, and pale yellows. The label’s signature punchy red was introduced towards the end, on a few stunning gowns.
While I’m sure each piece was constructed impeccably, I wasn’t too excited by Karl’s design choices for this collection. Sure, they were very Chanel, but there wasn’t a lot in the way of avant-garde, which is expected from the couture collections. It just felt like the wrong time to go back to the brand’s roots. Regardless, the color palette was pretty, and I’m all about the sparkly hosiery. The final white feathered gown was the real standout and fit for an ice princess, or a daring winter bride. It seems this season’s couture is perfect for weddings!
This collection definitely made a statement. Festive deep reds and greens exploded in floral prints over voluminous and ruffled dresses. Volume and decoration around the neck seem to be Valli’s signature lately. Hanne Gaby Odiele wore a particularly interesting shaggy-sea-monster coat; I loved Lindsey Wixson in a simple, red pansy-printed dress with a thin belt. Plus, more veils! This time, accented by the occasional butterfly or gold-leaf neck adornment. You just can’t beat couture.
Collections I didn’t have that much to say about, but which are still worthy of note.
-Jean Paul Gaultier: Black, leather, lacy, sheer. Very costume-cool, very Jean. A pop of red on the lips was fun!
-Givenchy: Impressive hand-beaded fringe, fur accents, and a dark, natural color palette. I got some Snow White and the Huntsman-meets-high fashion vibes?
-Bouchra Jarrar: Flattering cuts with unique details. Very wearable and classic. I predict that the pointed-toe pump with asymmetrical crossover strap is going to be popular (also seen at Dior)!
-Versace: Use of pinks and purples linked back to Donatella’s Resort 2012 experimentation with feminine colors. The happy hues were a fresh contrast with her signature sexy looks.
-Ulyana Sergeenko: A new Russian designer, already with a cult fashion following. Gorgeous furs, long skirts, and heavy jackets seemed to reference her ancestry in a very fashion way. She’ll be one to watch.
What was your favorite couture collection? Leave a comment or send us a tweet @everybodyisugly!