Sunday, 14 July 2013

Haute Couture 2013 / 14

Like the majority of you, us mere mortals here at DiscoFashionArt do not have the budgets or the bank balance to indulge in couture fashion however it doesn’t stop us dreaming.  Nor does it stop us looking at the delicious designs and deciding how to incorporate aspects them into our everyday styling for the coming season.  

Here at the blog, the couture collections are the shows we look forward to seeing the most each year.  The beautiful designs and outstanding craftsmanship is a feast for the eyes and this year’s collections were no different. 
One observation we did make here at DiscoFashionArt was that most of the designers produced some very wearable clothes and in the new age of extravagant couture this was a pleasant surprise. 
Alexis Mabille’s collection had a whimsical, regal theme made up of sumptuous layers of colourful and hand painted silk.  Models were either Parisian pompadours in short, tailored, ornate trousers with feminine bows at the waist and matching boleros adorned in jewels or dazzling mademoiselles in ethereal, full length, layered gowns or short, silk dresses with the same Parisian theatrical tailoring.  Makeup was simple and hair was pulled back slickly and worn with delicate, futuristic petal effect headpieces.  Other gowns in the collection had an Asian feel with Japanese inspired waists, pastel Asian prints, small feminine bows, billowing sleeves and dramatic necklines.  The collection closed with more opulent gowns but these looked like a Disney villainess’s dream.  An altogether feminine and magical collection.   
 
At Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld made the audience in the Grand Palais look to the future from the apocalyptic remains of an old world, where models seemed to walk in from a shiny Chanel utopia.  Shine and iridescence was a strong theme and they peeped out from the stitching in the traditional Chanel tweeds, used in big, modern shapes.   Karl played with proportions and layering and there was a strong look towards 80’s tailoring and styling with big buttons, sharp shoulders and wasp belts.  Then there were also some artful, oversized, geometric knitted dresses with woven front detail and matching masculine jackets, definitely a hint of couture grunge.  Models all had greatly highlighted cheekbones and were adorned with a Cara Delevigne brow.  Hair was worn back with a hillbilly quiff and models wore small angular hats on the back of their head that seemed to frame their hair.  Karl once again proved why he holds his throne as the Kaiser of Couture!  Oh and the front row as usual was a show all in its self with all Karl’s muses to hand. 
 
Then there was Raf Simon's third couture collection for Dior.  There was definite multi cultural influences from Africa to Asia, but it was also a collection  as seen through the eyes of Willy Vanderperre, Terry Richardson, Patrick Demarchelier and Paolo Roversi – the four photographers who had taken pictures of the models in their looks pre-show which were then simultaneously projected onto the wall above the girls as the show unfolded.  The collection was an invasion of the senses, rich in thought from the global influences to the contemporary presentation.  The Dior staples did appear, the Bar jacket, the hounds tooth and the black wool day dresses, but they were barely recognisable, hidden under African adornment and lost in new shapes and silhouettes.  The collection was all in all modern couture and another step towards Raf Simons futuristic vision for Christian Dior. 
 
Elie Saab only has one destination in mind for his couture creations, the red carpet!  With a palette of red, navy, green and dove grey, the designer did not waver from his traditional patterns that work oh so well. 
 
 
Armani Prive’s collection was entitled ‘Nude’ and it had a definite nod to the twenties with the models hair secured into Marcel waves but not a flapper dress in sight.  Here at DiscoFashionArt we loved the fur sleeves.
 
I could not be happier that Maison Martin Margiela is now a permanent fixture on the couture lineup.  This collection was like fashion porn!   A completely fresh and new take on couture that included rubber trousers and Chinoiserie-embroidered gowns that split away at the back to reveal a pair of jeans beneath…. Who does that.. we just love it.  All worn by models wearing the recognisable, Margiela jeweled masks.  Definitely a different and interesting way to wear couture.  Oh and the rubber boots with diamante spears that can be removed and used as braceletts… erm hello genius!
 
 
Ulyana Sergeenko created dresses for the modern, luxe, Russian maid.  There was traditional Russian shapes and embroidery techniques mixed with modern textures and materials.  The flowered headpieces were reminiscent of old American football caps but added a modern artistic touch.
 
 
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccoli’s collection for Valentino was simply beautiful and it is safe to say that these two truly talented designers know exactly what makes up the DNA of a Valentino couture collection.  The pair took elegance to a new level with caped dresses, cinched waists and beautiful splaying skirts of queenly proportions.  Tweed and cashmere with embroidery, pearl-encrusted high necks, skirts adorned in feathers, dresses decorated in shells and coral branches.  The collection was delicately extravagant with Medieval and Baroque references. Simply gorgeous.
 
 
This was definitely a more refined outing for Donatella for Atelier Versace this year.  It all started dramatically with the return of Naomi Campbell to the catwalk after a 15 years hiatus.  The collection was less sexual then usual and more sensuous and subtle.  There were sumptuous silhouettes and plenty of flesh and most of the pieces were bejeweled, slashed and glittered.  It was all very rock ‘n’ roll, lace jumpsuits with thick chains, flared trouser suits with rivets running down the body, corsets of little lace bra cups and extreme detailed sequined dresses.  It wouldn’t be Versace without a generous dose of bling and a sense of naughtiness, but these pieces, rendered in a controlled and the sober colour palette made for a more contained offering.  The makeup was dark, mysterious and to die for. 
 
 
And finally Viktor & Rolf were back to couture week with a bang after a 13 year break.  This was not their typical flower bomb aesthetic at play today though, it was a modern and futuristic look at couture.  Maybe it was because even before the show started half of it had been bought by an anonymous art collector but this collection had balls.  It was all black and voluminous and all a little Comme des Garcon but marvelous all the same.     
 
 
Well we hoped you liked our review and enjoyed looking at the collections as much as we did.  Until next year Au Revior Couture week. 
 
All pictures from vogue.co.uk


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