Monday, 2 February 2009

Haute Couture Spring 2009 part deux

I left some of the big three houses last, so enjoy! Fashion Fix has been gone for a couple of weeks, keep meaning to bring it back! Expect a super-bumper post on Wednesday :)
Valentino Finding a suitable replacement for house namesake Valentino has certainly been a challenge. Alessandra Facchinetti was replaced by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, and this was the debut of the new design team. And my verdict? I’m not entirely convinced. Sure, it was typical beautiful Valentino, but it seemed to lack sincerity. When designing for the likes of Valentino, you are of course tied to the heritage and archives, but you must interpret it in your own way and design something with the past in mind but create something relevant for today. Take Ghesquiere for Balenciaga, perfect example. The Valentino collection seemed like it came straight from the archives. That said, it was far from a terrible collection. With a background in accessory design, she shoes were gorgeous as expected.
Dior Dior couture was everything couture should be: gracefully flamboyant and beautiful extravagance. There was no sign of frugality or austerity here, just an abundance of ribbons, crystals and rosettes. And it was done oh so magnificently. This quote from Galliano beautifully sums up his attitude towards the collection, "Of course I’m sensitive to the economy. Of course I’m aware of it. I read the newspapers; I watch TV. But dealing with it is not my job. When you’re standing in a hurricane, you have to keep your feet firmly on the ground. If you panic, whew…you fly away”. There’s something so wonderfully ‘let them eat cake’ about it. As for the actual collection, what’s not to love? It was a riot of flamboyance. Daywear was how I dreamt I would dress when I was a child; grown up and elegantly refined. It was all about the silhouette, structured waists and flamboyantly flared out cornetto swirl skirts. It was old school glamour at its very best, reminiscent of the New Look collection of 1974 but sharper, tighter and more ostentatious…in short bought up to date for 2009. Take note Valentino designers; this is what you must do when looking into the archives! Eveningwear was subtly sexy with the focus on the fantastic silhouette. There are several awards show stealers, as well as some truly stunning dresses, though I’m not sure of the occasion. My favourite dresses had patterns on the layers, urging you to peel them away… Armani Georgio’s latest collection was a stark departure from his previous minimalistic aesthetic. And boy did the critics shout about it! The way I see it though, fashion is all about the about-face, something that once seemed grotesque (skinnies or harem pants..) suddenly becomes beautiful and visa versa. It was a collection very strongly influenced by the Far East, particularly China, a China that “does not exist anymore” according to Mr Armani. There were pagoda-flicks everywhere, from the trousers and skirts to shoulders. I wasn’t sure about them on trousers, but the shoulders were fantastic. I’m pretty sure shoulders are about to have a moment. For daywear we were treated to demure knee length skirts, and very strange trousers! The dark palette had infusions of white and gold which really brightened it up. Like Dior, the look was subtly sexy. But eveningwear is where it came alive for me. Bright jewel tones mixed with striking yellow and the obligatory red and black. Not too sure on the separates, but the dresses were exquisite.
* Source WWD
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