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Posts Tagged ‘haute couture’

….or gilding the lilly Versace style! Spring 2012 Haute Couture

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In complete contrast to the austerity present in the current Chanel 2012 Fall/Winter preview, last year’s show took us to the stunning and lavishly decorated scheme in Bombay, India. Most noteable, were the adaptations to foreign textiles and trends. Never would I have imagined to see conservative Chanel models touting dredlocks and tatoos! But they were, and were beautiful as always, bejewelled with the Indian style hairchains and finger bracelets. Golden slippers with pointed toes, and jodhpur pants under split short-waisted skirts, wide jewelled belts and silky kaftans, it all had quite an exotic and memorable appeal. I’m not sure it found wide acceptance in American markets, though.

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Chanel Fall/Winter 2012 Show Grand Palais, Paris. July 4.



It is amazing that so many different varieties of greys and plaids, appeared in Chanel’s Fall/Winter 2012 show. Large and small tweed patterns, and quite a bit of texture woven into the designs; even shiny metallics to provide contrast, and the pink a bit of warmth.

There is only so much one can take, of greys, and plaids, though, no matter the designer. These fabrics and textures tend to add bulk, especially the large plaid patterns with heavy fibers. Ordinary women who are not tall, svelt supermodels, might find themselves lost in a froth of grey fluff, puffed to the gills with belts and big buttons…And the kaftan length coats seemed a bit like long bathrobes, others had the feeling of quilted blankets.

But several of the shorter coats with petite patterns did seem more practical and conventional for everyday wear.

And I did especially like the fluidity of one lighter, metallic pink shawl wrap coat, and this would also make nice evening wear.

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As I mentioned previously, this particular show seemed to have a retrospective feel, reverting to some of the classic Chanel shapes — short, boxy jackets with militaristic lines and austere severity, despite the fluffy textures and color pink. Coco Chanel might have been flattered, but some of the styles of the 50’s don’t seem to be appropriate on the modern woman, in my opinion.

However, there were several cocktail dresses that appealed to me, having qualities completely at odds with Chanel’s classic look, with its severe lines. I found particularly humorous, one dress that looked like the slip of a 40’s fan dancer, with its fringe and lacey look, straight out of a bordello.
However the input of sateen and lame’ fabrics added smooth fluidity and femininity to the lineup, and several skirt designs featured long length with flared bottoms, creating a particularly non-traditional Chanel silhouette which I found very flattering and attractive. These cocktail dresses, still in muted classic coloration, were among my favorites. There were several pieces which pushed the boundaries of good taste, one in particular being a kaftan in cream with metallic sheen, and hot pink dipped edges which pushed my buttons… But the several I did like, have erased the memory of that particular shocker from my mind, lol.
That being said, I did like the use of a new type of fingerless elbow length glove, which covered the arms below princess sleeves. And I especially like the plunging tuxedo bow topping the form-fitting sateen cocktail dresses. In addition to the flared skirts, the elegance of these pieces was classic and timeless, and restored my faith in the appeal of Chanel. Bravo!
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Chanel Fall/Winter 2012 Show Grand Palais, Paris. July 4.

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Chanel Fall/Winter 2012 Show Grand Palais, Paris. July 4.

These were some of my favorite tactile details from the recent product line for Chanel. The color theme seemed to be grey and pink, which seemed a little unusual for a fall season, but there was a retro sensibility, and classic and timeless functionality, which is Chanel’s appeal. Drawing on some historic looks from Coco’s line, the short cocktail jackets maintained their boxiness and precision shapes, and the winter coats featured shorter length A-lines with some textile bulkiness. I’m afraid some of these might be too bulky for moderate to heavy-set women. However silky bows, lacey fringe and even feathers, softened the jackets lines. And there was a surprising amount of sheen, from sateen and reflective lame’ metallics to offer contrast to the rougher textures.

There seemed to me to be a slight feeling of austerity and restraint in the designs rather than a sense of lavishness, which again reinforced my sense of what was esentially Coco. Yet there was a cleanness in the simplicity, and elegance to the silhouettes. I am not a fan of short-length princess sleeves. However the new approach to fingerless elbow-length gloves covered the lower arm with style. And the spare, angular necklines of the tuxedo dresses and star-like oriental collars, brought emphasis to the pure beauty in some of the models’ faces– which is sometimes forgotten that the model is a human being, and not a clothes horse! Several of the designs featured layered, ruffled laciness, reminiscent of boudoir shifts or undergarments, which feminized the female form, revealing what Chanel sometimes seems to hide with more chaste structure.

I was sensing elements of Russian or Ukrainian orientality, yet with much more extreme restraint than that which was featured last year at Bombay, India.

Chanel Fall/Winter 2012 Show Grand Palais, Paris. July 4.

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Giambattista Vali

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Part of Giambattista Vali’s Fall Collection 2012.
Paris Haute Couture, July 4 2012

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Franck Sorbier

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Part of Franck Sorbier’s Fall Collection 2012.
You might call it Painting With Light…camoflauged couture…The Empresses’ New Clothes.
Paris Haute Couture, July 4 2012

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