This year’s Autumn/Winter 2012 haute couture shows were another testament to signature style. Be it the modern romance of Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli or Giambattista Valli’s ever-enticing plays on volume and silhouettes, the one unifying factor throughout every collection was a representation of each brand’s true essence, underlined by highly-refined tailoring and draping.
Twin selects our favourite personal visions of the season…
Couture cool is Jarrar’s calling card and although those expecting overtly dramatic ball gowns or extravagant embellishments from couture may be disappointed, her softly draped tunic dresses and forties-esque trench coat top and A-line, knife-pleated skirt combinations add a modern yet elegant touch to the couture circuit. As they say, sometimes less is more.
This season Karl Lagerfeld saw it as his mission to put a new spin on vintage. While the collection managed to revamp classics such as the tweed suit, tea dresses and peter pan collars in a colour palette that included soft shades such as petal rose and cream, its true appeal was in the unmatchable craftsmanship of the house of Chanel. Hundred upon hundreds of hand-sewn sequins and a breathtaking feather, lace and tulle finale dress were just two examples that further solidified the label’s spot at the top of couture pyramid.
Couture week undoubtedly belonged to Raf Simons. Although he might have not been the most obvious successor to Galliano’s theatrical showings, the Belgian designer’s minimalist aesthetic has proved the perfect partner to Christian Dior’s original elegant and strongly feminine designs. Peplum waist tops and dresses paired with straight cut trousers, not to mention the two-sided evening gowns with crystal embellishments put a refreshingly modern spin on New Look-esque silhouettes.
Nymph creatures and a fairytale narrative were woven into every fibre of Valli’s designs. Rich emerald greens and ruby garnet florals were printed on high-necked ruffled cocktail dresses and evening gowns cinched in at the waist with gold ivy belts. With a beautiful play of volume and colour, the collection was an all-round dream.
Riccardo Tisci’s tribal warrior was equipped with face-obscuring sunglasses and menacing dogs, but that didn’t keep the collection from being feminine and alluring, thanks to halter necklines and iridescent ombre fringing. In short, it was a well-balanced mixture of elegance, urbanism and the beauty of nature.
Maison Martin Margiela
In the light of the brand’s upcoming collaboration with high street retailer H&M, some fear that the house of Margiela will succumb to commercialism. However this collection was a piece of avant-garde artistry. From the crystal face masks to the dynamic collages of fabric and textures. Refreshing and original, it proved why Maison Martin Margiela more than deserves a permanent spot on the haute couture schedule.
Midnight blue dresses, fully-sequined, brocade printed and embroidered cocktail pieces, as well as floor-length pleated chiffon gowns made this collection one of typical Valentino glamour, whilst canary yellow, magenta and blood red added rich pops of colour. In our eyes, Chiuri and Piccioli can do no wrong.