Yesterday marked the end of the Spring/Summer 2012 couture shows. The proverbial creme de la creme of fashion, only allowed to show during this three-day short Fashion Week through a Chambre Syndicale De La Haute Couture membership – haute couture doesn’t mean high dressmaking in French for nothing – showed a degree of craftsmanship and attention to detail all across the fashion spectrum.
Twin recounts our haute couture highlights from Paris…
Proving that haute couture doesn’t have to keep to a demure palette, Mabille punched up the colour factor with his neon designs. Inspired by photographs of Lisa Fonssagrives and Christy Turlington, the creations in fabrics ranging from metallic lame to guipure lace proved that even when it comes to couture, girls just want to have fun.
Working with crepe de soie, fur collars and wide-legged tailored trousers, Jarrar’s collection was a take on casual luxe. A bit of tomboy and a dash of urban sophisticate resulted in a whole lot of effortless cool.
No couture week is complete without Karl Lagerfeld’s latest mind musings. Taking the double Cs to a more ethereal place this time around (airplane runway, anyone?) resulted in a collection of beautifully hand-embellished pieces in icy blues, ivories and midnight blacks.
Elie Saab is the go-to designer for anything feminine and delicate, and this season was no exception. Lace and crystal embroidery on nude, pastel pink and pale lemon high-waisted dresses and A-line skirts made being a woman that bit more enticing.
It may only be Valli’s second showing on the haute couture circuit, but the Italian designer proves that he can hold his own among fashion’s heavyweights. With a plethora of expertly tailored feather, lace and embroidered pieces, he’s as couture as they come.
Jean Paul Gaultier
In a beehive and winged eyeliner tribute to Amy Winehouse, Gaultier sent out a collection that was every bit as eccentric and nonchalant as the late singer herself. Encompassing pieces such as back to black shirt-tail hem skirts, leather varsity jackets and silk kimono coats tied at the waist, Winehouse probably wouldn’t have wanted her couture any other way.
Maison Martin Margiela Artisanal
Leave it to the house of Margiela to put an unconventional spin on couture. Rope, braided bracelets and hundreds of pearlescent buttons were turned into knee-length trench coats, colourful micro dresses, and slouchy blazer and pegged trouser combos, proving that recycled fashion doesn’t have to be drab.
It has only taken a few seasons for Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri to fully establish their trademark of girlish and graceful designs at Valentino. Marking a sweet end to haute couture fashion week, this collection of chiffon, lace and tulle in fine floral prints had a glamourised Charlotte Brontë/Jane Austen novel feel to it. Piccioli and Chiuri clearly have a talent for capturing fashion daydreams.