Fall Couture 2013: The Good

While I get my projects in order so I can start posting pictures of the examples for my upcoming classes at Quilt Fest, another Haute Couture week has come and gone, and with it, another chance to make magical fashion moments.

This season, there were few special moments to be had though. It seemed like there was a slight depression that took hold of the collections. Color was hard to find and some of the best players in couture, took steps backwards in their efforts to revamp a dying art.

We’ll begin with the highlight this time. It was slim pickings, but I found some shining stars to ogle.

Comments follow the pictures.


Rami Al Ali, Couture, Fall Winter, 2013, Paris


Rami Al Ali. I feel this look is for a more mature customer, but its clean lines and beautiful lace remind us that couture doesn’t always have to be flashy and over-worked. Simple pieces like this are often more difficult to create than over-the-top flights of fancy.

Iris Van Herpen, Couture, Fall Winter, 2013, Paris

Iris Van Herpen. I normally take a pass on the Van Herpen collection because she tends to lean too much towards extreme shapes and outré fabric treatments, but when I saw the intricate detail work on this piece, I kind of fell in love with it. No, the shape is not for everyone, but the attention to detail on the slashed textile manipulation speaks volumes to the handworker in me, and by keeping it all one color, says that she realizes the importance of showing off the work over attention-grabbing, complicated fabric.

Georges Hobeika, Couture, Fall Winter, 2013, ParisGeorges Hobeika, Couture, Fall Winter, 2013, Paris

Georges Hobeika. This designer constantly makes beautiful clothes with a subtle, smooth sophistication that rivals any other contemporary couture house. Both of these looks are stunning examples of how a light hand can render beautiful clothes that appeal to a wide clientele. The embroidery on the wedding dress is so delicate; it almost looks like freshly collected snowflakes.

Stephane Rolland, Couture, Fall Winter, 2013, Paris

Stephane Rolland. I love that Rolland has developed a clean, architectural gesture with his signature cuts. Breaking apart a tuxedo has been done by several designers, but Rolland proves that he can make it look fresh while still keeping his pronounced aesthetic.

Maison Marin Margiela, Couture, Fall Winter, 2013, Paris

Maison Margiela. I know what you’re thinking and to some degree, I agree. It’s weird. Really weird, but hear me out. I chose this look based on the fragile embroidery that runs down the front of this dress. I think the head cover, shoes and freaky glove drape are unnecessary, but the punch of pink satin under the beige embroidery is an unexpected detail that strangely, works. The whole point of couture is for a house to take a gamble on something that, to a lesser degree, will translate into a mass market, or as mass market at Margiela gets, so this look has serious potential.

Frank Sorbier, Couture, Fall Winter, 2013, Paris

Frank Sorbier. Sorbier has a very specific eye for detail and cut, he works in fabrics that always seem to have been lifted from a painting and his presentations are staged like modernist theater. I love the drama that these two looks render. There is a full-on excess that, while in-you-face, is oddly approachable.  Notice, on the dress, how the print seems to get larger the further down the dress the eye travels. It’s subtle, but proves that this designer knows how to design and make beautiful, clever clothes.

Yiqing Yin, Couture, Fall Winter, 2013, Paris

Yiqing Yin. This is the first time I’ve seen this designer’s work and if this look is any indication of where she is headed, we’re in for a fun ride. I love the balance of this garment. The sleeve detail on the right follows a graceful line down and to the left that ends in an explosion of frothy organza. Of course, the beautiful handwork and embroidery is nothing to scoff at either and shows promise for a young designer.


Atelier Versace. This dress is just damn sexy. It’s not easy to work in a nude illusion without it looking cheesy or trashy, but the fine folks at Versace have learned to work sex appeal into a frock with aplomb. The degrade beading is the perfect segue into the more stable, solid black fabric and makes this dress one of my favorites of the season.

ulyana sergeenko

Ulyana Sergeenko. Wait. What is Sergeenko doing on the good list? Is this a clerical error? I demand to see your supervisor! It’s true? Oh well better run with it. Yes. I love this look. I think it’s a great blending of simplicity and drama, if that’s even possible. The sleeve and collar details are great. They have an ‘evil stepmother’ vibe about them that works. Let’s hope she can keep it up and make next season’s ‘nice’ list again.

OK, that’s it for the good guys.

Soon I’ll show you my naughty list, and oh boy is it ever a steaming pile of crap!



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