Spring 2014 Haute Couture: The Good

And on the lighter side of the couture news, we have my pics for the best of the season. Admittedly, there wasn’t a whole lot to choose from this season, but I think a few beams of sunshine made it through the clouds.


Comments follow images.

Alexis Mabille.

Alexis Mabille Couture Collection Spring Summer 2014 in Paris, Fashion Show.

See what I mean about being on both lists? I love this dress. It is just the right amount of classical draping, historical flare and couture details, with the lace. The color falls deeply on the side of the neutral trend this season, but the gown is styled smartly and walks beautifully.

Elie Saab.

Elie Saab good

I have to admit, Elie Saab likes to stick to what he knows. You’ll never find an ugly dress at the house of Saab, but therein lays the conundrum. Often, he resorts to the same, obvious design vocabulary to create a collection, but every now and then, a dash of the new peeks out. The wacky ombre effect of this skirt is beautiful. The cut is simple, but that best reflects the textile’s complexity.

Georges Chakra.

Georges Chakra Couture Spring Summer 2014 Paris

Chakra is one of those designers that knows his clients and gives them what they want. This dress is the purest definition of couture. It is beautifully draped and decorated enough so as not to distract from the cut. This is the kind of dress that can be ordered in a dozen colors and look equally ravishing in each.

Armani Prive.

Giorgio Armani Prive, Couture, Spring Summer, 2014, Paris

Giorgio has been kind of letting me down as of late. He has resorted to his beige and navy phase of his archives just when I thought he’d moved past it. This collection was… serviceable; however, a TON of the jackets looked like he raided the archives of Mary McFadden. A few pieces were stunning though. This is a perfect example of how Armani can take his past and modernize it for a contemporary client. Beautifully cut, this dress is a hit, but I’d like to see him move past it.

Julien Fornie.

Julien Fournie, Couture Spring Summer 2014 Paris

OK, I’m not sold on the nude leotard. I think a nude, full length lining would have worked better, but what I love about this gown is the piecing and embroidery. How it goes from almost opaque gray to effervescent sheer is brilliance (See what I did there?) The fullness at the hem is perfect and I love how the godets stem from the points of the insets.

On Aura Tout Vu.

On Aura Tout Vu Haute Couture Spring Summer 2014 Paris

Wait, what are these guys doing on the good list? Didn’t they give us Captain Idiot from the bad list? Hmmm, better look into this. OK, I’ll let this look slide, but JUST THIS ONCE! This is a beautifully symmetrical garment. The weird paillettes on the pants and yoke add just the right touch to an otherwise too simple garment. I think the model choice works beautifully as well. Dammit, they’d better not make the good list again, or else!

Rad Hourani.

Rad Hourani, Couture, Spring Summer, 2014, Paris

I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out. This entire collection was so focused and pulled together, I had to acknowledge it. It was sort of a modern ninjas in leather thing and it looked good. Yes he had some men in skirt-y things, yes, some of the pieces were a bit show-y, but honestly, it was refreshing to see a collection that was sharp and concise.

Atelier Versace.

Versace good

Ehh, more of the same from Donatella, but I really liked this dress. It reminded me of Gianni’s hey-day. The cut is obvious, but the cowl added a little something extra. The beading is just this side of tacky and the length is perfect for the model. This could be a rock n’roll bride’s super cool wedding dress.

Viktor & Rolf.

Viktor Rolf, Couture, Spring Summer, 2014, Paris

The presentation of this collection was beautiful, but ultimately, I wondered why it was called haute couture. The entire collection was made of latex. It was printed and draped (nothing Thierry Mugler hasn’t done for his ready to wear) and shown on ballerinas. The cuts were simple, to say the least, but I really fell in love with this jacket. I would have even loved it if it was made of wool crepe, so for that, I’ll give it to them. However, this was their second collection since their return to haute couture and frankly, it was the second time I was rather disappointed.

Yanina Couture.

Yanina, Couture, Spring Summer, 2014, Paris

Clean, simple and decidedly rich with details.  I would like to have seen this dress in a color other than “dust bunny,” but the overall texture is almost irresistible. The peek-a-boo sides add a nice illusion to an already stunning gown.

Zuhair Murad.

Zuhair Murad Fashion Show Couture Collection Spring Summer 2014 in Paris

Murad likes this cut and he does it well. Last season it was fragile, Chantilly lace. This season, the lace has evolved into beaded embroidery and has apparently grown a naughty streak. The details are what make this look shine.  Murad is one of my favorite designers because he knows what his clients like and he constantly delivers it.

OK, now we come to two pieces I just didn’t know what to do with. I can’t tell if they are awesome or awful because they are both textbook examples of what couture is supposed to be. On the other hand, they are both absolutely ridiculous.

Stephane Rolland.

Stephane Rolland, Couture, Spring Summer, 2014, Paris

I swear Alexis wore this to an embassy ball on Dynasty. OK, yeah, this dress is bonkers, but it really does define what haute couture is supposed to be. It’s elitist, difficult to market and could NEVER hang on a rack in a store. Also, there is more than likely never going to be more than one of them made for an order, if it gets ordered at all. It’s also an attention getter. This will be in magazines, even if it’s on the “bad” list, but the Rolland name will be out there.

Yiquing Yin.

Yiqing Yin Couture Spring Summer 2014 Paris

I know, it looks like she got into a fight with a yeti and the yeti lost. This is yet another perfect example of haute couture; this one even more so because of the fur. Couturieres and furriers have had a long and prosperous union ever since Worth, but being able to modernize the trade with both embroidery and draping is not easy. I don’t think may people could get away with this dress, but honestly, it is beautifully designed. Now if the model would smile, just a little.

OK kids, Couture goes bye-bye for now.

I’ll post progress on my latest project as soon as I can.



2 thoughts on “Spring 2014 Haute Couture: The Good

  1. Hi I stumbled upon your blogs and I thought I was the only one noticing and feeling like the fashion designers have fallen under a sleeping spell. The clothes in general are dark and posses no sparkle, life, inspiration! A few designers are fantastic with either cool, elegant, funky clothes or fantasy getups which keep me thinking that there is hope for the future of fashion. Hollywood is so ho hum and women aren’t reaching for “BAM! In your face” glamour and beauty at a price! I’m entering into the beauty industry (skin care called Risen) after years of working in corporate America but I’m hopeful that things will change. Much success in your endeavors and keep blogging in honesty and truth. You are loved for it.

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