I must say, the “newer” couture houses are giving the establishment a run for their money this season. I’m finding that the more well-known houses have reverted to safe mode with their designs and the fresher houses are apt to experiment and therefore, push couture to its limits. And frankly, I approve. Haute couture should be about dreams and fantasy. Yes, there is room for a sensible look now and then, but just hand stitching something that came from the ready to wear does not a couture garment make.
Yeah, I’m talking to you Mr. Armani. 😉
Elie Saab. OK Elie, we get it. You know how to make drop-dead gorgeous dresses for the glitterati. We totally understand that your quality is second to none, and yes, I must resist the urge to pinch your cheeks, through my monitor, every time I see a picture of you. So, can you kinda move on already? You tell a color story well, but this “white group”, “red group”, “aqua group” thing is get a bit tired. It’s OK, you can mix it up now and then.
Can I be honest? I have to tell you, you are at your best when you toughen up a bit. That sheer black dress with the scattered beading and the fur stole – ZOMG AMAZING!!!!! And the lace front with the draped panels at the hip – I want that dress, just to pet and cuddle. Seriously, you do “pretty” better than anyone on the block, how about next season, you try pretty, with a generous side of bravado?
Frank Sorbier. I love this guy. Do you know why? Because he designs clothes with such a distinct signature they are impossible to ignore. This season chez Sorbier, like a lot of the other collections, is dark and moody, but it never felt depressing. His signature heavy draping was present, as well as some beautiful, patchwork lace effects that gave one dress the air of having grown on the model’s body. Sorbier’s textiles are a study in depth and surface design. His textures have always told their own stories and this season was no exception – the bride’s dress looks like it was cut from chiffon limestone. Simply amazing and beautifully Sorbier!
Rad Hourani. Simply complex. I can’t think of any other way to describe this guy’s clothes. They are so structured and linear that I swear they were designed by an architect. I love how severe they can be, but at the same time, completely wearable. Hourani loves his blackest night palette and I can’t hate him for that. I can’t see these clothes in bright colors and by this time, I’m sure his customer wouldn’t relish the change. This collection was smart and sophisticated without all the heavy-handed frippery that the rest of Paris lavishes on their clothes. This is the feather in Hourani’s cap. Smooth lines, beautiful cuts and a singular vision that never feel s stuffy or played-out. Bravo Rad!
Gaultier Paris. ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZ… [snort gurgle] Huh… whut? [wipes drool off face, yawns] Oh… I’m sorry, I just fell asleep watching the Gaultier Paris collection. [yawns again, stretches] Wow, JPG must have been in coast mode this time around. Kinda like he was last season, oh, and the season before that. I miss Old Jean Paul. Remember the Conciergerie collection? Yeah, that was great. Remember the parrot feather jacket from the first Gaultier Paris collection? OMG so awesome. You know what my favorite part of this current collection was? When it was over. It’s kinda sad when the ready to wear collection you design looks better than your couture line, but hey, that’s the way it goes sometimes. Oh well, here’s hoping that next season he’ll infuse a little of that old Gaultier magic into the couture collection. In the meantime, instead of counting sheep to go back to sleep, I’ll just watch a continuous loop of fall 2014. I’ll be out in no time.
Valentino. See the Gaultier Paris review and just substitute the Valentino name and corresponding collection where applicable. Seriously, how many times can they make that long-sleeved dress with the full skirt? Haven’t they run out of ideas for that pattern? It looks beautifully made, but that is a testament to the atelier, NOT the designers. Please evolve already, guys! You’ve acquired Raf Simons disease and need a large injection “SOMETHING DIFFERENT.” Just try to design something, ANYTHING, that doesn’t look like anything you’ve done before, you might just like it. PLEASE!!
Vionnet. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY??!!!???? Seriously, what the Hell did Mme. Vionnet do to the current designers of the house? If I were them, I’d be embarrassed that these things hit the runway. My God, that white lace dress looks like it drank too much last night and is now vomiting the pleated chiffon cocktails it downed in an effort to forget its own existence. The house of Vionnet should be ashamed of itself for letting crap like this see the light of day. I would at least give them a quality nod, but most of the things I’ve seen on the runway look like they were made by first graders learning to sew. So sad and SUCH a waste of a good name. In other words…