Paris Couture Week Fall 2014: Part 4

And the hits just keep on coming!

As couture week comes to a close, I find myself with a smile on my face. There were more hits than misses this season and that always makes me happy.

Georges Chakra. This season chez Chakra was a cleanly defined outing. The looks were so refined and edited that there was an almost aerodynamic quality to some of the pieces. This is the kind of smooth couture that translates well to a wider audience.  Another testament to Chakra’s skills is his ability to make expensive clothes look effortless. That satin faced organza ballgown should weigh a ton, but the model wears it like it was a feather.  I fell in love with the blue and taupe beading that gave the look of tie-dye. I’ve actually never seen that technique before and Chakra would be wise to make it a house signature.

Zuhair Murad. The highlight of his collections is always the beading and the attention to detail. There are rarely shock moments on the Murad runway and that’s a good thing. He could stand to work some color stories into the individual dresses, but overall, the collection worked. I fell in love with the degradé zebra beaded ballgown. It is innovative, yet classic all at the same time.  One of his signatures is the pinnacle cut that follows the contours of a woman’s anatomy below the waist (turquoise dress). He’s done this for a few seasons and in any other hands, would be a deadly weapon, but Murad works it into a beautiful testament to femininity every time he does it.

Serkan Cura. This off beat collection kind of surprised me. Now I know what you’re thinking – It looks like a flock of birds landed on the runway, but hear me out. These pieces ares kinda the definition of couture. Nothing on this runway looks like it belongs on a store rack and each piece is as individual and the clients that will probably buy them. The overall cuts were clean and the decorations were rich and above all, special to the pieces. Not everything worked, but there is plenty of room for growth and I look forward to what the future holds for this house.

Now, I thought I should mention a few looks from collections that didn’t wow me, but still gave it their best shot. Most of these collections skated through with predictability, but still, I thought there were a few looks that worked.

Georges Hobeika. This dress screams “pretty”, but honestly, the entire collection looked like an Elie Saab analog. It would be wise oh Hobeika to choose a style and stick with it; however, this dress is a step in the right direction.

Georges Hobeika

Giambattista Valli. I don’t get him. He knows how to make beautiful clothes, but every season, it’s the same collection. This dress is nice, but honestly, he did the exact same dress last season, just in a different color. I liked it then too, but he needs to move on already. I have a feeling Raf Simons syndrome is catching…

Giambattista Valli, Couture, Fall Winter, 2014, Fashion Show in Paris

Julien Fournie. This collection looked like glorified ready to wear, but I loved the neckline detail on this gown. The art deco effect pairs nicely with the floating hand of the fabric, and the color, ever so much of it, is soft and murky in a positive way.

Julien Fournié, Couture, Fall Winter, 2014, Fashion Show in Paris

Rami Al Ali. This dress is divine! The rest of the collection… eh. But, this gown is what couture is made of. If this style had been the highlight and the overall pieces a bit more focused, this collection would have been amazing.

Rami Al Ali Haute Couture Fall Winter 2014_15 Paris July 2014

UlyanaSergeenko. She’s another one I just don’t understand. Her collection was all over the place, but this look showed promise. The skirt is draped to perfection in relation to the graphic nature of the top. There is a deliciousness to the multiple textures, and the color story, although a wee bit predictable, is smooth and appealing.

Ulyana Sergeenko, Haute Couture, Fall Winter, 2014, Fashion Show in Paris

Gaultier Paris. Hey now, you had your shot, Jean Paul! Well, OK, I’ll let this one slide. I love this dress. It is classic Gaultier It’s odd without being outré, simple without being boring and most of all, IT FREAKING LOOKS LIKE HAUTE COUTURE, DAMMIT!!!

Jean-Paul Gaultier, Couture, Fall Winter, 2014, Fashion Show in Paris

Ralph and Russo. This collection didn’t really stand out for me, but I do love this dress. The draping and the uneven hem are perfectly balanced and the off-kilter neckline reflects the quirkiness. The embellishments add to evening out the balance and the clean styling works in its favor.  It would have benefited the house to focus on more of these pieces this season.

Ralph and Russo, Haute Couture, Fall Winter, 2014, Fashion Show in Paris

Loris Azzaro. This same cut was sent out in navy without the beading and it skewed a bit trashy vamp. However, this version of it works on a much higher level. The designer took a rather provocative cut and gave it a gallon of class. The color is soft and inviting and the embellishment looks rich without overpowering the silhouette.

Loris Azzaro, Couture, Fall Winter, 2014, Fashion Show in Paris

Viktor and Rolf. This “take one idea and beat it to death” nonsense has got to end. This is their third, return to haute couture season and I am so over these two in this market, it ain’t even funny. Where is the innovation that launched their careers? Where is the bravado that made them couturiers?  I’m giving them ONE look from this collection, but I’m getting real tired of this repetition, guys. Honestly, it’s like they are just trolling us all right now by making the pieces so infuriatingly repetitive that we all revolt and storm their atelier. Then when we get there, they’ll just look at us and be all, “LOL, U mad?”

Viktor & Rolf, Haute Couture, Fall Winter, 2014, Fashion Show in Paris

OK, tomorrow is the infamous list of the dark side of couture.

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