Magical Paris Haute Couture Week is due. The finest sartorial arts showcased their talents in shaping some of the world’s most beautiful (and expensive!) dresses, demonstrating how tradition and future can speak one universal fashionable language. Visionary coutouriers keep producing high-tech fabrics, vanguardist shapes and out of the box stylings, that are either the foundation of brand new Maisons de Couture or invigorating fresh air to the elder members of the couture family. The latest shows, presenting Fall/Winter 2014/15 collections just proved Haute Couture is fresh, alive and ready to jump-dive into the future.
Alexandre Vauthier, Alexis Mabille, Atelier Versace and Zuhair Murad kept their powerful and sensual approach to couture. As Vauthier threatened not to drop the "king of the thigh high slit", Mabille empowered the feminine hourglass shape with masculine inspired evening wear, Versace's lines were written in tough allure and Murad's vibrant, red carpet ready gowns were true to his shimmering signature.
Speaking of red carpets, Viktor&Rolf pumped up their playful side and reversed the process, turning the movie stars catwalk into the very star of the show! The models' messy, almost boyish look, vanished the faintest spark of Hollywood-esque glamour, making sure all attentions would stay focused on the quirkiness of the concept.
Bouchra Jarrar and Armani Privé presented inspirational 24/7 ensembles, that were the perfect translation of a timeless, flawless style. If Jarrar interpreted basic wardrobe staples with a youthful and almost futuristic feel, Mr. Armani proved once more the old school savoir faire can still produce modern classics for the modern woman. The Italian master finished his show with a bunch of black, white and red evening outfits, that fanned from feathery coats to magnificent dresses. Another huge name following a forever gracious classical line was Elie Saab, with a bouquet of dreamy, pearl embroidered evening gowns. The models walked them with the poise of royal princesses entering a ballroom full of enchanting chandeliers.
Maison Martin Margiela Artisanal Collection told the stories behind their peculiar and unique materials. At Schiaparelli, the 1930's and Spanish Flamenco seemed to be having a delightful time at a party hosted by Elsa's eccentric self. Vionnet was all about the beauty and harmony of autumn breezes pleated into sculpted feather weight dresses.
Ulyana Sergeenko channeled part of Russian history with a less fairytale-like and still unbelievably gorgeous collection. Nipped waists, severe black leather military coats, graphic coats, dreamy day dresses and glamorous opera outfits made up the most beautiful time line of events between the fall of the czars and the rise of the USSR.
The couture dream went on with Valentino. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli filled their version of an almost decadent Pre-Raphaelite garden with modern day muses. The collection was all about ethereal goddess gowns, draped poems made of the thinest, faintest fabrics, coats giving a new life to worn out tapestries, sensuous silhouettes of smooth lines and a soft, subtle, natural color palette.
Chanel was another expression of Karl Lagerfeld everlasting geniality. Cutting edge technology at the service of fashion delivered a lot of garments that were molded instead of seamed. A brutal baroque exploded through exotic orientalisms and austere whites. Again, flat shoes (sandals and high boots embellished with silky bows) had the last word, emphasizing the almost noble youthfulness Chanel is incarnating.
At Christian Dior, Raf Simons, driven by a will to understand how a fragment of time could influence the following one, designed a marvelous sci-fi travel in time. From Marie Antoinette inspired gowns to astronaut suits, the outfits paraded elegantly in a room full of white orchids. The common thread connecting everything effortlessly was Simons signature romantic minimalism. Aside from exuberant stylings, pure lines, fabulous shapes and rich fabrics did more than just telling a story: they were the story.
Last but not least, Giambatistta Valli stepped up his game to present a very sweet and flirty collection. Striped pajamas, white napkins on the head, funny sunglasses and extravagant big tulle dresses in candy colors dropped some jaws. What could have been a little too eccentric was nicely put together by grown up narrow pencil skirts, pretty demure tops and crisp cotton shirts, paired with the most brilliant items. If there was a perfect way to great the new generation of couture consumers, Valli has just found it.