Couture, so much effort but little returns. It may not be the branch of fashion that earns the most, but this is the one I personally think showcases the designers creative prowess and her teams technical skill. .
Nowadays, all I've been seeing are designer's who just douse their clothes with sequins, appliques and failles. Most likely floral and might have some tidbits of ombre or leather here and there. It's rare to find designers that are revolutionary in technique and creativity. I'm tired of seeing the designer clones of Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad- little creativity but loads of man power to embellish the garments. Their clothes are beautiful, but we've seen them all before.
This Paris couture week. a few designers truly impressed me. These are the designers that should be remembered.
1) IRIS VAN HERPEN
Her "Seijaku" collection was inspired by the music and philosophy of cymatics- study of waves. It reminded me a bit of the technique Alexander McQueen, then simplicitiy of Jill Sander. I love that she collaborates with other creatives in music and materials Engineering. Aerated silicon dress anyone? I'm glad that she's not only using fabrics. She's used rubber, silicon, metal and 3D printing in her former collections. She combines, technology, fashion and the otherworldly, which opens a world of creativity possibilities. I can truly say that this Dutch designer is a pioneer.
2) Maison Martin Margiela
Love him or hate him, The creative director-John Galliano can do no wrong. His artisanal collection was inspired by aristocracy during the French Revolution that was decontextualized thru an urban lens like the highly skilled skaters. His Fall 2016 collection is where fantasy is tempered by the jarring authenticity of today’s reality.
Galliano asserts that his role as a couturier is to discover new proportions and new volumes; and also to express new ideas and thoughts using familiar volumes. And... I'm a fan of the thigh high rubber boots. It's great for the floods brought upon by climate change.
3) Giambatistta Valli
Giambatistta Valli’s idea was to look at the city’s famous gardens. “It’s kind of a thank-you to Paris,” . “You know that flowers are my obsession. This time they come from the Parc de Bagatelle, the Jardin du Luxembourg, the Palais-Royal, and the Jardin des Tuileries.”
The collection featured exaggerated volumes, this time focused on bishop sleeves, Watteau backs, and a handful of empire-waist gowns. His signature fabric techniques and different ball gown silhuoettes came out during the finale.
Sparkle and sequin were downplayed here in favor of colorful embroideries and appliqués; when Valli did employ crystals, it was in grid-like patterns as precise as his flowers were flamboyant. As a rule, the fleurs were more pervasive and came in many forms: picked out in paillettes on an organza empire-waist dress; as swirling garlands on short-in-front/long-in-back gowns of lace macramé; and, quite prettily, intarsia-ed in a rosebush motif on a short coat in white mink.
Below are my favorite looks.