Monday, July 13, 2009

Black or White: Couture Redux

I had this really genius idea that I'd force myself to be decisive by picking out one single favourite look at each couture show this season, since there are only nine in total anyway. That was easier at some shows (cough, Chanel, cough) than at others (givencheeeee) but I did it. Then as I uploaded the images onto the site, I looked through and realized that all the looks were either black or white, and not in some subconscious tribute to Michael Jackson, either.

Of course, part of the reason for the monochromeness is that the designers themselves are working in muted palettes as well. Chanel is always a paragon of huelessness, while Lacroix was relegated to only a few colours due to budget issues. Elie Saab made the world's most expensive knock-offs of Karl's last Chanel show (all-white and even in the same show venue?) while Valentino's new head duo sought to make a statement with a shapely collection that was variations on a single tone. As for the others, I guess I was simply too influenced by key motifs of the season to notice the more colourful creations. So sue me! Now, onto the picks...

Never been a huge Armani fan, the suited details are a bit too stiff and structured for my taste, but I love the innovative panelling on this dress and would die to pull off that kind of bodice.

I thought the poufy ballgown was proprietary to Dolce, but Galliano pulls off this amazing, tiered confection that is sophisticated and very girly without being too cutesy. I can't imagine sitting in this dress, but why would you sit, when you could twirl around endlessly for others to admire you?

You don't see much in the way of separates at Couture, so this sportswear-inspired look from Alexis Mabille is very refreshing. Although, sometimes you start to think you've seen more intricate seamwork at some of the Ready to Wear collections.

Everyone says it's so sad that Lacroix's backers stepped out on him, but in many ways, minus the circus theatricals and frou-frou embellishments, you could really see yourself wearing the designs from this season. If it's not fitting for a typical Lacroix outing, at least it is for ladies looking for toned-down fashion in today's economy. Here, I like the combination of whimsy in the netted neck area and bell-shaped hips, balanced with the simple silhouette and colour.

The absence of Valentino red was conspicuous, but there are other signatures to the label's name. This ruffled coat is absolutely to. die. for.

There was lots to love at Gaultier, including throwback corseting mixed with robot proportions that would be great for any pop-concert performer. But for a simple girl like me, a fabulous duster coat paired with the perfect minidress was all it took to sweep me off my feet.

I loved the flowers applied liberally to Elie Saab's dresses, although things did get a little over the top occasionally. Wedding dresses gone wrong were all over the place, so for me the standout look was a short one, whose full skirt demanded the volume of feathers and flowers.

Oh, it was impossible to choose from Givenchy, what with the oodles of gorgeous nude gowns, amazing hardware against black, and crazy construction. But since the blood-dipped gown seemed a little Nina Ricci-derivative to me, I went for this more ethnic look. Perfection, from the weight of the neckpiece to the kick of the fishtail hem.

And to finish off, a little black, a little white, a lotta style. This Chanel gown, hidden among swathes of hideous minidresses with crazy fabric panels on back, took my breath away. There are no words.


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  1. I have a gray vintage skirt VERY similar to the Alexis Mabille one (I wore it in this outfit).

  2. oh, that skirt is the cuteness! and i love the belt as well...