Saturday, 25 January 2014

Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2014 - Part II

Let's continue our little excursion to the world of high fashion.

Wednesday:

MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA
This season's Artisanal collection is about collecting, in the sense of gathering up bits and pieces from other times and places to repurpose and compose a new life in the here and now. It's about finding preciousness in the un-precious, while asking the compelling question about what constitutes value, not only in fashion.
The clothes were designed by using wrapping and draping techniques combined with bricolages of found doodads, beads, chains, soda-can pulls, crystals, keys, and and and. The result was bizarrely beautiful with the model's faces covered with organdy veils whose eyeholes were embroidered.

           
Maison Martin Margiela
Maison Martin Margiela


























FRANK SORBIER
Gulliver’s Travels served as the starting point of the collection "Voyages" by Frank Sorbier. The journey took us from one imaginary country to the next, personified in different dresses and silhouettes. While capable of the mastery of fabrics his approach towards couture is not all about craftsmanship but also about art.

                
       Frank Sorbier
Frank Sorbier

























ELIE SAAB
What is the key to elegance and timeless classiness? Is there a magic formula of elegance? If there is, Ellie Saab might hold the key to it. Elegance seems to be firmly woven into the aesthetics of his house.
Instead of searching obsessively other fashionable forms of expression, Saab remains true to his line and works from collection to collection almost exclusively with different color spaces and materials. He edits his silhouettes from time to time, but mostly he builds on what he has created in the past.

            
Elie Saab
Elie Saab

























RAD HOURANI
In 2005, Hourani arrived in Paris to work as a stylist and two years later, launched his first ready-to-wear collection. Six years later, he became the first unisex couturier in history to be invited by the Fédération Française de la Haute Couture.
For this collection Hourani worked in an intriguing all-black palette while staying true to his graphic, futuristic signature that help him realize his unisex concept. His design is based on the ideology of being timeless, seasonless, ageless and genderless.

                  
Rad Hourani
Rad Hourani

























JEAN PAUL GAULTIER
Jean Paul Gaultier is famous for his time travels through Paris and left his imagination for the new Haute Couture collection run wild in creating a Parisian Revue.  Even though the French fashion enjoyed a special reputation worldwide even before, the 1920 showgirls gave it an additional wicked, mysterious touch. Exactly this dark French chic Jean Paul Gaultier has transferred into the present: from black satin costumes that you could imagine during the day in a Parisian café to corsets that belong clearly on the stage of the Lido.
Also biker jackets and bras processed Gaultier sporadically which served as an ironic quote of the story of his fashion house himself.

           
Jean Paul Gaultier
Jean Paul Gaultier

























YIQING YIN
Inspiration for the Haute Couture collection by Yiqing Yin was the moth with their complex life, their morphing process from the caterpillar to the cocoon, to the adult and their paradox:
"they obsess me and repulse me at the same time. I find they are very poetic and complex creatures, living in the night yet so relentlessly drawn to the light, drawn by the flames.”
In her collection she tried to catch the beauty and variety in the rich colors and textures combined with the delicately composed fragility which resembles the moth.

                   
Yiqing Yin
Yiqing Yin

























VALENTINO
Fifty-five dresses personifying the beauty and story of fifty-five operas. We had silk marocain dresses in earthy shades of sienna, green, and mahogany, a divine splendor of a gold thread dress embellished with four thousand smoky gemstones that took twenty-five hundred hours to finish.
And there were the animals: a swan, a snake, and a peacock made from feathers that wrapped around the waistline of ballerina tutus. An spectacular collection between clothes and costume.

            
Valentino
Valentino

























VIKTOR & ROLF
For their Haute Couture collection the designers casted members of the Dutch National Ballet as models, dressing them in leotard-tight dresses in nude shades of latex that looked remarkably like real skin, some of which were hand-painted with trompe l'oeil tattoos of ruffles, birds, or those bows.
It was a challenge for the eye to see what is real and what is unreal, what is clothes and what is skin.

         
Viktor & Rolf
Viktor & Rolf

























Thursday:

SERKAN CURA
There was plenty of theatricality in Serkan Cura's featherlight collection which took its inspiration from the burlesque variety. In one of his creations, plumes were worked to resemble fur and fashioned into a hairy pantsuit. Feathers also sprouted from the hips on artfully crafted corset or were arranged like exotic flowers to create sculptural shoulder pieces.

           
Serkan Cura
Serkan Cura

























ZUHAIR MURAD
Zuhair Murad took us on a walk in a mystical garden with a multitude of camellias, roses, peonies, all shimmering from gowns, jumpsuits, and cocktail frocks which he combined with daywear looks of pencil skirts, trousers and open jackets in shades of ivory all fronted in a double row of gold buttons and worn with a leaf belt.

          
Zuhair Murad
Zuhair Murad

























RALPH & RUSSO
Showing for the first time in Paris, the London-based designers Ralph & Russo went for Forties and Fifties couture glamour. There was a pale-pink jacket embellished with rosettes, or a red costume in New Look style which reminded of the great old-time glamour of the Haute Couture.

         
Ralph & Russo
Ralph & Russo

























Regarding the different collections, it is interesting to see how different houses work with traditions. For some it is a foundation to create something new, for others it is the columns of a temple which are untouchable. The approach on how to work in a classical environment is always difficult. On one hand one should respect the past and value it, but on the other hand one shouldn't be intimidated by the achievements of the past and think contemporary design will never be able to reach the same standards. Maybe one has to create own standards like all the famous fashion houses did before. They became famous, because people dared to rethink and question the existing.

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