Sunday, 3 February 2013

The Last Emperor Strikes Back

The past few seasons, apart from certain exceptions, I have couture a little Couture-lite or Diet Couture. It seems to be getting really commercial, to make those who have the money to drop ten grand on a blouse drop it, and FAST. So if you weren't into that before, because they've tamed it down then you totally have to now. Which I get, you know recession, austerity blah, blah, blah. But the folk who shopped haute couture for the drama, the splendour, the general crazy OTT part of it must be well pissed off, because the looks that the designers are having the petit mains churn out is nowhere near as theatrical as it once was... Don't get me wrong if I could afford it I most definitely would, and I'd wear it to Tesco if I had to just to make a point of wearing it. 
Aside from Givenchy and good old Oscar gown man himself Elie Saab it all went very chic and wearable, and if you were popping along for some serious gown action you would be solely disappointed, bouclé two pieces and staid evening wear was everywhere. Even at Valentino! It all went a bit monochrome there (I say weeping all over my Vogue) but alas! My heart skipped a beat this couture week just passed as Pierpaolo and Maria have had a change of strategy... They have gone back to the good old days of couture, when Mr Garavani sent a flurry of lace, organza, tulle, silk and immensely intricate beadwork down the catwalk for every actress' stylist to bounce around with glee... You see the Spring couture shows happen just before the Oscars and just in time for the quick ones to get pieces for the SAGs so PERFECT TIMING! This season the Emperor and his new designers didn't disappoint, despite a very sad lack of Givenchy this year, there wasn't much in terms of showstoppers at some shows. But Valentino was perfect, and there was an abundance of his signature red. In many different guises for your many different desires and occasions. It's no secret that after Mr Garavani stepped down from the helm at the label, it took his successors a few seasons to find their feet and understand what direction they would take the label in, especially with the haute couture side of the label. However, in just a few short seasons they appear to have found their stride and produced a collection that was utter Valentino splendour. I loved the garden setting, and the detailing on the first few looks that represented the wrought iron gates to a garden with the swirly-curly effects. I love that they used various detailing and fabrics to create the effect of delicate floral arrangement, and still used the classic red gowns that the house is known so famously for. I liked they it wasn't all floor length either as with many haute couture offerings. I know it sounds like a massive cliché but much of it was truly breath taking, and harked back to the old days when every single season my little heart skipped a beat, and I got goosebumps at looking over couture. I just hope it stays this way, even just for my benefit of total and utter FASHWANGASM daydreaming.

Now where is my credit card...

all images courtesy of

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