Thursday, July 4, 2013

Barbie's Eye View: Paris Couture Fall/Winter 2013-14

As someone who has covered the Haute Couture collections over the years, I must say, this was one of the more quiet seasons. Silhouettes were quite restrained. I suppose this is due to a lingering recession plaguing Europe.

The Haute Couture week I experienced in the heady days of the 1980's is quite different now. These days, the number of legendary labels on the catwalk can be counted on one hand. In an effort to keep the tradition of a couture week alive, younger, lesser-known names have been invited to show during what was once a very exclusive club of top high fashion houses. But to my veteran eyes, the line between ready-to-wear and haute couture is so blurred, I sometimes wonder if there continues to be a clientele for these made to order products.

What distinguishes the difference couture and off the rack is the liberty of design that is not confined by limitations imposed by commercial production methods. This means unusual and creative garment construction enhanced by high quality (super expensive) fabrics and, of course, the made to order service which ensures your dress conforms to your exact measurements and the knowledge that no one else in your social circle will be sold the same dress.

Though this "Art" loses money in spite of the costly price tag (a suit can run $5,000-$10,000, an evening dress can reach the stratosphere of $50,000+), it is the locomotive that sells the brand's other goods from ready-to-wear and accessories to perfume.

Names like Chanel, Armani Prive, Dior and Versace Atelier, Jean Paul Gaultier Couture and even Elie Saab are drool-worthy labels which continue to provide lots of fancy duds for Hollywood stars, glossy magazines and us here at Fashion Doll Stylist.

Here are our top picks for clothes most likely to steer me (and hopefully you) to the sewing machine.


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