In essence, there are few "real" clients who shop this market, anymore. Pop stars order specially designed stage clothes. The houses lend their creations to Oscars celebrations. Even the super rich confine most of their purchases to wedding gowns. That Haute Couture week (barely five days now) continues to exist is thanks to invitations extended to young designers and non-French houses. And while there is nothing wrong with that, the very notion of couture--research of cut, fabric and color--seems to have been overlooked. Today, there is very little difference between Haute Couture and Ready-to-Wear.
Outside of a few key couturiers, I wasn't inspired by much of what I saw. There is too much effort to design the types of styles likely to end up on someone's red carpet and not enough research into special cutting and fabric. Too many things were predictable. Been there, seen that! And then there were those items that left me wondering...."who wears that!" Be that as it may, I may a selection and in a couple cases, styled them differently so that it made sense to me. After all, that is the point to these reports....to see, to analyze and to reinterpret into a 1/6th scale suitable for my dolls.
Fabric research is a key element in both of these Italian couture houses. Donatella, who took over Versace from her brother, caters to the entertainment industry. As such, her clothing is on the flamboyant side. I've not always liked her collections, but for the last few seasons, she has employed an interesting play of ribbon and strips that wrap around the body. The two dresses here remind me somewhat of the basis for one of the ribbon dresses we did last summer. Armani, on the other hand, is a favorite amongst professional women who like the classic lines and supremely luxury fabrics of his creations. The cut and fit of his clothes is flawless, only matched by the gorgeous fabrics he uses.
An interesting group of dresses that for me, is more ready to wear than couture. I kept asking myself if this is really couture. What I do like is the very modern feel to this collection. I'm not sure if today's woman really wants to walk around with points flapping in the wind. And my other reproach is his lack of fabric research. These are cut from velvet which is clearly a trend. But what a shame he didn't get creative with the fabric.
I was intrigued by the asymmetrical tunic. It is more complicated to drape than it appears, but my question is...who wears this and where? Though I used velvet, I chose an artsy print and teamed it with colorful leggings. The result--an interesting rendition of a bohemian-chic look lifted straight from Rosalind Russel's exuberant character in the movie "Auntie Mame"
On the left, an interesting take on the slip dress by Bouchra Jarrar. Again, this looks more ready-to-wear to my eyes. On the right, very pretty dresses that remind me more of prom dresses or bridesmaids dresses than couture.
The original dress reminds me of a prom dress with a corsage. With the simple addition of a silk organdy stole over Brie's shoulders makes it more dramatic.
No longer designed by Valentino, the master himself, there are some very pretty dresses here. Again, I wish Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, the two designers now in charge with the artistic direction, would research more interesting fabrics or consider embellishments...something, anything to make it more....special.
For my dolly version, Kate wears the classic look of a simple, floor length shift dress cut from panne velvet. Square panels hung diagonally from each shoulder serve as a shortened train.
A beautiful collection of red-carpet dresses, there is lots of old school Hollywood glamour.
Carmela wears the dolly version which starts with the basic foundation. Around the bustline--a pleated panel tacked down at the side and around the arms. The skirt part (in two pieces joined at the back) is draped around the hips, allowing for an opening over one hip. The foundation allows you to control the "flow" of the drapes over the hips.
It would appear the foreign couturiers know a little more about couture than the French right now. Embroidered velvet, bejeweled tulle and chiffon, generously cut into sumptuous gowns..... Eveningwear for a princess! Now that's what Haute Couture is all about!
Jourdan wears a simple dress with a basic bodice and full skirt. Though the silhouette is simple, the dress is a stand-out thanks to the "bejeweled" organza fabric which was gathered over a layer of sparkle tulle.
At the end of the day, it's all about taking what you see then and making your own reinterpretation!
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