Sunday, February 12, 2017

Doll's Eye View: Spring/Summer 17 Paris Couture

Just at a point when I had practically given up on couture, one of the best seasons in a long time rolled in. I'm not really sure what, in these political and economic difficult times, has prompted a change in the style, the taste and the choices of the participating couturiers. Is it a question of escapism...a desire to relive the glory days of couture when fashion was less about making headlines and more about making the woman feel beautiful. In any case, for me, this is a positive sign that Haute Couture may not be dead, after all. In a word, Spring Summer 2017 Haute Couture fashion week was...PRETTY!

Powered Up!
In my early days of attending Haute Couture shows, daywear was just as important as evening frocks. Lifestyles have changed. "Ladies" don't "lunch" anymore. And for most women who have the means to afford these made to order clothes, they'd rather put their money in formal gowns. But still...women in media, CEOs of Fortune 500, companies, and high ranking government officials will buy a suit that matches their stature. And that's why Chanel continues to produce the most popular suits in the world!

Artfully Speaking
Don't get me wrong. There is still a certain degree of creativity in Couture, these days. It's just kept in check with the realization that women want to wear clothes not fashion statements. At one point, Haute Couture was the atelier where ideas were born then later simplified into commercial ready-to-wear. Though the latter has taken over the headlines today, there is hint of playfulness as seen through color and fabric treatments. 
Prints Charming
The first thing that comes into view: spring is abloom in the way of floral prints and delicate embroidery applications. Princess silhouettes are fresh and elegant, with swirls of fabric cascaded down from fitted bodices and marked waistlines.
Tarte Aux Fruits
For spring, we expect to see delicate colors. What is really tantalizing is summer where the color story is drizzled with sparks of fruity tones like blueberry, tangerine, mango, raspberry and lemon! Again, silhouettes are easy, body skimming styles or light and frothy with miles of tulle.

On Her "A-Game"
A shift in silhouettes is evident. The narrow, body hugging dresses have given way lines that swing far from the body in exaggerated A-line dresses and full skirts. The look is light and romantic, rhythmic, reminiscent of the romantic fashions from the 1950's and 1960s.
Think "poodle skirts" without the poodle and cut in luxury fabrics. Look for circle skirts, petticoats and softly gathered skirts to twirl into the spotlight. Pictured here, I did Anna's dress in two parts: a fitted bodice worn over a full circle skirt. I purposely chose a stiff, thick fabric so the skirt would stand out without need of a petticoat. However, I did not add the trim (of the original skirt) because I felt its wideness was more modern and made enough of a dramatic statement on its own.

Powder Puff
Another flashback from the early 1960's....pastel tones and soft fabrics for a decisively feminine look.
The waist is marked with belts or nipped waistlines. Wrap dresses show a flash of leg. Color are easy on the eyes!
From time to time, we find a look that translates very well into that perfect Barbie dress. The dress is cut from a filmy fabric, smocked to hug the entire torso and ends in a burst of ruffles and gathers. (Note: Adriana's dress is made of nylon from an old nightgown!)
Summer Mist
Story here is the color palette. Soft, misty, in tones of mauve, powder blue, smoky Easter bonbons with a tinge of grey. It's as if you are looking at pastels through a veil of fog at dawn. Trousers also have a place in formal wear. They fit the body gracefully with ease. Dresses have dramatic details....a cape cascading from the shoulders, cabbage roses floating over a sheer layer of silk, the tail of a jacket trailing to the floor.

Family Jewels
Old fashion glamor is back. Think Hollywood movie starts in the 1930's...gowns complete with trains, fishtails and feathers....sometimes all in the same garment. This is a category where sparkly, shiny fabrics prevail. Think silver lame, sequins, bejeweled embroidery cut in basic sheaths.

The version worn by Waris was made from silver lurex sprinkled with a layer of silver glitter. Since I did not have the time to make a second fishtail (and I wasn't sure I wanted to use feathers), I took a shortcut by using a "long haired" faux fur. For me, this is a red carpet look that deserved, as an accessory, the addition of a faux fur stole.
Organically Grown
All the shades of black. In this theme, shapes recall organic, vegetal elements that are put together for a sleek, modern look in formal wear. This is a more edgy look that relies on a mix of textures, unusual shapes and materials.

I was quite intrigued by this dress which appears to be made of thick cord.  You could say..couture for the 21st century. For Anna's dress, I made the fringe myself by cutting cord and stitching onto a strapless bodice and a separate one-piece skirt.
Sadly, I don't have the patience needed to knit or crochet. So, I took a shortcut. Brie's dress is made from stretch lace. The feather "fishtail" was created separately (from loose marabou feathers) then stitched on.  
A Moment with Mozart
Basic black with plenty of romance from a bygone era. There is a rhythm to these dresses, A sort of built-in movement that makes the dress almost dance around the ballroom floor on its own.  Black lace, sheers, tulle, velvet...again, silhouettes are lush, swirling about the body in a cloud of sheer fabric. There is a bit of sexiness here...but done in a such way that is shrouded in mystery. We see her legs.....or do we?

For Veronica's dress, I used panne velvet for the bodice of the dress, and a textured sheer fabric over a layer of black tulle for the godet wedges. The bodice fits her torso snuggly while the godets force the dress to stand away from the body almost in star formation. Pretty!!!

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  1. I always get so jealous when I see your versions of the Paris fashions! You do such an amazing job! I love every single one of your creations!

    1. Thank you, Phyllis. This is always such a fun project for me. And this time around, there were so many really pretty dresses, I had to stop myself from making even more. Happy to know you enjoyed this post.

  2. Another awesome piece! It's DollsnFashion btw, had to delete my twitter. Keep up the great work! 👍

    1. Thank you so much DollsnFashion. When I first started out, I chose the simplest dresses just to complete the report as fast as I could. But now I try to choose dresses that pose a challenge as a way to learn new things. Glad you enjoyed this post.

  3. OMG what wonderful wonderful clothes and your stunning interpretations. My far and away favourite was that gorgeous black dress with the 'pool on the floor' train by Stephane Rolland, I would love to see you do that and tell us how to achieve the train.

    1. Thank you Karen (and welcome to my blog). There were so many really beautiful items this season, I really had to limit my choices. It's interesting you should mention the Stephane Rolland dress, because I nearly selected that one to make. The reason I didn't is because, I thought it would be nice to devote an entire post just on him. He is not a household word in many part of the world and yet, he makes so many really stunning dresses. So thank you for the suggestion and I will definitely do a tutorial on Stephane Rolland.

  4. Jestem bardzo pozytywnie zaskoczona tak pięknymi fasonami, tkaninami i kolorystyką! Naprawdę rewelacyjne stroje!
    Twoje dziewczyny mają się wspaniale, że szyjesz im takie piękne ubrania, prosto z pokazu mody! Prezentują się cudownie!
    Pozdrawiam serdecznie!

    1. Olla wrote:

      I am very pleasantly surprised to see such beautiful fashion, fabrics and colors! Really sensational outfits!
      Your girls have it great that you sew them such beautiful clothes, straight from the fashion shows! They present themselves wonderfully!
      Best wishes!

      Thank you Olla. I was really very inspired this season. And there were still a few more dresses I would have love to make. My dolls are REALLY very spoiled! Sometimes when I look around and realize all of the different designers the dolls are wearing, I too, am amazed! So happy you enjoyed this post. See you soon!

  5. Just when I think your fashions can't get any better...I love the last dress and the first looks aswell. I don't know much about fashion, but I'm learning a lot on your blog.


    1. Thank you Monstercrafts. I was really inspired this time around and I guess it shows it. For me, this is what Haute Couture should look like. So happy to know you are enjoying my blog. It makes it worthwhile to put in the effort! Thank you.

  6. Wow! So much to love. I love the soft colors. Your renditions are spot on. Fabulous!

    1. Yes, Vanessa...there was much to love in Paris Couture week. There are still a few more dresses I would love to make. Yes, I loved the soft colors and that one mango colored Armani gown. Thank you so much for your lovely comments.

  7. Hi April, beautiful like always <3 I love it !

    1. Thank you, Urszula. I'm so happy you enjoyed this post.

  8. What can I say... You are the best! :-) Especially I liked the first one and the last one of your little projects! But all of them are amazing! <3

    1. Thank you Aya for your visit and your kind words. Really pleased you enjoyed this post as it is so much fun to put together.


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