Phenomenal. Breathtaking. Eye-Catching. Dreamy. Unbelievable. Divine.
Those are all words that I could easily use to describe the Fall 2012 Couture collections that were shown in Paris this past week. The locations ranged from the Grand Palais to the Ritz Hotel to the Musée Bourdelle, and the themes ran the gamut from old school glamour to futuristic to Game of Thrones.
Yes. Game of Thrones.
The big story this season was Raf Simons’s inaugural collection for the house of Christian Dior after leaving Jil Sander at the end of last season. The show began with classic Dior colors and silhouettes, elegant suits, ladylike dresses, and then ball gowns that I can guarantee will feature heavily on the red carpet in the coming year’s award season.
The collection was anything but boring though with metallic belts, gorgeous embroidery, dramatic peplums, oversized pockets, opera-length gloves, bold collars, tie dyed pieces, tweeds, and reach-out-and-touch-them textures. It was soft and elegant and oh-so-Dior, but with a dramatic, extravagant edge.
I’m not sure if I can put it any better than the fabulous Mr Blasberg who proclaimed: “In the last 13 minutes, Raf Simons just single-handedly altered the contemporary haute couture landscape.” Curious how the phenomenal flower-strewn setting was created for this show? This video gives you a fabulous backstage peek at the process of creation.
New Vintage was the theme for Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel Fall 2012 Couture collection – “Vintage is depressing, but ‘new vintage’ is something to come. It’s preparation for something that could last.”
Bold plaid & checkered patterns, metal-tipped pumps, traditional tweeds, metallic silver tights, chunky knits, shimmery separates, slouchy sequined caps, oversized outerwear, maxi skirts and full pants, velvet coats, pussy bow blouses, Peter Pan collars, and dresses adorned with feathers, chiffon, tulle, and sequins all had a sassy retro feel with modern and sometimes futuristic-feeling details.
Givenchy‘s Riccardo Tisci is nothing if not detail oriented. His collections are traditionally small in size and he and his design teams & seamstresses really focus on making each look unique, one-of-a-kind, and highly intricate. His Fall 2012 collection focused on beading, heavy embroidery and brocades, leather working, fringe, and even sequins.
The restrained extravagance of this collection perfectly complemented the earthy, folksy theme that was somewhere between Little Red Riding Hood and Maid Marian. And I couldn’t have envisioned a more appropriate background than the lush green forest that these looks were photographed against.
While there was some of the famous Valentino red at the end of this show, the colors de jour were navy and creamy pink. The thick brocades and heavy embroideries in cream, peach, and pink played perfectly against the sequins, sheer panels, and flowing silks in varying shades of moody blues.
The details in these pieces were phenomenal, from delicate accordion pleats and metallic-laced brocades to dramatic floral cutouts and sheer chiffon ruffles. Chiuri and Piccioli have been getting their footing over the last few seasons and this couture collection seems to be the coming out party for the new Valentino – An opulent, dramatic twist on the old school glamour and romance that Valentino is known for.
In the world of couture Giorgio Armani’s Fall 2012 Armani Prive collection offered up something wholly different. Wearability. Given that couture is considered an art form and that pieces in these collections can range anywhere from $20,000 to $2,000,000, wearability is hardly the word de jour. But with the full, flattering cuts, cool, pale silks, and touchable, midnight dark velvets, wearable was just what he presented.
These looks were all about textures – Soft, sleek, touchable fabrics that you could almost feel against your skin. The jeweled and beaded veils were one of my favorite parts of this collection, they added serious drama and brought out a mysterious quality in the clothes that took you to another time and place.
The Versace show at the Ritz Hotel was wild and fun – Xena Warrior Princess meets Couture Barbie. The Versace woman is strong, fierce, and fearless, she embraces her sexuality and loves to show some skin. These clothes are not for the faint of heart, they were all about dramatic peek-a-boos, slashes, and slits.
Wide, tooled belts, multi-strap & buckle adorned heels, sheer cloth, sequined netting details, and spiderweb thin mesh gave this show unabashed shimmer, shine, and sex appeal.
The Versace girl is bold, uninhibited and in these clothes, she’s ready to party!
I always look forward to Giambattista Valli‘s collections – His esthetic is divine and I love how he always adds a little edge to his classic, ladylike silhouettes. And his second couture collection made me say to myself for a second time, Valli was made for couture.
And here in this dreamy place far away the moody reds and greens, organic prints, and flowing cuts & ruffles were all borrowed from nature; all-over muted floral patterns, applique and embroidered plant life, ruffles, flares, folds, and thick lace were all born of the outdoors. And with jewelry, accessories, and hairpieces evoking bugs, butterflies, and leaves, the theme was complete throughout the collection.
Rather than a fairy princess vibe the earthy tones and themes brought to mind wood nymphs and dryads – Woodland creatures who personified the various aspects of the natural world that they watched over; strong and eternal.
I thought that a little personal post might be a nice change of pace as all of the fashion madness is winding down so I decided to steal Miss Holly Would If She Could‘s 11 Questions//11 Answers so you can all get to know me a little better. Without further ado, here are 11 Questions answered by Moi.
[1.] Two TV Shows You Watch Every Week?
[Time Out] Okay, I feel like I should preface this little exercise by saying that I am incredibly boring during the week because I wake up at 4am every morning, which makes “school night” activities virtually impossible. Completely impossible actually. [Time In]
I don’t regularly watch TV during the week and time on weekends that’s spent in front of a television set is probably for movie night. That being said there are a few shows that I will catch up on with Netflix rentals after the fact, including NCIS, Psych, Bones, Big Bang Theory and Warehouse 13.
New obsession? Lost Girl.
The real question here is why do I have cable?
[2.] Top Three Place On Your ‘Must Visit’ List?
As I mentioned in my MCLV Answers Questions – Harper’s Bazaar Style and Wanderlust posts, I absolutely adore traveling and as a bit of a history nerd I have a huge list of historic and ancient sites that I’m dying to see. My top three as of right this instant would have to be: The Artemision in Turkey, Caesarea in Israel & Machu Picchu. I also want to go to Egypt, the Greek islands and Russia.
[3.] Current Favorite Decorating Color Combo?
Black & white – Cannot get enough!
[4.] Do You Use The Snooze Button On Your Alarm?
No, but I’m so paranoid about being late to work that I set three alarms each morning. Though the second one has only ever gone off once and I was in the shower when it did. I’m sorry to have to tell you this but I’m – shhhh – a morning person.
I am not, however, a people person in the morning. I feel confident saying that no one is really a people person at 4am.
[5.] Oldest, Middle or Youngest?
Oldest. Control freak, Type A, oldest.
My ‘youngest of three’ boyfriend never stood a chance.
[6.] Do You Collect Anything?
Do things in your closet count? I’m going to assume that they do, therefore I collect purses, luggage, shoes and vintage jewelry.
[7.] What Is Your Middle Name?
Elizabeth – My paternal grandmother and one of the most amazing women I’ve ever met. My first name, on the other hand, I blame on labor pains.
[8.] What Did You Want To Be When You Grew Up?
When I was a child I wanted to be the first female president of the United States, then someone told me there was an age requirement so I decided that I’d be a doctor until I was 35 and then I’d run for president. Kids say that damnedest things…
[9 – a.] Are You City Or Country?
I’m a city girl through and through – I thrive on the hustle and bustle, love the architecture of old buildings and the conveniences of living in a city cannot be beat. Buuut, I have to get out of the city every once in a while and get back to nature. Maybe it’s because I grew up hiking, camping and backpacking, but I love getting away from it all. Whether its hiding out in a cabin in Tahoe, hiking through the vineyards in Sonoma or spending a week in a château in the middle of nowhere in Southern France.
[9 – b.] Tom Boy or Girlie Girl?
I’d say that I’m somewhere in between. I mean, can you be a girlie girl if you wear black most of the time, don’t own a blow dryer and only take 20 minutes to get ready in the morning?
In my mind girlie girls are girls who take forever to get ready and wear pink…
[9 – c.] Talker or Listener?
Both. I talk a mile a minute when I’m nervous but I love to hear what my friends and family have to say, so I can usually be compelled to listen as well. 🙂
[10.] Fancy Label For Your Decorating Style?
Modern Vintage/French Country
[11 – a.] What Would Your Friends & Family Say Is Your Best Quality?
- Friends – My sense of style, I’m the go-to stylist for my group of friends
- Boyfriend – Kind & generous (I cheated & asked him)
- Family – Loving & affectionate
[11 – b.] Your Worst?
I wont talk on the phone and I have to control everything. I’m a lot of fun, trust me. 🙂
So, I hope that you got to know me a little better with this. I’d love to hear your responses to these questions, so feel free to share!