Friday, January 25, 2008

Spring/Summer '08 Haute Couture Report

At the Spring/Summer '08 Haute Couture shows in Paris, we were once again treated to a series of shows which perfectly married those two fundamental elements of couture: sublime creativity and impeccable execution. Here is our "in a nutshell" guide to the shows:

Anne Valerie Hash - daring, mostly sheer fabrics used to great effect through layering, brightened by well chosen surface embellishments.
Armani Privé - another tailoring masterclass: this time exploring figure hugging and feminine themes whilst retaining a classically chic aesthetic. Flawless drape, perfect embellishment, magnificent use of fabric.
Chanel - fittingly for a collection shown around a giant, sculpted classic Chanel jacket, this collection was an homage to that mainstay of the Chanel brand. Many variations on the classic, in terms of length and cut, in a more muted palette, along with a whimsical approach to eveningwear.
Christian Dior - an imagination unlike any other. Exaggerated 60s silhouettes, acid bright colours and animalesque fabrics, glorious embellishment. Perhaps too much at first glance, becomes divine as always on a second.
Christian Lacroix - bold colours and patterns, along with bold mixes of patterns. Impeccable tailoring mixed with expert drape. Lacroix will never be to everyone's taste, although he is to mine, but the skill and execution is undeniable.
Jean Paul Gaultier - under the sea inspiration evident throughout: coral and seaweed prints, wet-look fabrics, giant sequins like scales, seaweed-esque fringing. Yet, in many respects, very wearable.
Givenchy - impeccable tailoring, harnessing flared skirts and nipped waists, along with longer-line jackets and drainpipe trousers.
Elie Saab - eveningwear from the eveningwear specialist. Sparkle and drape in a variety of light colours.
Valentino - Valentino's last couture collection before retirement was a fitting celebration of all that has made his long career so successful and that has made him peerless as a master of drape. Check back next week for our special on Valentino.
Versace - Versace did not produce a runway show but instead presented a capsule by appointment. A particularly impressive selection of red-carpet worthy eveningwear in magnificent colours with a rather wonderful use of cut.

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