Spring Haute Couture 2019
In the past weeks my eyes have been fixated on Paris as I so patiently await the best week of the year - Spring Haute Couture.
I am so thrilled to write that these shows did not disappoint! I have never felt so much love, admiration and pride for our industry. Though I am a pin head in the scheme of everything fash-un, I always feel the passion in which the art of sewing breathes life into each and every garment in all its glory and detail especially in the Haute Couture shows, where sewing workmanship is greatly celebrated.
In my brief summary...
Giambattista Valli produced another magical runway show and Elie Saab will always be one of my favourites - he has the most feminine cut to his garments and I love his accentuation of a woman’s waist. A special mention for a warm welcome to Olivier Roustieng at Balmain to Haute Couture and who brought all the house signatures to the runway in a statement manner. I was impressed by the great mix of tailoring techniques in the Alexandre Vauthier, contrasted with their fun mini dresses.
Of course my Instagram has been constantly flooded by Viktor & Rolf’s ‘memes meet high fashion’ in their superbly fun and sophisticated runway show. “2019 but make it fashion” is all I have to say and I’m living for it.
And then we come to the piece de resistance - the Holy Trinity: Chanel, Dior and Valentino.
Chanel is always in the detail. Their signature tweed suits and little black dresses are reimagined every season with a different array of fabrics and especially inventive techniques only visible in the finer details. In this collection Karl Lagerfeld employed couture artists to create hand-painted lace and used dried flowers preserved in resin to mix textures. Just the genius!!!
Christian Dior, under the creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri continues to empower women in every thing presented. I am in constant awe of how her mind creates such masterful designs. To take the concept of Circus - which we have seen over and over again and to conceptualise in the elegance of high fashion with a circus twist of typically creepy while still amalgamating Christian Dior’s original sense of feminine flair has me losing my mind. I absolutely adore every piece from the collection.
Valentino presented Haute Couture for all its greatness. While viewing all of the looks from the collection I was engrossed to the point I just didn’t want the slideshow to end as goosebumps spread across my body. More was truly more. Volumes spoke volumes. Colours exploded in harmony. Patterns and prints were bright and fresh. And through all of the maximalism the models beauty shone through and made every garment feel alive. Pierpaolo Piccioli didn’t opt for streamlined silhouettes to make a woman feel sexy but rather commissioned a boldness to allow women to stand out in their uniqueness. An emotional runway show which will positively impact fashion well into the future.
The exclusive attend the fashion shows enjoying their photo ops. And as soon as the fashion collections are shared across social media, the critics have their chance to solicit their opinion (as I just did so above). In the social media age, critics are now found in Facebook comments from keyboard warriors and their hateful, completely misunderstood judgement of, “Who would ever wear this?”, or straight to their point “UGLY!”Comments which actually left me feeling hurt. #bigtrig
The part which they sadly miss, is that Haute Couture is art. It is the designer’s mind run wild.
Is it to be worn? Only by the very special people, of whom I am immensely jealous of.
Is it to incorporate the most spectacular designs, with the most exquisite fabrics and to be produced by the most esteemed workmanship? Yes, yes and yes.
Haute Couture is so well-restricted and exclusive to preserve the highest, most talented tailors and ateliers, who have learnt their skills from generation to generation and so generously provide their knowledge to the benefit of the world’s best designers. And now we get to see and hear from those very ateliers on Instagram, thanks to the collection of videos from Chanel, Dior and Valentino. The fashion houses recognise those people as an integral part of the fashion world and proudly present them on their success. Dior go so far as to have their atelier’s explain how the techniques are used to make the garments and utilising their creative knowledge to bring the sketches to life. Valentino even included the details in the show’s program to describe the hours of work on the dresses and had each atelier name a look after their favourite flower. I write this in ample appreciation of the fashion houses who showcase and commend the work and skill of their atelier’s. For their work is inspiring. Fashion changes day to day yet the workmanship is hundreds of years old, still being refined and reinterpreted to grow with every designer's imagination. It is the craftsmen and craftswomen who implement their knowledge to create the fantastical pieces of art, in a tribute to beauty come to life by every stitch.
In a time where machines can do just about everything may we cherish the dedicated time it takes to produce something with our very own hands. And may we especially admire creativity as the ultimate talent in any person. Our human ability of imagination can be so misused and even more devastatingly rejected, leaving a person to never think beyond the boundaries of normal. It is here where Haute Couture finds its place, always challenging the status quo of beauty and embracing the extraordinary.
“Give a Damn” slogans and the like from Viktor & Rolf, made the haute couture fantasy feel #relatable while Dior kept the fantasy alive to run away and join the circus and Valentino reinforced individuality as the boldest statement of beauty.
Cheers to another season of fashion!