Is it sacrilegious to say that haute couture is getting….modern? From January 22 – 26 famed fashion houses presented their Spring 2017 high fashion collections. Perhaps its due to the state of world affairs or the waning interest in ball gowns. Either way, designers got their heads out of confectionary clouds and brought things a little closer to earth with modern silhouettes, minimal embellishment, and bold pops of color. Get the details on our favorite couture collections of the week.
At first glance, Maria Grazia’s Chiuri’s first Christian Dior couture collection could be seen as a sort of frothy fairyland where woodnymphs in ruffled ball gowns frolic among the flowers. Upon closer scrutiny the unkept garden setting, hooded silhouettes, and dresses embellished with tarot-like symbols made the scene more fit for a sorceress than a princess. This was a good thing – in today’s times, intrigue, not innocence, reigns supreme.
Jean Paul Gaultier
For his latest couture showing, Jean Paul Gaultier gave us a wardrobe for the modern eclectic who never runs out of places to look fabulous. The collection opened with menswear inspired suits in shimmering fabrics and stripes followed by bold separates – a bit of the usual corsetry but mostly billowing pants and all manners of variations on the typical blazer. It couldn’t be couture without at least a few outrageous gowns – he closed the show with a blur of floral gowns, lace and leather.
Pierpaolo Piccioli said that his latest collection for Valentino was inspired by the act of dreaming. The whimsical elements were there in pastels, pleats and cloud-like surface details but for haute couture, this collection was very down to earth. Silhouettes were slimming and embellishments weren’t over-powering. Piccioli achieved a rare feat – he presented a couture collection that you could actually imagine wearing.
John Galliano channeled the mayhem of our modern world for Maison Margiela’s latest couture collection. Clothes seemed to have been stripped down to the bare bones like a dilapidated building that reveals its understructure or perhaps a toppled government construct. Bold graphics harked on current symbols – both the serious and the silly. A face rendered in red, white, & black was reminiscent of Shephard Fairey’s famous posters (which recently made comeback at the Women’s March) while a sheer coat embellished with a rainbow tongue mimicked a Snapchat filter.
Graphic print and color reigned supreme at Schiaparelli where design director Bertrand Guyon mixed classic hallmarks of the brand (hearts, hands & faces) with a new sense of the modern magpie. Statement jackets and capes paired with airy gowns lent a dressed down sense of casualness to the collection. An admirable achievement for couture.