A lot of people I’ve talked to don’t “get” couture. “Nobody can wear that shit, what’s the point?” While I would agree that most people wouldn’t wear haute couture, never mind afford it to begin with, I have a deep love for couture. Chanel’s fashion president, Bruno Pavlovsky, concedes that haute couture is for “the happy few, about 1,000 customers in the world”. Haute couture clientele do not even qualify as 1% of our society, but the annual fashion shows live on with grandeur and spectacle. When anyone tries to argue with me that fashion doesn’t qualify as art, I tell them to look at couture runway shows. If that isn’t art, you can take your copy of History of Modern Art and shove it where the sun don’t shine. With that disclaimer out of the way, I’m gonna take you through my favourite and least favourite aspects of the Paris F/W 14 fashion week.
VERSACE: Atelier Versace kicked off Paris fashion week, with Jennifer Lopez sitting in the front row showing support. I am a complete sucker for Versace, so I could just be biased here, but Donatella never disappoints me. In Versace’s program notes Donatella commented: “I wanted to celebrate construction and deconstruction, provoking by taking away fabric, to make couture modern.” This is evident in the collection presented. There are the traditional billowing fabrics present, but Versace always takes the traditional and imbibes it with sex appeal. Buckles on the waist and hips, waist-high slits with one-legged bejeweled pants underneath, models clad in gloves with fringing and vinyl looks. Much like Migos, I could talk about Versace forever, so I’ll stop now and leave you with some of my favourite looks.
ELIE SAAB: You can accuse me of making a very boring choice putting this collection in the highlights, but everything is beautiful. Watching this show is like watching light refract through the beads of a perfect chandelier. The closest I get to this IRL is driving past Sharondelier on Newton Road. Elie Saab can add this collection to a list of successes. This collection plays it kind of safe, but it’s still a hit and not a miss. These models must all feel like Cinderella. I sure as hell feel like the ugly stepsister just watching these girls walk down the runway.
CHANEL: Lagerfeld puts such an untouchable quality into his couture collections. Chanel is the one fashion house that I think never fails with adorning garments. They always seem to have just the right amount of jewels, patterning and meshing of different fabrics. Chanel just does it right. While I did prefer their S/S 14 collection, with techno kneepads and fannypacks, this F/W collection still manages to flutter my heartstrings. I even adore the ribboned sandals. Chanel’s collection is frosty, practical and somehow still beyond us all.
FRED SATHAL: While I celebrate the excess present in Versace’s collection, even excess needs to be done in moderation and I feel like Fred Sathal failed in this. This collection proved to me that all that glitters is not gold, with too many coloured gaudy rhinestones adorning black gowns. There was one piece that meshed together the iconic Rolling Stones tongue logo superimposed over a Star Wars print, which I could appreciate as putting a modern twist on couture, but overall I thought this collection fell a little flat. Apparently the internet has been going crazy over the cape made entirely out of fox-tails but to be honest I think it looks like a giant tumour. And this is coming from a girl who sees fur coats in her dreams every night.
CHRISTIAN DIOR: Raf Simons has created a collection where he attempts to blend the old and the new. A futuristic renaissance or something like that. It makes me sad to put this on the lowlights list because I actually really like this collection; it just isn’t couture in my humble opinion. It is the collection of a minimalist, with sparse prints, floating fabrics, puffy skirts and barely-there tops. I like it because it looks wearable, but this is the same reason I dislike the collection. On the whole, it’s infinitely more RTW than haute couture. Sorry, Raf.
I could go on for about five more pages about fashion week, especially couture fashion week, but if I haven’t lost you by now I’ll definitely lose you doing that. Watch some of the shows yourself, as all the gowns look better in action, and start compiling your couture wishlist. Personally, I dream of a world where I can rack up enough sugar daddies to afford vintage Versace couture. Write me in the comments about your couture dreams.
Jayden wrote this and felt very xoxo gossip girl.
Header image sourced from here.