30 January 2012

Paris Couture Fashion Week: 3 Days of bright colours, flowing gowns and some gorgeous eye candy

When I found out it was Paris Couture Fashion Week I squealed at my cat gushing to him all about my love of feathers and big dresses, he seemed to get a bit excited too- I swear my cat bats for the other side, but I will tell you all about my cat's love of bow ties and pink heart cushions another time.

Been waiting to find out what you'll be wearing this spring and summer? If you're like most of us, this won't be it. But it's still fun to check out the latest looks from Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2012. Here, models pose on the catwalk during the Versace presentation on January 23, 2012. Photo: Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images / 2012 Getty ImagesParis Couture Week consisted of three days full of bright colours, funny shaped dresses and two very hunky men.
Day 1 was opened with a collection from Versace with more glitter in it then the whole series of Strictly Come Dancing. Models wore sequined strapless column dresses, that were decorated with golden studs and encrusted with crystals. The main feature of the show were very feminine off the shoulder corset inspired pieces, that make you want to put down the custard creams and replace them with a stick of celery.
Dresses were either thigh length or long an floaty, that makes me have an urge to grab a tuxedo wearing man and do a waltz. Some of the dresses had long slits and amazingly cut sides. The collection started with grey, but soon came acid colours-yellow, green and red. It looked like a fashionable set of traffic lights.

Girls were made to look as feminine and tall as possible, with shoes that had straps going up the leg and scraped back ponytails-not like a stereotypical Chav girl though thankfully, Shameless this isn't.
A main theme of this collection is the shining gold details on dresses, Donatella has obviously been inspired by the Cash for Gold adverts. Fabric had intricate patterns,including a rose style and lattice pattern, not the easiest to make with a pair of scissors. I adore this 15 piece collection and it was a great start to the week, even if you do need a pair of sunglasses from the shine of all the gold.

The day continued with slinky grey suits, outfits from Bouchra Jarrar and a gorgeous monochrome collection from Giambattist Valli,with lots of lace and gorgeous magical ball gowns.
Alexia Mabille's show was full of every colour of the rainbow, each one becoming brighter.

For Couture the dresses were relatively simple, either two pieces with jackets or satin knee-length gowns. The headdresses on the model's heads were ginormous flowers made out of colours to match each dress, with the models faces painted the same colour to blend in. This is colour co-ordinating at its best, even if some of the models do look like fashionable smurfs that have been through a rose bush.

Christian Dior seemed to have the help of Doctor Who in going back in time to when the lovely Mr Dior himself was designing. The collection was so full of fifties nostalgia, it made me fall in love with Rock Hudson all over again. Along with gorgeous day dresses full of godets and pencil skirts, there was a revival of dog tooth checks, high court shoe heels and side-parted bobs. The finale consisted of six huge ball gowns with fitted waists and layers and layers of silk with sprinklings of crystals.

It feels like the designers got the wrong brief and thought the collection had to be a 'wearable', one, although sadly I don't think even I would be able to wear one of the huge ball gowns to Sainsbury's.
 I loved this collection and I hate to say anything bad against Dior, but this feels like a theme that has already been done a few times,maybe they won a job lot of vintage patterns off eBay. Even though the outfits are beautiful, you wouldn't really think this was a Couture collection and I expected something more outlandish from Dior.  Oh John Galliano how I miss you.

Day 2 started off with a trip on a plane, not just any plane. This was a Chanel Plane. No Karl Lagerfeld hasn't branched out into the airline industry, well not yet anyway. It took five days to construct the Air Chanel in Grand Palais, complete with Chanel trolley dollies. I doubt they went through all that boring safety information though, thank god.
The show began in darkness with only the aeroplane lights on. As the models started to walk out faux clouds appeared on the ceiling, so it felt like you were really flying. The flight took off in 'daylight' which interlinked with the daywear being shown first. There were stand-away necklines, outfits with simple shapes and stiff puffed sleeves. Compared to Dior, waists weren't on show with garments having dropped waists. Obviously waists aren't hot in Karl's mind this year.

As the collection went on the garments turned into more evening wear, with transparent chiffon dresses and full length wool coats done up with big jewelled buttons, that resembled an air-hostess jacket. As the sky turned to darkness, the 'evening' went into full swing with embroidered knee-length cocktail dresses and lots of sparkle. These shapes were very simple, but you could tell that they had been precisely designed.
There was nothing couture or ornate about the collection, apart from the gorgeous fabrics. Although the collection is great, again it is not my favourite (Chanel fans,please don't hunt me down). When it is Couture week,to me that means pushing the boat out and being as outlandish as you can, its called Couture for a reason. Sadly I don't think air-hostesses will be having uniforms like this any time soon though, they certainly wouldn't be able to go on the inflatable slide wearing high three straps glittery court shoes and leaving them behind is just not an option.

The day continued with a huge injection of green in the Giorgio Armani Prive collection, with underwater tones and more snakeskin then in Crocodile Dundee's outfit. Again this collection is pretty wearable and beautifully finished off with tight fitting ball gowns and skirts all going along with the reptile theme. What's going to be next year, mammals? Here's hoping its not arachnids.

Stephané Rolland's collection consisted of expert draping, sweeping waists and so many clean silhouettes you would think Cillit Bang was their sponsor. The dresses were more couture then Dior and Chanel, thank god I was starting to get worried then, so was my cat by the way.
The main palette was deep reds, white, black and lime green. Some dresses had some added gold metal and some odd yet beautiful accomplishments to the dresses, including swirls of fabrics and red metal rectangles attached, I bet he was in the top class at Maths.

Perfectly placed: The dress weighed 50 kilos, and at it's longest point the fabric - which doubled back on itself - was 45 metres longShow-stopping: Yasmin Le Bon in the final gown showcased at Stephane Rolland's show - flanked by her two assistantsEven though there were some beautiful gowns, the show stopper was a 50kg (110lb) red silk jersey dress worn by Yasmin Le Bon. The dress had red metal panels on the bustier and down the front of the skirt. At the longest point, the fabric on the dress was 45 metres long. How the fabric and the train flowed was stunning, although I doubt we will be seeing this as a wedding dress style, you wouldn't even be able to get in the church.
I bet the dress was extremely difficult for Yasmin to walk in, but I'm sure the two very yummy male assistants in suits helping her walk down the catwalk made it a bit more bearable. By the way Stephané if you are looking for someone to walk in a big dress with two hunky assistants next year, I'm perfectly happy to be your model, I'd even do it for nothing. Wouldn't you ladies?

The day continued with long ball gowns complete with studs, hand beaded embroidery and low backs at Givenchy.

Day 2 was filled with two more amazing collections from House of Worth and Zuhair Murad. The House of Worth collection was filled with a gorgeous experimental and ornate shape. The designer Giovanni Bedin was inspired by a beautiful kimono coat to create this stunning nine piece collection.
Before you all start thinking that the pieces are something you would wear to a Japanese party accompanied by a bit of sushi, the inspiration taken from the coat has been transformed into huge fanned dresses and an extreme amount of complicated pleats, I feel sorry for the person that had to iron them.

The dresses contained big strong shoulders that Crystal Carrington would be jealous of, they were in the shapes of wings that could easily make you turn into a Mary Poppins flying in the wind. The dresses have so many layers of fans pleated into one another to show off the body's contours. They are mainly knee length, with a beautiful long dress as the finale, in a mixture of red, black, white and light pinks. This is an extremely beautiful collection, which sadly hasn't been given much recognition and is couture at its best. I would adore to wear one of these dresses, but I think I would need two seats on the bus, what with those shoulders.

Zuhair Murad created a simply stunning flowing gold collection. The dresses have a Grecian feel to them, with long gushing fabric that Aphrodite would be jealous of. The dresses are mainly fitted and long with a lot of intricate detail in gold. A few of the dresses have a monochrome theme or all black that are intricately made and are just simply beautiful, it makes me want to get out my cheque book right now, not that I have one. Sadly I don't think they would except a piggy bank full of coppers and 20p's.

Again I don't think this collection has got as much recognition as it should do, naughty Anna Wintour. I think this is definitely in my Top 5 of the best collections, all the dresses are outstanding I could gush about them for at least another six paragraphs.

Day 3 continued with some famous names, including Valentino ,Jean Paul Gaultier and Elie Saab.
Jean Paul Gaultier's collection took inspiration from the late and great Amy Winehouse with beehives, thick flicked eyeliner and body-con corsets. Skin tight PVC leggings were mixed with oversized tulle shoulders and clinched in waists. It was filled with Amy's love of the 50's and 60's, along with her true Camden style. This collection is definitely not back to black (see what I did there) with hot pinks, lime greens, fluorescent orange and gold. The collection mixes Amy's iconic style, with Jean Paul's beautiful corsetry and long trench coats, although I doubt you would ever have seen her where one, hot pants were more her kinda thing.

My favourite collection of the day is a stunning one by Elie Saab. Elie is quickly becoming a front runner in the world of fashion, with beautifully designed and embellished dresses. The collection was full of princess like, pretty and sumptuous gowns, I'm sure Rapunzel and Cinderella will be putting an order in for them. Dresses were lacy with delicate beading and amazingly cut. The colour scheme was as soft as Andrex with light pinks, sorbet hues- candy pinks, sky blues,mint greens, creamy yellows, and nudes. There was so much lacework embroidery, prints, sheer fabrics and embellishments with models floating down the runway, in sparkling floor sweeping gowns, or thigh skimming full skirted dresses with clinched in waists.
The dresses were so light and flowing, along with the models they are practically weightless. I simply adore this collection, its stunning. I love all the couture extravagance in some of the other collections, but this collection is the definition of beautiful. These dresses will definitely be seen on the red carpet and all the celebrities will be rushing to the shops to get one, not if I get there first.
Elie Saab is quickly becoming one of my very top designers and this collection makes me want to propose to the first man I see, just so I can wear one of the beautiful gowns as a wedding dress, watch out Mr. Boyfriend.

Valentino closed the week with a light and very feminine collection, with full skirted maxi gowns and luxurious fabrics. The collection is so floaty, floral and fabulous, along with skirts encrusted with beads, it must have taken a hell of a lot of PVA glue. The collection is very different from the rest of the week and what Valentino has done before at Couture week.  Towards the end a little more couture creeped in, with garments embellished and lace was covered in pearls and crystals, with long sleeves and high necks that your Grandma would approve of.
The collection is beautiful with chiffon layers and more romance then in a Elizabeth Taylor film, but for me I don't think this really is a couture collection and I can't actually believe I am saying this but I'm a teensy tiny but disappointed to be honest, I miss Valentino's long, lavish, draw dropping ball gowns that give me a lock jaw from gasping at their loveliness.

This week was full of romance, clinched in waists and lots of big roses on heads, only in Couture week. I simply adored this week, it showed such a broad range of talent and ideas. Very popular designers seem to be going away from Lady Gaga type costumes and going more wearable, not that you could wear one of their dresses to Tesco's, but at least you might be able to walk in it. I hope you enjoyed looking at all the clothes and the gorgeous ball gowns. Oh and if you decide to follow in my suit and propose to any man you see just so you can wear a beautiful gown, please send me a piece of wedding cake, or two.

Second Hand Rose