Giambattista Valli Haute Couture
Coco Chanel and Janis Joplin seem like a random pair of muses for just one designer, but Giambattista Valli drew inspiration from both icons for a Spring 2015 Couture collection that played with the blended elements of classic Parisian chic and bohemian rock’n’roll. Inspired by Impossible Conversations, the Metropolitian Museum’s 2012 cohesive- but juxtaposed showing of work from Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, the designer channeled the free-spirited independence both women expressed in their personal style. Coco’s smart menswear- based looks met with Janis’ cheeky penchant for layering cocktail dresses over trousers, creating the ruffled acid- pastel fantasia of Mr. Valli’s Spring couture show!
Giambattista Valli is a designer who loves creating beautifully sculptural ensembles with floral- inspired silhouettes and ornamentation. He’s very modern-girly. Mr. Valli continued down that path in this collection with bejewelled appliqués and embroidery that evolved into luscious head- to- toe prints and playful 3D elements as the show progressed.
A series of strikingly modern monochrome looks added edgy contrast to all the florals with over- proportioned, structured layered looks. Here, Mr. Valli played with shapes and layers, pairing cinch- waist jackets and long fluted tunics with voluminous skirts worn over trousers, the classic tee was re-imagined to couture ideals and worn with a fully embellished ball skirt, while hot pants were glimpsed under sheer tunic dresses. This layering is a new variation to his traditional tiered design approach. Here, the bodice and the rest of the body are banded in different fabrics, textures and embroideries to create the overall look.
The show climaxed on truly flamboyant notes as Mr. Valli upped the ante with volume and colour: pastel shades turned neon as dresses sprouted puffy sleeves and neck ruffs, floor length capes appeared in fur and ruffled tulle, full skirts swelled to enormous proportions and were covered with an ocean of foaming tulle. It was his signature grandiose finale and he gave lovers of dramatic fashion everything they could have hoped for! The gowns were his usual bulbous explosions of tulle and ruffles that filled the runway and put even the most experienced models through their paces. I love that pants were boldly mixed in with the gowns, dressed up in opulent taffeta and brocade and paired with those extravagant cascading ruffled capes. Mr. Valli truly proved that trousers have enough decadence for even the most extravagant occasions. Utterly gorgeous!
With his Spring 2015 Couture show, Giambattista Valli shows that the modern day muse isn’t pinned to any singular style. By showing us a whole spectrum of fierce contrast, he has proved that its fine for traditions to be remixed and re- imagined to suit changing tastes. In a year that has favoured 70s throwbacks, his dreamy collection sweeps through the decades, telling us a story of a woman who plays the style chameleon and channels the very best of the bold. Overall,the show was very refreshing and it made for a gorgeous thought- provoking show!
Ever since Giorgio Armani launched his eponymous brand, his label has been immersed with cinematic style. His runway shows are flawless productions with exceptional theatrical appeal, while his fabulous style has secured him a position as a master of timeless elegance for both the star and fashionable woman alike. Spring 2015 marks Mr. Armani’s 10th year on the Haute Couture circuit and as always, the Armani Privé Haute Coutre show was a fabulous spectacle!
Mr. Armani turned to Asia to fuel his creativity, focusing on the graceful beauty of bamboo to to produce a collection that effused a quiet sense of elegance and beauty. Japanese influence was plain in structured kimono sleeved blousons, embossed obi- like belts, the fluid silhouettes and the muted colour scheme of ivory, celadon, tan, gold and jade green. Of course there was a variety of bamboo- inspired prints to be seen, both printed on fabrics and picked out in glimmering embroidery and beaded appliqués. Fabric manipulation was also used to convey a sense of the dominant motif, with tightly pleated fabrics and textured jacquards depicting the textures of stems and leaves. The most literal theme portrayal was seen in the stoles, where organza was manipulated into prickly tubes and ornamented with glittering crystals that mimicked the movement of bamboo in the breeze.
Shapes were noticeably minimalist with clean lines and slim cuts being seen throughout the lineup. Where there was volume, it was achieved through the use of structural origami folds, crisp pleats or wide expanses of bias- cut fabric that was allowed to drape naturally. The overall effect was one of uncomplicated grace, serenity and quiet confidence. Every look effused an effortless sense of sophistication that made almost every garment seem like a dream to wear.
It’s a very refined collection- I think the most mature offering to be seen on the Couture runways this season, and shows just how well Mr. Armani tailors his offerings around his theme, perceived brand expectations and even his client’s tastes. The man is a genius. Mr. Armani’s chief clients are women who have developed their own sense of style; women who can appreciate his refined take on elegance, yet are mature enough to know that quality in design means more than passing styles- yet his brand appeals to and is bought by women of all ages. This is so much harder to achieve than my words can describe! While there’s not a whisper of the sexpot or the wide- eyed ingénue to be seen amongst these ensembles, there is a definite sense of youthfulness in his subtly sexy V-shaped bodices, low- slung loose trousers and almost transparent tunics. Its a collection to appeal to the young at heart and the actually young!
This collection perfectly demonstrates a fully executed inspiration and delivers in every way. Armani Privé Couture Spring 2015 was just fabulous!
Zuhair Murad Haute Couture
Zuhair Murad’s Spring 2015 couture collection was an evocation of water which played out as a spectacle of billowing gowns and intricate fabulousness. Ever the literal designer, Mr. Murad used almost every embellishment effect imaginable to convey his leitmotif: rippling embroidery, frothy lace, raindrop- sized glass cabochons, glistening expanses of sequins, crystals and mother of pearl beads. The most impressive works was seen on the necklines of plunging gowns where the bead work was so delicately done, it was hard to spot change between the dress and the model’s décolletage.
Design- wise, the water theme played out in embellished boat necks and draped Watteau backs, frothy tulle- accented necklines, cascading waterfall sleeves, billowing falls of ruffles and pleats, voluminous skirts, rippling trains and fluid, body skimming silhouettes. There was a lot going on in this show, but there is a lot to love about the collection particularly in the variety of styles, lengths and proportions that Mr. Murad presented to his audience.
There were gorgeous floor- skimming evening dresses, voluminous ball gowns, flirty little minidresses and figure- hugging sheafs. Variety was seen in the appearance of a peplum- waist evening jacket and slim skirt, a sequinned jumpsuit with a slim cascading skirt and a fabulous crystal- encrusted bodysuit.
Zuhair Murad’s Spring 2015 couture show was a beautifully dramatic event, full of the designer’s signature detailed feminine looks. It was GORGEOUS but it was… a bit much. The constant stream of opulent looks eventually was a lot to take in. Also, the frothy tulle- fringed necklines of some pieces came off more fussy than ethereal. I love most of it, but things could have been a bit better edited for my tastes. His best looks were by far his simplest- in particular a pair of pale peach dresses embellished with bright blue printed and embroidered flowers, a fully- adorned silver cap- sleeved gown, a lacy column dress with a glimmering waterfall cape and an iridescent peach ball gown with a structural ruffled overlay over a full skirt. These are gowns that dreams are made of!
This was a collection in which Mr. Murad tried to toe the line between showmanship and restraint, but the final product was a slightly one- note show. Undoubtedly though, his Spring 2015 couture collection shows exactly why Zuhair Murad’s shows are amongst the most popular events on the Haute Couture calender. Mr. Murad delivers the stuff of fairytale dreams with every show!
Xx – Ana