Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Alexis Mabille Fall/Winter Haute Couture 2015-2016.

Weds. 07/08/2015.






If  Alexis Mabille could manage to bring an element of sophistication to his elaborate works that he presents for his usually over-designed Haute Couture collections and his designs didn't usually look pageant-ish and costume-y he'd do himself a world of favors. Even though his Fall/Winter 2015 Haute Couture collection was better than his most recent output, near the end it became as it usually does, convoluted. Starting off with a slinky fishtail gown in Emerald, it was also an exercise of overindulgence, surmounted as it was by a back draped shawl of sequins. 

As the looks progressed, they became an orgy of excessive detail and outsize exhibitionism of fabric and none of these details served the clothes in any matter other than to distract rather than amplify. A Shell Pink gown with a outrageously huge pouf of Rose Pink Taffeta on the shoulder looked baroque and operatic, and it was perhaps the only piece that didn't suffer from an overabundance of largesse, even though it was still quite grandiloquent. Mabille's collection was a typical extravaganza of superfluity and as such, suffered as his collections usually always do for it. 

If Mabille could tame his more excessive instincts and not gild the lily to within a 1/8 inch of it's life, he'd produce pieces that didn't look fit more for a production of "Die Zauberflöte" and work in a modern context. One can only hope he finds that the axiom of "Less is More" is something he should follow and apply to his work.





That's All.





Bye4Now!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Elie Saab Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2015-2016.

Weds. 07/08/2015.






Gorgeous... Check! Beautiful... Check! Exquisite... Check!

Boring... Check! Redundant... Check! Expected... Checkmate!

Elie Saab's Fall/Winter 2015 Haute Couture opus was as about as predictable and underwhelmingly exciting as per usual the house. The seasons may change, but at Saab, the couture song remains the same! Effortlessly breathtaking and rapturously stunning evening wear aplenty, but all in the same tired formula we've been presented with season after season. Endless variations on the same theme that have grown from wearisome to tiresome to flat out who the fuck cares anymore! You've seen one lovely Saccharine confection, you've seen twenty dozen from Saab.

It'd be great to even point out a number of two that shone above the throng of sing-song-samey beauties... But there wasn't even one number that we haven't seen some derivation of in the past and done better to whit! One needn't wax prosaic on this effort... it was about 22 tons of sequins, beads and shimmer, stuffed in a 5 ton bag. The Song seems to still remain the same, Chez Elie Saab!





That's All.





Bye4Now!

Maison Martin Margiela Artisinal Fall/Winter 2015/-2016.

Weds. 07/08/2015.






Firstly, one must savagely curtail the instinctual habit to over-contextualize John Galliano's work at the Margiela Maison. His work has been greatly over elaborated upon in the past, at Dior, his own label and most certainly Margiela. The desire to analyze and intellectualize the work proffered by Galliano is a strong one to resist... However, resist one must! Secondly, Galliano's Fall/Winter 2015 Artisinal collection was truly, Electrifying. An amalgam of the absolute best aspects of the work of both John and Martin. A synthesis of perfect proportions. Yes, there is probably scores and volumes of context hidden in this collection for the intrepid enthusiast to decode (including the sly allusion to Dior in Maartje Verhoef's Taupe Satin evening dress at Exit No. 23) However, if Galliano is comfortable enough to remain Sphinx-like in the way of explanations... I am all right and well with it too! 

Galliano mined the rich heritage of the house he is currently residing while keeping something of the eternal subversive streak that runs to his core. Margiela was not so much a designer of subversion, more of reappropriation, and Galliano stuck his foot firmly in that model of execution, with pieces rendered from old Potato Sacks (A simply mavellous wrap coat that was then richly appointed with Lesage embroidery) or a Frothy, complex assemblage of a evening dress that said Lacroix on Acid from the front, but had what appeared to be a full on attached overcoat flailing from the back! Galliano also riffed on such homespun English favorites as tapestry Needlepoint (in a superbly breathtaking dress of immense intricacy on Ondria Hardin) to Crochet (paired with a genius Black Leather wrap jacket, no less!) He even audaciously attached a metallic jewel tone Green halter strap to what was, it looked, a Camel hair blanket, and called it a dress! 

However, it was two looks, both showing how gifted a technician he is, where Galliano shined brightest, one being a minimal black jacket that had a shadowy echo of Dior's "Bar" line to it, paired with a Christmas paper bright sparkly Green pencil skirt that gave us a glimpse of the John of "Ye Olde" and most potently, the Mauve Opera coat on Magdelena Jasek that was pristinely unadorned from the front, cut with the purest and most adroitly precise lines, yet between the shoulder blades in back, draped like some deformed Japanese Obi, a shock of Electric Blue Silk done up like a backpack! It was, in a word... MONUMENTAL! 

Galliano has shown in just 3 collections that he is plotting a course of discovery and rediscovery, discovery of the hidden treasures of Margiela, in all their distinct variety... And also, a rediscovery of self that had somewhat become subsumed by all the Glamour and heady excesses of Dior. It's going to be a journey worth the watching, of that, we can all be sure! Where we end up... 





That's All.





Bye4Now!



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Alexandre Vauthier Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2015-2016.

Tues. 07/07/2015.






Alexandre Vauthier's Haute Couture work does not look like anyone elses on the Couture circuit. That's a good thing. It distinguishes him and gives him exactly what a couturier needs, a distinct voice and P.O.V. even if his work is something of a Crazy Quilt Patchworking of styles that run from 90's era Mugler, crossed with Versace (Gianni, that is) shot with a good deal of Roberto Cavalli and a right proper amount Azzedine Alaïa with just a pinch of YSL thrown in for good measure. That sounds like something of a lot... And, admittedly, it is! But Vauthier seems to whip all this up in his Robo-Coupe and pour out something uniquely and singularly, him!

Fall/Winter 2015 found Vauthier Fringing and Furring and as Body-Con as ever, hems were as always, Ass grazing, the tailoring was, per usual, surgically precise, the slick shine of Patent, Leather, Satin and anything that essentially looked like it was glossily lacquered to within a quarter inch of it's life, prevailed heartily and yes, Cutouts GALORE! (too many mayhaps, actually) What was most convincing of Vauthier's skills this season were the quieter moments, the one's that had no reason to shout and more so, salaciously whispered, which made those moments all the more scandalously delicious! If the fringed leather opening number was a precursor of things to come, it surely prognosticated in a delightful way, for it was as restrained as about Vauthier can get while still applying all the rules of the house codes.

That is, until a superb moment of quiet sensuality sashayed down the catwalk, an asymmetric hanky hem poncho tunic in Black with a deep V-neck was revelatory and made a case that Vauthier should try a dash more restraint in his collections to come, for it was insanely sexy, but didn't announce it's sexiness a good half hour before it's arrival, as many of Vauthier's looks can. And sometimes, one can get more done by by powerful quietude, than aggressive shouting! 





That's All.





Bye4Now!

Armani Privè Fall/Winter 2015-2016.

Tues. 07/07/2015.






Giorgio Armani was more than obviously a little preoccupied with Elsa Schiaparelli for his Fall/Winter 2015-2016 Privè collection, For Pete's Sake... He named it "Shocking" quite pointedly a homage to the colour famously conceived by Madame Schiaparelli. More apparent than that perhaps was also, the wide swath of embellished indulgence and eccentricity Armani applied to his work, well known to the Italian rival of Coco. It was Gutsy and as the show progressed from "PINK" to other saturated hues contrapunctally juxtaposed by black, one got the feeling of immediate fatigue before the show was halfway over. 

If Pink wasn't the only 30's-40's inspiré gleaned from Elsa, so were peaked "Pagoda" Shoulders, which didn't really add much excitement, to be sure. The collection moved from one overwrought idea to the next without nary a break in sight. Armani's gift of cool, elegant, moody luxury here was so spangly and furry and feathery and bedazzled that it all came off as rather childishly amateur. Excess can be all fine and dandy, but there needs some breathing room in it somewhere to counterbalance the abundance. Armani's best moments here were the ones that didn't wear their elaborate nature like a medal won in a race, like the relatively restrained Black Pantsuit in which the pants were shot through with splotches of brilliant colour. 

The showing was a total miscue, but it wasn't one of Armani's more convincingly effective outings. The major flaw was, everything felt, even with all it's positive and vibrant colourations, leaden and heavy, weighty. It didn't have that lilt of lightness that could have been a major asset to this collection It was not, by any means, the worse we have seen from Giorgio in this Metièr, but it was far from a resounding best. 





That's All.





Bye4Now!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Bouchra Jarrar Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2015-2016.

Tues. 07/07/2015.






Even though Bouchra Jarrar is a Modernist kind of designer, she has a keen and unapologetic romantic streak in her, as undoubtedly confirmed by her Fall/Winter 2015-2016 Haute Couture collection. She's also a woman who understands that her client and perhaps more broadly, most women of the world, have need of clothes before 6PM. So, the joyous delight of seeing full-on, serious Daywear at her Haute Couture showing was a celebration all unto itself. There was something vaguely Moroccan or North African about the opening look, a striped coat in Black and White worn with precisely cut Black trousers and a slice of a Bandeau top, it looked pitch perfect for the woman of the now, but had something nostalgic to it as well.

Moving on, a Shell Pink Satin sleeveless Trench and trouser combo effectively raised the goose pimples on one's arms, while it's sister outfit a few moments beforehand of an exceptional Drop sleeve peacoat with matching shorts was equally fulfilling. The sleeved Trench/trousers combo in a starlit shade of Periwinkle also dropped one to their knees in worship, and there was something rather deliciously contrarian about seeing Hedvig Palm end the show in something of an Homage to the Greatand Mighty Rigourous Sensualist that was Yves Saint Laurent in a Sheer blouse with Pussy-bow neck and fluid trousers all in Black. Yet, if one thinks that Jarrar isn't the kind of woman made out for evening, sample if you will, Leila Nda in a Slinky, Black slip gown... and then motion to your friends to help you pick your jaw up from off the floor! 

Jarrar's kind of couture is the kind that is sorely needed to refresh from all the confectionary and Bon Bon couture we see so much of during the shows. She's is an antidote to the overload of Saccharine and sadly as of this writing, she has stepped down from her house to design Lanvin... let us pray and hope that that house cranks back up it's Haute Couture operations to let Jarrar shine again in this arena in which she excels so marvellously!





That's All.





Bye4Now!


Chanel Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2015-2016

Tues. 07/07/2015.






In the pantheon of "Spectacles" that have been produced by the Maestro of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, an Iceberg of Snice from Sweden carved by 35 ice sculptors over 6 days from 28 TONS of Snow and Ice from 2010, the futuristic Greenhouse with over 300 mechanically blooming paper flowers, the 80-odd metre high globe of the world (which also rotated like our own globe, Earth!) marked with little lights and tiny. White flags with Black CC's indicating all of the worlds Chanel Boutiques and in shop stores around the planet, (including the two, perfectly placed flags in my beloved home of Michigan in the Northern Hemisphere of the Globe, stuck, proudly and almost exactly, in the spot where Troy, Michigan is located on a map of the state!), the Art Installation in which all 70+ pieces of Chanel referential art were created by the Granddaddy himself of the house and then created to his precise dimensions and filled his "Gallery" of the Spring show...

I could go on... Wind Turbines and a Solar Panel Runway, Le Supermarche, Boulevard Chanel, again, there are such extraordinary set pieces, that they are too numerous to catalogue. Within that context, Karl for Fall 2015 has in a way, seemingly outdone himself, if not exactly in scope (how can anything truly be more awe inspiring than a FUCKING ICEBERG!) more so in how ideally matched and brilliant the set and decor match the theme and clothing to such an acutely perfect pitch. After Lagerfeld so perfectly encapsulated this with his "Brasserie Gabrielle" for the Fall-Winter Ready-To-Wear, comes back with a space so perfectly attuned to embodying the aesthetic and "Esprit de Chanel" that it was almost overwhelming in it's purity.

"Le Cercle Privè" (The Private Circle) was Lagerfeld's envisioning of a High Class, High Style, playground for the rich women and their cadre of friends that buy and wear couture. It was a perfect Synthesis of Art Deco, 20th-Century Modern, and the Regal luxe of Monaco Casinos. If such a place has never existed, this beguiling set piece proved that it should have! It was more than say, An Iceberg, or a Supermarket, or an Undersea Tableau, This was a a slice of a life that does not exist made corporeal. That was the Genius of this and the Brasserie, these were Lifestyle backdrops that could double in Real Life! Not something fantastical or whimsical or outlandish for the sake of creating a jaw drop moment of gawking dumbfoundedness... No! This was something that could have been taken from some parallel life or different timeline of reality and gently set down, Fully Formed and perfect to the most infinitesimal degree. It was as if someone walked into the Grand Palais and found themselves in a Universe completely contained in there, like something perhaps out of "Men In Black" or akin to waking up in a ship in a Bottle. A unique world, captured, in this one, singular moment, Frozen in time and place.

But that's Lagerfeld's superior genius, Unlike a Play or Opera or Movie, where we get to inhabit that world multiple times, Lagerfeld knows the immense power of the ephemeral. Yes, it will exist in Video and Pictures, but those that inhabited that universe in the real life, for however long or brief it was, will only occupy it that once, live that experience that once, and never again! It makes it all the more Heart rending for that and more impactful. Not being able to attend, I can look at the pictures and videos and ascertain a shadow figure of, an inkling of the atmosphere, but I cannot take part in this Fairy-Tale, I can only extrapolate. That brings a wistfulness to the proceedings, something, unfathomably radiant and also desperately sad. Sad, because it is so surreally special and only so few get to inhabit that Deceptively Real, Imaginary world for those few brief minutes. This beautiful and magical world, that for all the laborious work that goes into evincing these fantastical spheres of artistry can evoke, are here but for a brief time and then, Poof! Disparu! Lagerfeld does however, give us ALL, the ability to dream, either by being in that world, or wishing to be, and in that respect, there is a kind of munificent equality to his majestic ideas. The dream Karl is weaving is democratic in that it is not banned from anyone being able to enjoy, but the democracy ends there, because not all can partake.

So, We find ourselves thrust into this Postmodern Deco Casino and the eerie quiet and calm that precedes it... The curtain has already been raised, the environment not only meant to imply but to, down to the most minute particle, Imitate a real casino, including fully functioning Chanel Branded and influenced Slot and electronic card game machines (with names like "Silver Camellias" and "Little Black Jack" and "Trente-et-Une" all sly witticisms on Chanel Codes!) Roulette and Chemin-de-fer tables. This elegant and PRISTINE Misè-en-Scéne in the sunken center of the Casino, was attended by a bevy of Studly young gentleman, patiently... Waiting. Waiting for what, you may ask?... In the silent, almost Kubrick-like space (think "2001") in entered actress and Chanel ambassadress, Kristen Stewart, striding in alone in her custom Chanel Couture Velvet pantsuit, and descended from the balcony section of the runway and down into the pit, to take her place among the tables, following her, actress Geraldine Chaplin and model Jamie Bochert, wafting in also in custom Chanel Couture, Chaplin in a diaphanous Black Chiffon stunner, Bochert in a floaty Velvet and Mousseline ensemble (do you sense a Theme?)

Following in succession: Actresses Lily-Rose Depp (Daughter of Johnny) and Lily Collins, gaily, jauntily, prancing in, swathed in short Velvet dresses with deep bands of Satin at the bust and hem. Japanese, Academy Award nominated actress and fashion plate, Rinko Kikuchi strode in, swathed in darkest night Black Velvet, followed by Tugba Sunguroglu (French Actress) and Violette d'Urso (Daughter of the first muse of Karl's for the house of Chanel, Ines de la Fressange, also a Model/Actress) in Cadet Blue bias Satin (Sunguroglu) and Black Tweed and Tulle (d'Urso). Next. another Chanel ambassadress, Rita Ora in a Le Smoking suit of Pannè Velvet in the colour of Starlight with a full-length slit skirt. Ambassadress to the house, Alice Dellal followed in a brief dress of Black Leather polished to a patent like finish. French actress, Isabelle Huppert, was escorted in by French actor Jeremie Elkaim, she wearing a Black bias Satin fishtail gown and he a custom Tux, behind them Jemima Kirke, cousin to Dellal and an artist/actress in a full-skirted tea length Black Lace number. G-Dragon, Korean rapper/musician was next (custom Tux) and then house favorites, models Stella Tennant (In a deep Claret Red Velvet gown) and Jake Davies in another custom Tux. Another pair of house favorites strode in as a couple next, Models Lara Stone (In a curvaceous Trompe l'Oeil Black Crepe Satin gown looking like a two-piece Tux) and Baptiste Giabiconi (one of Karl's male muses) in what else? A Tux! Lily-Rose's Mother, longtime house collaborator and friend, Vanessa Paradis, in a Embroidered Golden Beige pantsuit of a tunic top and pants. And finally, as a pair, Actress Par Excellence, Julianne Moore in a Figure exalting swath of Emerald Green Velvet (perfect for a natural Redhead!) escorted by Academy Award winning British Actor, Daniel Day-Lewis' son with renowned French Actress and César Award winning actress, Isabelle Adjani, Model Gabriel-Kane Day-Lewis, Tux, Naturellement.

All of these, as Lagerfeld called them, "Friends of the House" were kitted out in Specialty One-Of-A-Kind Chanel Couture outfits that were designed for them for the occasion by Karl. He created each piece as a unique to the person outfit and not as part of the collection, but as a unique calling card, Fashion wise, to the specific "Friend" The reasoning? Company higher-ups wanted Karl to showcase the recent relaunch of the reproductions of the original 1932 Haute Joaillerie collection that Madamemoiselle created, and in Karl's mind, the pieces did not fit in with the collection he was creating which had it's jumping off point from the idea that he had entitled the collection "3-D" (more on that in a bit) So, he invited a clutch of his ambassadresses and house favorites and models to showcase them, all in Custom Couture. They were in a sense, the "Show, within the Show" as they blithely carried on playing Casino games as the models wound round them acting as if they noticed them not one whit. They acted almost like a Divertissement around which the collection was showcased. Once Lagerfeld addressed that little, aside... On with the show!

Starting out, This was by far Lagerfeld at the Zenith of his talent, it was in fact, a pinnacle of achievement. That aforementioned jumping off point "3-D" was describing the opening 10 Chanel "Suits" Not suits in any conventional terminology, but netted, web like structures created with a 3-D printer. Showing off a Savoir-Faire of unspeakable magnitude, these tweeds that were not at all tweed, these iconic Chanel suits that were unlike any Chanel suit ever. The 3-D suits were lined with either Tweed, Feathers or most often, elaborate configurations of Beads, Sequins, Pearls and Crystals. They all mimicked a similar silhouette, but were all achieved in different manner materials and formations. Festooned with ascot blouses that tie at the neck into fluid bows, or slim shirts underneath, the suits were the epitome of the principles of Haute Couture, hideously expensive (they were rumoured to cost upwards of $300,000.00 each!) and practically unwearable other than standing up, no sitting allowed and created for no more than the fanciful art of creation.

After this exercise in iconic classicism executed in a thoroughly of-the-moment modern rendering, Lagerfeld presented the collection proper, inspired by Iribe's illustrations in the 30's by way of Balenciaga's Barrel line of the 60's. Lagerfeld structured his silhouettes with a broad shoulder line that was achieved without any padding but by wide epaulets and often with a swinging sway back "Barrel" flare and since most of the jackets displaying this effect were gently cropped at the waist, it modernized the line, Another aspect that came into immense relief was that Lagerfeld got back to figuring his Tweeds out of just that... Simple, unadorned, Tweed! Yes, in recent years, Lagerfeld has presented his tweeds in embroidery and intricate fabrications such as tweeds that are dissolving or fraying or tweeds woven not even out of thread, but here, Lagerfeld showed how much a technical wizard he is and cut the humble fabric into supple, fluid suits that though backward-looking in their inspirè, were totally of-the-minute in their execution. Their simplicity of fabrication, however, made it all that more precarious, for if they were one millimetre off, as Karl would say, "Forget about it!" If asked, as a critic or reviewer, which were some of the best, it would be a Solomon like task to do so. All were so exceptionally sublime that to split those kind of hairs, you'd need one of those $5,000+ Sushi knives! Though forced to do so, Exit No. 23 was an exemplary study in understated elegance, in Hematite and palest Dove Grey blend tweed, with it's purist lines and stand-up Shawl Collar, it was a slice of purest exquisiteness. Unfussy and totally about application of fit and cut. Technically, the last day suit, proper, in the show, on Pauline Hoarau at Exit No. 29, in the Papyrus spangly tweed, was a revelation as well. with it's high cut jacket and Whippet thin silhouette, it was the embodiment of the unimaginable exactitude it takes that creates a Couture Masterpiece as such.

And Evening... Where to begin? Where to END!? There was such a plethora of beauties that the mind is surely befuddled by such a surplus. Firstly, a loud clapping of hands to Lagerfeld for showing off his skills that he used to dazzle us with in the past, his superiority of drape and fit and cut of fabric with absolutely no adornment whatsoever, save a brooch here and there or a bit of jewelry. There were some absolutely Mind-Blowing pieces that had not one whit of embellishment and stood out amongst the throng all the more so for it. namely, a Navy bias Satin Chiffon stunner on Camille Hurel at Exit No. 46 that simply left the jaw AGAPE. With it's banded bodice, Empire line and Hi-Lo Flapper hem of sheerer fabric, it defined "GLORIOUS!" I'm not even going to try to take the time to talk about Exit No. 61... This review has gone on plenty long enough already and I could write another review of that one piece alone, which would match this one in prolixity! Just let us say, Unbelievable. As for the Flapper feeling, the trio of gowns from Exits No. 55-57 also were indubitable showings of Lagerfeld's legion skills and the titanic mastery of his Chanel ateliers. In luminous shades of Steel Grey (the hooded version on Louise Parker), Champagne Nude (on the EXQUISITE Josephine Le Tutour) and pale Off-White tiered gown on Maatje Verhoef (which was rumoured to have been covered in over a million tiny caviar beads) all phenomenal examples of supreme lightness and deftness of execution.

Ending, Lagerfeld sent his current Muse Du Jour (Kendall Jenner) out in an Casino worthy Marieè Tux in Crème Blanc, with a crystal bead studded "Train" whipped up into an attached stole around the sleeves and shoulders. Not any kind of fan of Ms. Jenner, (I Loathe her particularly, but what are you gonna do?) but the subversive turn of this Bride as Groom was especially piquant after all the resplendent femininity of what had come before it. As ever, Karl showed that he is always light years ahead of the pack, even when he's backwards glancing. He mined the rich history of Chanel, yet once more, to come up with something resolutely modern, yet unabashedly classic! It's an alchemy that few, if any, can achieve, and the stupefying and dumbfounding aspect of it all is, when one considers the Set/Decor, The One-Of-A-Kind pieces made for his "Friends du Maison" 67 exits and also, Shoes, Accessories, Hair and Makeup that this ONE MAN spins his Spectacles out of (owing that he conceives all these aforementioned ideas) It's an alchemy of the likes that we will never see practiced again. In that way, there is a painful pang of sadness and wistfulness that suffused this collection once it was over... This kind of perfection, does not happen everyday, knowing that, one must absorb all the Joy and Surprise and Delight that Lagerfeld affords us. No one knows for how long the show can or will go on... But, GODDAMN, What a Fantastic Fucking show it is!

EVERY! SINGLE! TIME!





That's All.





Bye4Now!









Thursday, March 2, 2017

Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2015-2016.

Mon. 07/06/2015.





Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2015-2016.

Being a true Eccentric with a real contrarian streak and a penchant for the grandiose statement, channeling Peggy Guggenheim seems like a natural fit for the eclectic sensibilities of Giambattista Valli. Name checking the outsize clothing persona of Guggenheim and cross-pollinating that with the likes of Talitha Getty, however, makes for some, admittedly, strangely odd bedfellows, Fashion-wise that is. Getty's hedonistic bohemian with Guggenheim's richesse and arty eccentricity don't jive on paper, but in Valli's hands, well... the indubitably strange brew coalesced into something, if not fully convincing in it's early moments, absolutely Spellbinding, by it's magisterial conclusion.

Opening with, in an effort to be polite, i'll be tactful, frankly dumbfounding stiff concoctions of bristly layers and ruffles of Tulle, Valli's Fall/Winter 2015-2016 Haute Couture collection started off problematic, at best. Then out came the Ostrich Feathers and shaggy Mongolian Lamb Fur and Organza petaled ruffles. To say it was a case of Too much of Too Much, would be a gross understatement, which is saying quite a lot, once one was subjected to the mountainous clouds of fabric that ended the proceedings. Also, Valli seemed to be suffering from a slightly major case of Schizophrenia when it came to hemlines, from Go-Go dancer short to respectably ankle length, giving a whiff of the discombobulated to the first 1/3 or so of the show.

When the drapeè gowns appeared, we were now on solid ground and were traveling towards Fashion Mecca. The PearYellow version was of particular exquisiteness, while the Black warp print Lily-Of-The-Valley gown slung over one shoulder and curved across the sternum was a Masterpiece of excess! Yet, it was the finale procession of positively titanic behemoths of ruffled tulle that were the colloquial Cherry on the Sundae. It's not really within the scope of the mind to imagine how these colossal barges of Silk translate into the fabric of the modern world, but when they are as achingly and heart quickeningly sublime as these Amazements are, who really gives a shit! They are so Magical and Fantastical that they defy all quantification!

Valli summoned up the spirits of two iconic fashion deities in the pantheon of style and blended them into a phantasmagoria of nonconformity and eclectic brilliance. It took a mind only as clever and oddball as Valli's to conjure up something as this, in less individualistic hands and a mind less agile, it would have been something of a confusing disaster of monumental proportions, Thankfully, Valli handled it with virtuoso aplomb and finesse.





That's All.





Bye4Now!




Thursday, February 16, 2017

Alberta Ferretti Limited Edition Fall 2015.

Mon. 07/06/2015.





Alberta Ferretti Limited Edition Fall 2015

In what is actually a presentation of her Spring Demi-Couture collection shown during the Fall Couture schedule, Alberta Ferretti presented a collection of such awe inspiring beauty that one was left mouth agape. It was not simply Beautiful on an Incandescent level, it was stupefyingly Gorgeous! Taking inspiration from the offices that she had recently moved into on the Glorious Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, next to her Paris Boutique, she obviously was moved by the Rococo splendour of the location, translating the Watteau like painting and gilded friezes and splendiferous floral work into her first section of gowns, done in a sublime shade of Celadon and counterpointed with a milky White, seemingly more simplified than their counterparts in Green, but actually more lavish for they were smothered in gilt embroidery, they elicited gasps of sheer, orgasmic pleasure on their viewing.

From there we saw a Golden shade of Wheat, and a Dazzling pair of outfits in Cranberry that were truly spectacular, (the strapless number on Karly Loyce was purest perfection!) and then a Smattering of Mallard green and then we were in Ferretti's wonderland wheelhouse of filmy, gauzy, lacy goddess gowns that all transcended ethereal by uncountable degrees. The final grouping was essentially, a throng of de facto Wedding dresses in tight tiers of ruffled White Tulle, the last of which was an exceptional example of the modern bride who need not throw off her Mariée for the reception and needs her gown to do double duty. That's absolutely the pinnacle of getting the most bang for your Couture buck!





That's All.





Bye4Now!



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2015-2016.

Mon. 07/06/2015.






As late in the game as it is, we all know this was to be Raf Simons last Haute Couture collection for Dior. Being perfectly frank, I am glad. Simons never really felt right for the job and his collections were always so completely subsumed with Intellectual over thinking and overly indulgent cerebral introspection that they were bogged down by all the psychological elucidating that the one thing missing was the one that was sorely needed... Passion! Passion for the woman wearing the clothes, passion for the sake of passion, passion for the Couture. To Simons, it was always analytical Art Project, he completely divorced the soul of Dior from the house and concentrated on the logic, the mind, and in that, his clothes were great to talk about... However, to wear...??? Another story, indeed! 

So here we are, his last gasp at making a statement that would solidify his tenure at Dior in a way that would show him in a better and more celebratory light than his past collections... Perhaps because the decision was only percolating in Simons' mind at the time (July of 2015) and only came to fruition within the days leading up to his last show (October 2015) maybe he hadn't fully committed to leaving and thought there would be more to show as a Couture designer... Maybe he knew all along and this was his last statement, as arch and impertinent as his collections during his short stay at the house all seemingly were. No matter the case, it wasn't the kind of collection that one wants to be remembered for. It wasn't dreadful, in places, it was as stunningly wonderful as anything one could ask for, in others... Outright confusing. More directly, Ugly. Ungainly and Awkward spring to mind also. 

Spending inordinate amounts of words and time going over all the things wrong with the collection would be parallel to pointing out the few moments of glory. It's a fool's errand, both. For, the collection just did not cohere in any possible configuration or formation. It felt as lopsided and maladroit as those one sleeved hulking masses Simons called coats. Someone out there will madly, try to make them work, and maybe succeed, but it will be the few and far between that do. Let's put it as pointedly and simplistically as one can... if the Wafer Thin Models parading around in them look as if they were just this side shy of Quasimodo, How are the clients who as much as they would like to think they are model size (and as deflating to their money lined egos this may be) but most certainly ARE NOT, going to look in them? Flat Out Ridiculous! 

At every turn, the collection looked as if it had been styled by Lucia di Lammermoor in her mad scene. Simons willfully seemed and always seems, to fight with every fiber of his being against simply designing something... Beautiful. He has to Ponder on it, Futz over it, Re-examine it, Throw in a Intellectual curveball and then, only then, is he happy, Instead of going with his obviously Legion instincts, (partake of the Fall/Winter 2014-2015 Haute Couture collection and WEEP at the Diabolical Loveliness!) He simply doesn't rely on them. He has to THINK about the clothes, and that thinking leads him to travesties like this. The Fucked-Up part? When he does let go and simply, instinctually designs a garment, Bliss is achieved... Take for example Exit No. 46 on Ondria Hardin? A sylph-like gown that from far away, to it's Genius quality, looked like a Rib-knit Tank top fabric under the dead GORGEOUS Floral embroidered bodice. The flowing White gown, as it gained on you, you realize that those "Ribs" were densely embroidered Caviar Pearls, that then released away around the knee and the gown fell into Chiffon panels with striations of those "Ribs" running down them! IMMACULATE! See!? when Simons simply Lightened The Fuck Up... look what he can achieve!

Simons is going to be remembered one way or the other, have Sarah Mower and Tim Blanks and those of their ilk tell the tale, it's going to be a Renaissance and Golden Era for the house, for they couldn't ever see the forest for the trees, for them it was all achingly beautiful and satisfying and breathtaking. Ask anyone else to be nakedly honest, they'll tell you it never really made a lot of sense. It was simply easier to hop on the train of masturbatory praise and orgiastic fawning that the others all seemed deeply entrenched in. To me, It was a blip on the Dior radar that had it's shining moments, but more oft than not, was a period of great hype with nothing more than said hype to show for it. Simons may have had Hieronymus Bosch's "Garden of Earthly Delights" as his starting point, but what transpired was more like Baudelaire's "Fleurs de Mal" 





That's All.





Bye4Now.



Elsa Schiaparelli Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2015-2016.

Mon. 07/06/2015.





Elsa Schiaparelli Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2015-2016.

First Impression... Bertrand Guyon has quite the masterful, not to mention, eclectic, hand with Daywear, as clearly evidenced by his Debut collection at the house of Schiaparelli, which has gone through a bit of a shake-up recently, with Marco Zanini unceremoniously stepping down for who knows what reason, then leaving the house in Limbo this past Spring for a collection that, besides the dramas going on, was pretty substantial and inspiring.

Now, the house has what hopes to be, a head designer who will stay the course, the way that fashion houses have been playing musical chairs as of late, that seems more and more tenuous and shaky as the days proceed. But really, all that matters are the clothes. For his debut, Guyon has decided to take the less literal approach to the archives, as Zanini did, and keep things forward looking while glancing sidelong at the past. However, while Zanini's debut was much more Madcap, Guyon's is more subtly irreverent. As with all the designers so far at the house, they have all instrumented something of the Template laid down by the Unspeakably Brilliant Christian Lacroix who relaunched the label with a one-off collection that has seemed to be fodder for all that has come next. (Rightfully, Lacroix SHOULD be the Head Designer of the house, but he wants no quarter with that, so....)

Back to that Daywear observation, Guyon's packed plenty of eccentric punch, de riguer for the house of Schiaparelli, From a Gorgeous Matelassé coat in Lacquer Red paired with a Soigné matching colour dress to a Quirky and Offbeat combo of a Mushroom colour Crocodile "T-Shirt" paired with an Organza skirt that looked like Moonlight had been captured in a fabric. Other standouts included a Black Satin top paired with a A-line skirt in Mink that had a profile likeness of Elsa on the front and a Molto elaborate, embroidered, nip-waist suit in Golden Yellow, embellished to look like it was a Cut Velvet or brocade, with it's swinging, gently flared skirt counterpointing the Sharp, Fitted jacket above, it was a nod to the past while being only possible in the present.

Evening saw a bevy of Dazzlers, also. from a Ode to a Grecian Goddess moment in a filmy White Chiton inspired gown with a drop skirt, deep draped neck and stitched down pleats, it was as effortless as it gets and equally as High-Impact. Also stunning, the Liquid Bronze Pannè Velvet Stunner near the end, rippled and undulated like molten metal wrought forth in sumptuous tangible material! And the Strapless Amphora shaped Ballgown with the Hand-Painted tableau on the front in Bone White was a masterstroke if ever there were one!

Sadly missing, a Bride. Most houses have left this tradition behind, and it always saddens me a little to see that neglected, it may be hopelessly old fashioned, but it gives a designer grounds to do the most unthinkable and unimaginable things and steal the breath of the onlookers. Even though Guyon chose not to close with a Marieé, he did conclude with Elsa's signature Shocking Pink, And he probably did capture the hearts of many a audience member, for the gown was spellbinding and rapturous. When all was said and done, Guyon produced a collection that made you want to see much, much more from him. Here's hoping we get to do just that!





That's All.





Bye4Now!