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!