Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Paris Couture, Naturellement

What perfect timing the Paris shows have this year. Just last night, I was lying on Maria's couch dreaming of couture confections and what do I wake to? Paris Couture! I had almost forgotten!

Perhaps I'm a sucker for showmanship, but I want to believe that Galliano (for Christian Dior) is the future of and the heart of couture. His inspirations and themes are at times hilarious and always jaw dropping. He has a signature style without ever becoming tired, he has an innate sense of what can and will be wearable, and never once do you care about the outside world. He's pure fantasy, but we trust that he knows how to make it work in real life. The concept for this collection is Egypt (which you know I'm already excited for). This concept could potentially be pure cheese and theatrics, but in Galliano's hands it is awesome. Photos 3, 4, 6, 16, 26...there are too many. I love the second-skin gold alligator dresses. I cant emphasize how potentially awful each of these pieces could be, but they are perfection. He never ceases to amaze me and he makes fashion seem like the most fun place on earth. You can see splashes of the past few collections, as he doesnt abandon his previous work. Each showing is a mark in his evolution as a designer. And the makeup!!

Christian Lacroix is a close second. The colors are eye-popping (I will give my right arm for some aqua tights and red shoes). Photos 2, 26, 36. The fitted waist and floaty hems are a dream. Photo 36 is really just too much for words.

One can always count on Valentino for the prettiest dresses. Lace and florals and just femininity. No theatrics, just perfectly classic and pretty and fresh. Photos 1, 15, 20, 21...sigh.

Givenchy is another giver of pretty girl dresses. I'm very much obsessed with lace right now and these dresses are for a proper pretty girl. Such as me. That was a joke.

Occasionally, Donatella Versace or whoever it is that designs the collection manages to put out a very gorgeous piece, but on the whole I think she's what's wrong with fashion and the world. Her show is shocking in its all-consuming narcissism. The models are made to look exactly like her. Her designs are pretty much repeated each season and are so ubiquitous on the red carpet that by the time her designs hit the magazines (which is *still* months before the stores!), one is already sick to death of them and trying to remember if one hadnt seen the exact dress two season prior. Her theme is always bling. She is the Puffy/Britney of Couture. That is not a good thing.

The other shows (Chanel, Ungaro, Gaultier) all seemed to have a recurring Flapper-80s theme that I didnt really care for. Chanel in particular seemed very dated and no-fun.

Yohji Yamamoto has been showing his Ready-to-Wear collection during Paris Couture for the last few years. I rarely understand his shows, as most of the pieces are in black and do not photograph well, but when I have the opportunity to see the actual pieces that are sold in stores I am always left craving. Right now, I would cut you for the chance to own a specific herringbone suit jacket with overly puffy 3/4 length sleeves from the Fall collection.

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