Paris Haute Couture Week Spring/Summer 2015

Christian Dior:

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This season’s Dior Haute Couture collection was like a high school history lesson, but with prettier visuals. Each passing model was representative of a bygone decade, strutting across the architectural marvel built for the show, in head to toe lace and embellishment. For SS15, Simons focused on David Bowie’s enormous contribution to fashion, emulated in the psychedelic prints, glittering jumpsuits, and use of unconventional materials like plastic. However, it wouldn’t be Dior without some influence of the New Look and the original grandeur of Haute Couture. Somehow Raf was able to meld 50’s sophistication, 60’s experimentalism, and 70’s boldness seamlessly to yield a collection that reminisces on the past, while innovating for the future.

*Not all looks shown

Chanel:

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Karl Lagerfeld’s extraordinary imagination has served him yet again. In true Lagerfeld fashion, his spring fantasy came to him in the blink of any eye; “One morning in bed, I saw it in a second,” he remarked. It is fitting that Chanel’s collection was conceived during a dream because everything, from the stitch of a bejeweled opera coat to the 300 paper flowers that decorated the venue, was straight out of a storybook. Some argue that Chanel has lost its knack for Haute Couture and with every season, fades to unsubstantial nothingness just grasping at relevance. This magnificent collection proved those bitter naysayers wrong. Lagerfeld succesfully created pieces that could be found in closets of both the old-money, Upper East Side queen and edgy, 20-something muse; equally hard markets to please. Cropped tweed jackets and sheer tea-length skirts harken back to Coco’s founding ideals, but still feel modern when reworked in creative ways.   There is something so twisted about the extreme femininity of this collection, which is a quality I find absolutely amazing and enigmatic.

*Not All Looks Shown

Elie Saab:

Elie Saab’s Spring 2015 show was a tribute to his past. His parents and his hometown of Beirut, Lebanon in the 1960’s were fruitful inspirations, making this one a particularly soulful collection. Sheer gowns trickled with ornate lace appliqués added a fresh, effortless, and airy element into Saab’s repertoire; a very welcomed surprise after heavily beaded ensembles of season’s past. Also new experiments, feathered party dresses, sparkly jumpsuits, cropped tops, and watercolor prints inspired by Mrs. Saab’s tulips, made for an exciting collection that represents the designer’s creativity and willingness to step outside of his comfort zone.

*Not All Looks Shown

Valentino:

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With Valentines day right around the corner, Valentino creative directors, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, had love on their minds. Famed romantics like Shakespeare and Marc Chagall ignited a collection that was unique for the house, but still maintained Valentino’s original flare for elegance. Chagall’s Russian heritage served as a foundation, represented through shearling vests, high-collared blouses, jewel tone pinafores, regal capes, and the most incredibly beautiful embroidery I have ever seen. As if Russia didn’t already exude romance, the finale of sparkling tulle confections floating down the runway finalized the theme perfectly. Rainbows, clouds, and, even a Shakespearean poem written in the shape of a heart got us all in the mood for love.

*Not All Looks Shown

Giambattista Valli:

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Giambattista Valli has become a favorite couturier of mine; not just because his exquisite ensembles are always the epitome of chic, but because he represents Haute Couture for the modern woman. Always elegant and well-mannered, but also free spirited and vibrant. For SS15, Valli drew inspiration from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations and decided to create an “impossible conversation” of his own between the likes of Coco Chanel and Janis Joplin. These two fashion icons may seem like unlikely partners, but their innate sense of fashion rule breaking is what captured him. Coco, with her menswear inspired separates, and Janis with her 70’s wild child attitude, show two aspects of the designer’s ideal clientele. Lady-like prints such as florals and houndstooth, that danced across voluminous skirts and structured jackets, represented Coco’s sophisticated sensibilities; while satin and embroidered minis layered over matching pants, were elevated versions of Janis’ personal style staples. Edgy crop tops and flirtatious ensembles added a healthy dose of original Giambattista to the collection. When mixed together, three revolutionary people make for one extraordinary show.

*Not All Looks Shown

Atelier Versace:

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Any Versace show where sex appeals reigns above all else is always successful. For her Spring-Summer Couture collection, Donatella Versace said that she decided “to go back to the shape of a woman’s body.” Up-to-here, down-to-there silhouettes and impeccable tailoring made that slick, slinky, sensual dream possible. All of the ensembles were based off of winding and swirling lines that emulated the natural and beautiful curve of a woman’s body. While the voluminous skirts were stunning, the skin-tight gowns (Donatella’s signature) were the ultimate highlights. Every seam, pleat, and shinning sequin of this collection was instinctively Versace.

*Not All Looks Shown

AS

The Chic Peak

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