Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring 2015
At the beginning of the Haute Couture Fashion Week the big players in the field started with the most luxurious, custom-made dresses. The Dior and Versace haute couture spring collections have moved in a new direction and transitioning from their previous world of boundless opulence and extravagant luxury to the arena of modern current realities.
In the 21st century dresses are becoming more than ever the means of intelligent communication making statements without words that express not only the personality of their creators but also the opinions and attitudes of their future owners. They speak loudly without making a sound.
The political and economic crises of the moment are reflected in the clientele at the first few days of the Paris haute couture shows on a massive scale. The first series of events reveals a distinct lack of previously habitual major clients from the Middle East, Russia and China. The tumbling value of the rubble, the overheated Chinese economy and the sliding price of oil is affecting how money is spent with ripple effects even in the fashion world.
The list of active participants featured only one Russian designer and the first show attracted a small number of guests. Yet there was a bright side. It seems that the designer‘s current troubled domestic situation also brings benefits in the shape of unexpected creativity. The results were a pleasant surprise!
Dior: Back to the Future
Raf Simons for Dior presented a very strong collection of costumery based on the theme of traveling back in time – in this case to the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The distinctive elements from these decades gave the outfits a new, contemporary style that reflected the nostalgic glories of bygone days. Fifties romance came in the form of skirts, hallucinogenic patterns while the sixties was reflected in popularity of plastic items. There was also more than disco glitter from the glam rock seventies. Your first impressions might imagine these elements to be totally incompatible but a confident designer with inherent talent has been able to turn such items into an extremely compact and attractive collection.
These original historical styles could be easily observed as the inspiration not only for Dior, but also the creations of Pierre Cardin, André Corrego and Bob Mackie, who wrote in indelible letters clothing from the recent past. An important perspective for designers using this technique in haute couture is to move fashion forward without losing respect for older technologies. Plastic jackets with floral prints connect with guipure lace dress and soft waves. Silk points are worn alongside the effect of tattooed roses. Not to mention the delicate embroidered spangles the intensity of which leaves one breathless.
These dramatic combinations of varied textures and colours are very different from the flashy aesthetics of previous collections and show Dior clothes in a new light. In particular all the senses are challenged concurrently. Taking a closer look at the individual pieces of clothing one does not just watch, but feels the material beneath one’s fingertips and listens to the sounds of the substance in motion. Dresses are becoming an holistic sensory experience.
It can be said that everything on show already existed and that the current dress code has demonstrated little innovation. However, it is possible to take the iconic elements of the past and look at them from a new, contemporary angle. There is no doubt that using his perfect knowledge of fashion history Rafa Simons, has found a completely original way forward for Dior. It reflects his own radical vision for a modern woman’s wardrobe. He likes to draw upon the strong elements of previous successful collections, but they can also be put into entirely new contexts. Therein lies the power.
Versace: Sexy Curves Refine Real Women
Donatella Versace’s latest haute couture collection demonstrates the awesome strength of the brand. It reveals the female body in a way that you cannot fail to notice. If high tailoring, perfect cuts and tight fitting materials are what appeals then this classic Italian fashion house is powering ahead in the right direction. The collection, virtually ignores clothes for daily wear and gloriously celebrates feminine curves and the masterly tailoring craftsmanship of the studio. From the first design – a close-fitting black jumpsuit with flared legs – to the last, – a ground breaking dress that revealed every curve in the body of legendary model Amber Valletta – this collection can serve as a textbook example of master cuts.
Drama is not only found in the surgically precise cuts, but also for Versace the application of an uncharacteristically minimalist palette of colours. Besides commercially successful use of black and golden beige Versace has worked with red, white and blue reflecting the national colours of France.
Individual pieces of clothing combine a variety of types of tulle netting giving a perfect optical illusion. It appears that the ephemerial substance itself rotates around the body covering revealing it in a highly spectacular fashion. “Being sexy is always good,“ comments Donatella behind the scenes with a compulsive smile.
The new collection with its wide waisted skirts and trousers again gives a touch of 70s. She is also able to maintain a very thin line between sensuality and vulgarity, revealing plenty of skin, but in a perfectly coherent fashion. The future wearer of these outfits will be able to swagger in their dress as proudly and confidently as Eva Herzigova or above mentioned Amber Valletta.
Schiaparelli: Stop, Look and Listen
The freshly re-opened fashion house of Schiaparelli, while not currently headed by a chief designer has not let this fact detract from the beauty of their new collection. In past seasons Marco Zannini previously a leading brand have already promoted the concept that suggests a beautiful collection can lead to developing the reputation of a new free creative director.
The label’s spring haute couture for 2015 brings out their typical aesthetics: pronounced shoulder lines, sharp edges, complex prints, huge bows and sprightly caps. Each of the two dozen models introduced were significantly different from each other and yet form a convincing and complete collection. Not at first glance perhaps but certainly after some introspective reflection.
The whole scenario gives us a fresher, more relaxed and substantially more enjoyable flavour of impressions and is less historic than in previous seasons. And this is despite the fact that everything is based on original collections from January 1935 when Elsa Schiaparelli celebrated the opening of its brand new premises at Place Vendome in the vibrant heart of inter-war Paris.
Delicately subtle substances contrast sharply with details in the form of pins and metal accessories. Individual print substances taken directly from the historical archive mark the work of the designer who took on Coco Chanel in a formidable fight for the post of the most powerful woman in the fashion world.
With a haute couture that reflects a highly creative team Schiaparelli is strong and subtle at the same time. It brings a raft of contrasts in colours and fabrics to the overall look. Unexpected details provide the fun, you feel like the dresses and trouser suits fully examine and explore their increasingly creative elements. The collection looks as theatrical as many of the brands productions have done in the past, but there is least a tenuous connection to the present. These new designs will definitely help to carry the famous Schiaparelli style into the 21st century, just as those of Raf Simons will achieve the same for Dior.