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Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2018

Aug 01, 18 Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2018

“Unprecedented” for the French capital, the heat became, perhaps, the main topic of conversation at the Haute Couture spring-summer 2019 Fashion Week which ended July 6 in Paris. How to look glamorous, dressing “for a beach”, avoiding everything that is heavier than shirts, mini-shorts and sandals? A difficult task was put by the weather for professional fashionistas! More interesting it was to observe the “hostages of style” at the show
venues (only few of which were at least ventilated, not to mention the highest invention of the mankind – air conditioners). Some of the influencers, “according to the protocol” dressed in fluff and … feathers, struggled to project comfort, as if not noticing the flowing make-up not coping with +35C degrees of windless space. In the end, haute couture, as you know, is an art. And a farce is an inseparable part of it.

So what about the shows? This season, designers in unison preferred to develop the themes of previous collections. There were no revolutions on the catwalk.

Apart from a modest version of haute couture from Maria Grazia Chiuri. Dior’s creative director reminds us that the real chic is humble and does not show off in every look. In the new collection of the fashion house there is a lot of gray, flesh and color of a tea rose. Silhouettes are perfectly structured, the dresses are trimmed, the skirts descend below the knees. Berets, slightly cocked on a side, give to the ensemble a touch of femininity. But the femininity of a suffragette, whose ideals continue to be unceasingly promoted by Madame Chiuri.

When in Paris, be sure to stroll by the flagship boutique of Dior on Avenue Montaigne. Its decor, executed in the spirit of the students’ (and female) “revolution of morals” of 1968, deserves special attention and likes in social networks.

A designer from Australia, Paolo Sebastian, has a lot of “mice” shades in the new autumn-winter 2019 collection. Presented in the luxurious rooms of the Hotel Marcel Dassault at the intersection of the Champs Elysees and Montaigne Avenue, the collection is inspired by the classic Nutcracker ballet.

A young, but already well known in his homeland, designer invites us again to his magical world, populated by fabulous characters from his childhood. New Year’s story comes to life in weightless, as clouds, looks created for the eternally young dreamer. Princess dress, “strewn” with snowflakes; bustier, playing a ballet tutu; richly
embroidered “hussar” coat; tulle cascades, transforming the lucky wearer into a snow queen. Not surprisingly, the Disney studio offered Paolo a collaboration, which resulted in a capsule collection of dresses with embroidered fairy-tale characters and quotes. We are waiting for the show!

In almost every interview, Karl Lagerfeld confesses in his dislike for the past and the aspirations for the future, which the designer believes he [re] creates for us from season to season. The latest collection, magnificent, touching, somewhere sensual (the epithet unusual for the work of the Fashion Kaiser) involuntarily brings nostalgia for Paris. The same as Lagerfeld himself – already entered into eternity and unique in his individuality.

And again, just like Maria Grazia Chiuri for Dior, the Chanel designer reminds us that the true Couture is in the details. In the inner finishing of sleeves, as perfect as the outer one. In the high, up to the middle of the thigh side cut of the skirt with a zipper, under which hide a “daring” mini (“at a rendezvous with a banker you come in a business tweed suit and then unzip – and you are ready for a gallant meeting!”). French touch chic inspired a forage cap in tone with the ensemble (the trend of the coming season), rising above the elbow leather gloves and half-boots on heels would definitely come to Gabrielle-Coco’s liking.

Jean-Paul Gaultier is “the last of the Mohicans” of the Parisian haute couture designers. His show is always a feast, charged with overpowering creative energy of the owner of the fashion house. What in the 80s was considered on the top of provocation, in the second decade of the XXI century turned into a norm. We forgot that talking seriously about gender equality from the catwalk started the Parisian “fashion Gavroche”. In the fall-winter 2019 collection, the couturier reminds us of this, trying with his inherent irony to “shock” the audience with a parade of nonconformist models and a slogan printed on transparent tops (‘Free the nipples’).

Unchanged is adjusted to the millimeter cut, unique know-how of techniques and a sense of high fashion, the next chapter which will inevitably be closed with the departure of Jean-Paul.

The works of Guo Pei, the only Chinese designer invited into the official calendar of the haute couture week, are adored by photographers. Backstage reports from her shows are difficult to “fail” even to a beginner. The looks are pretentious, full of handmade details and border with theatrical costumes.

Breaking the established tradition, in which the designer demonstrates more ready-to-wear collections in summer, Madame Pei gave up July collection to her fantastic fantasy Gathered in the selected for the purpose Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine (Architecture and Heritage Museum), guests enjoyed looks inspired by Northern European Gothic architecture. Couturier skillfully conveyed the lightness of pointed arches and the “airiness” of structures, turning the girls into revived medieval cathedrals. Special attention paid to shoes: on a tall platform with incredible ornamentation, they ca be detailed in each look. Instead of the usual “run” on the catwalk, the mannequins strolled step by step, freezing in majestic poses.

Even more luxury, feathers, glitter and colors in the new season of the only English brand entering the official program of the Federation of Parisian haute couture with their tenth collection. Surely, Ralph & Russo are at the height of success. Customers of the fashion house, which made up more than half of the guests of the show, is the undoubted proof of this.

The muse of the designer duo this time was Jacquline de Ribes. The icon of style at the dawn of haute couture, the countess with an enviable pedigree and a biography that can only be dreamed of, in 1956 headed the American list of the “Best Dressed “. A friend of Diana Vreeland and the favorite model of Richard Avedon certainly would have liked the looks of Michael Russo and Tamara Ralph – an explosive cocktail of sensual aristocratic elegance and impudent disco of the eighties.

“Fashion Disco King” Alexandre Vauthier continues to create sets for (eternally) young and beautiful, whose life mostly passes in nightclubs. Again the designer turns to the eighties: “It is important for a new generation of clients to appreciate the iconic references”. At the couture week in this style creates only Maxime Simöens, whose sets for Azzaro in this season are inspired by travel to tropical countries.

In the Vauthier’s collection there are broad shoulders and belts; mini with a deep neckline; boatmen hats from Maison Michel; some spectacular long feathers and animal prints. An interesting find is the contrast of canary and black: a black top with structural shoulders and a wide belt is complemented by a luxurious pleated
bright yellow skirt with a shortened front hem; while in another look the top and bottom were swapped: satin canary jacket designer combines with black wide trousers – a hit of the coming autumn.

At Azzaro are also present canary, wide belts, mini neckline, pleating and glitter. At the same time, for calmer evening looks it is better to choose Simöens numbers – the sexy appeal in the collection of a designer with an androgynous appearance is not the exclusive prerogative of those under 25.

The very name of the autumn-winter 2019 couture collection “And God Created Woman” of the fashion house Galia Lahav takes us to the French Riviera in the mid 50’s of the last century. However, from the movie that made Brigid Bordeaux a sex symbol of the era, the designer duo from Israel took only royal femininity, which every look permeates.

Sensual aesthetics, characteristic to the brand, gives way to more mature silhouettes and volumes. The bold color palette of acidic hues is balanced by black and corporeal. The most spectacular are trouser sets with a contrast color high-slited skirt. The combination of canary and black promises to become the must have of autumn.

It’s no secret that seasonality in the world of haute couture, in contrast to ready-to-wear, is more a technical convention than a commercial necessity. The creations of Alexis Mabille can easily be represented both at the Christmas party on the island of Saint-Barthélemy, and at the summer Chopard Cocktail of the Cannes Film Festival. In the haute couture collection presented in July, the pastel palette prevails, diluted with several bright looks (one of which is a satin dress – a floor length “robe” once again of the mustard-canary color) of the French designer’s sumptuous evening sets-bestsellers.

Regular customers of the fashion house will find another variation of the tuxedo dress, exquisite ruches and flounces from tulle and striped loose organza sundresses. The indisputable key moment of the show was the final wedding look: the most delicate Chantilly lace overalls combined with a satin high-slited skirt and a signature bow à la Mabille in front.

Lebanese designers pool led by Elle Saab, Zuhair Murad, Georges Hobeika and Tony Ward continue each in their own way to glorify the classic femininity. Created for “very special occasions”, be it a star weddings, red carper walk or an after-party charity ball, the numbers seem to compete among themselves in luxury and wealth.

Georges Hobeika in his new autumn-winter 2019 collection was inspired by the poetic stylistics of the Swan Lake ballet.

In graceful sets, the designer, as usual, glorifies youth and its accompanying purity. In addition to beads and sequins, traditional for the fashion house, feathers are omnipresent in the looks. Hobeika is known for attention to details, whether accessories or shoes. It is at the latter that we advise you to take a closer look: exquisite, as if made of crystal, heeled shoes decorated with ribbons reminding ballet pointe are real little treasures.

The Soviet underground of the 80s and 90s, formed by a total deficit, with the help of Gosha Rubchinsky and Demna Gvasalia (Vêtements, Balenciaga) turned from a sign of bad taste into the main world trend of the second decade of the XXI century.

However, do not forget that the Russian (and Soviet) style is much richer than torn shirts with a dubious sense of words on them and washed out jeans. The rich history and traditions of the country as an infinite source of inspiration are reminiscent in several haute couture collections.

Yuliya Yanina in her new collection autumn-winter of 2019 surpasses herself. The queen, playing a peasant or a bourgeois who tries on the tsarina’s toilets. On the catwalk of the fashion house, known for its love for embroideries and handmade techniques, arrives a kaleidoscope of signature fitted dresses with flared skirts, jackets and coats made of precious fur (including artificial ones, in no way inferior to natural ones!) And evening sets, in which reveal all the talent and skills of the designer in working with noble fabrics (taffeta, velvet, tulle, leather). Looks are supplemented by traditional Russian headwear: fur caps and ceremonial “kokoshniks”: as if models descended from pages of Russian fairy tales and transferred to the XXI century by a time machine.

A royal gift to his numerous Russian clients was prepared by Zuhair Murad in the autumn-winter season. “Evening in St. Petersburg” is the name of the new collection of the designer, dedicated to the tsars of the Russian Empire and the unprecedented luxury in which the court once drowned. Couturier mixes epochs and names: here we can find Empress Elizabeth, who, reminds us Monsieur Murad, had more than 15,000 dresses in her wardrobe, and the dramatic Anna Karenina performed by Keira Knightley, details of the military uniform beloved by Russian royalty with German roots (modernized by the designer in crop-top version), and elements of a Boyar costume. It is difficult to distinguish the most spectacular images, while the ruby red looks from 14 to 20 involuntarily hypnotize the viewer with the depth of the color. The Empress herself comes to life at the final look of the crowned bride.

Note that the skirt cut, in which a mini in front turns into a trench at the back becomes a hit.

“Everything that does not kill us, makes us stronger”: after the politically incorrect embarrassment of last summer (which, according to reliable sources, was planned by haters of the fashion house), Ulyana Sergeenko returns with a new collection of autumn-winter 2019 inspired by the first ladies. The press release says: “This season, the heroine of Ulyana Sergeenko has changed. She became stronger, bolder, more confident. Her life goals and mission became more meaningful, which could not help but affect her appearance.”

Among her “new” muses, the designer quotes ladies with impeccable reputation and corresponding status: Jackie Kennedy, Raisa Gorbachev, Michelle Obama, Sheikha Moza, Princess Diana. The sets presented in one of the halls of the Russian Embassy in Paris are emphatically strict: a classic suit with a skirt that covers the knees (Coco-Gabriel would approve), a flawless blouse, elegant shoes, a restrained color palette and only high-quality fabrics. In this sense, the Moscow couturier keeps up with the trend announced at the beginning of the week by “big” houses (Dior, Chanel), whose essence is in a discreet luxury as a new reading of haute couture. Only few ensembles – flying dresses of princesses made of airy tulle of pastel colors – remind us of a dreamy doll-looking girl who came to conquer the capital of fashion (and conquered it!) just a few years ago.

The couture autumn-winter 2019 show of the Greek Celia Kritharioti was opened with a short biography of the designer. From the presentation we learned that the fate of Celia was predetermined from childhood. The world of haute couture was opened to her by her mother, with whom they were invited to “all the major couture shows of Paris”. “Mom loved black, pearls and Paris …” – an impeccable taste in combination with the open to the world southern temperament inherited by the girl is certainly the key to success of a fashion house which notoriety runs far beyond the borders of the native Greece.

If the name Celia Kritharioti is not familiar to the mass public, it is on the lips of stylists of Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, Heidi Klum, Gemma Arterton and Rebecca Ferguson. Walking in a translucent ensemble woven from golden fringe threads, top model Natalia Vodyanova says a lot about the brand. Celia knows how to make “right” acquaintances, and her creativity, based on traditional techniques and family values (the Kritharioti fashion house, by the way, was opened in Athens 3 years earlier than Chanel, in 1906) turns friends into loyal customers.

The collection presented in July according to the DNA of the house abounds with black, dresses, embroidered pearls, and feathers. As haute couture obliges, there are a lot of transparency (lace, tulle) and embroideries in the looks. The show is closed by several wedding gowns, one of which, completely sheer, as if created for an intimate ceremony on a distant fairy island.

There are designers whose creations do not need additional comments, their impeccable creations speak for themselves. Julien Fournié is definitely one of them. We close our review of the week of haute couture autumn-winter 2019 with his latest collection called “Premier Crime”. Enjoy!