Monday, August 15, 2011

Paris Haute Couture Fall 2011: Part One

by David Pedroza, Editor in Chief

The decadence of Haute Couture is breathe taking. Each bead, feather and stitch placed by hand on an array of sumptuous fabrics that long to be worn. For Fall 2011, the Paris Couture Collections celebrated, not what couture was, but what it is now. For years there has been a debate that this craft was on its last leg, and finally Couture has shown endurance through hard times, with its client list growing with new members from every age, nation, and a stronger desire for made-to-measure clothes, with a quality that can out last a life time.

New invited Giambattista Valli, has been given the privilege by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, to show his first ever haute couture collection. Valli has a strong following since he first launched his Pret-a-Porter Collection in 2005, including heavy weight couture client, Lee Radziwill. The large demand for made to measure frocks from Valli's Atelier has created an obvious path to Haute Couture. For fall 2011, Valli's collection did not disappoint, the collection looked like the work of a seasoned and well established couturier. A simple pallet of ecru, black, coral, red, and a dash of animal graced the surface of tweeds, chiffon, and tulle. Gowns were kept simple, yet grand, a cross of 1950's couture "cabin" model and Grace Kelly. Beading was dense, yet minimal. There was a lightness to the work, and the opening look was in fact a "Cabin" model look, a simple white smock worn with a sweater, a true homage to couture's past.

Azzedine Alaia, although not new, but yet has been able to be absent for the past 8 years from any runway presentation, showed a small yet strong "Semi" or "Demi" Couture collection. It was Alaia being Alaia, taking inspiration from none other than him self and staying true to his vision of what fashion is to him. The silhouettes could been have called his greatest hits, Ballooned, nipped waist, scalloped, and the column, where all embraced in supple suedes, patent Croc, perforated fabrics, lush velvet and Mongolian lamb. The clothes where all contemporary, a new classic, with sublime workmanship. It was a well deserved standing ovation for Azzedine Alaia, a designer who has been able to set him self from the rest and remain true to his own

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