Monday, January 31, 2011

50's Haute Couture and Black Swan References

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Last week the couture collections could be summed up into two categories: Black Swan and White Swan. Jean Paul Gaultier taking on the dark, brooding, theatrical side and Chanel reigning in the airy innocence of the other.

In general a much more formal look is taking hold on the catwalks showing long skirts, long sleeves, and bateau necklines everywhere. Elegance is clearly back on the table for the fashion crowd. So much for the influence of all those reality stars of late. Ladies that lunch want a grown up look that is demure, yet at the same time seductive, if not artistic. For all of this, look no further than the creations from Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli at Valentino.

Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy created an outstanding museum worthy collection channeling Japanese robot toys and the dancer Kazuo Ohno. He may not have had the usual 35 pieces required of a haute couture show, but just one outfit necessitated 2,000 hours of cutting and 4,000 hours of sewing.

As fewer and fewer fashion houses are creating haute couture collections it was a pleasure to see John Galliano reference Christian Dior's illustrator René Gruau from the 40's and 50's. Those were the days when rules of dress were strictly followed and sartorial superiority was something to aspire to. When I get dressed up I want to look like this (photo insert), oh-so-haute!



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