Tag Archives | Fashion Week

Couture Couture Couture

Phenomenal. Breathtaking. Eye-Catching. Dreamy. Unbelievable. Divine.

Those are all words that I could easily use to describe the Fall 2012 Couture collections that were shown in Paris this past week. The locations ranged from the Grand Palais to the Ritz Hotel to the Musée Bourdelle, and the themes ran the gamut from old school glamour to futuristic to Game of Thrones.

Yes. Game of Thrones.

The big story this season was Raf Simons’s inaugural collection for the house of Christian Dior after leaving Jil Sander at the end of last season. The show began with classic Dior colors and silhouettes, elegant suits, ladylike dresses, and then ball gowns that I can guarantee will feature heavily on the red carpet in the coming year’s award season.

The collection was anything but boring though with metallic belts, gorgeous embroidery, dramatic peplums, oversized pockets, opera-length gloves, bold collars, tie dyed pieces, tweeds, and reach-out-and-touch-them textures. It was soft and elegant and oh-so-Dior, but with a dramatic, extravagant edge.

Divine!

I’m not sure if I can put it any better than the fabulous Mr Blasberg who proclaimed: “In the last 13 minutes, Raf Simons just single-handedly altered the contemporary haute couture landscape.” Curious how the phenomenal flower-strewn setting was created for this show? This video gives you a fabulous backstage peek at the process of creation.

New Vintage was the theme for Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel Fall 2012 Couture collection  – “Vintage is depressing, but ‘new vintage’ is something to come. It’s preparation for something that could last.”

Bold plaid & checkered patterns, metal-tipped pumps, traditional tweeds, metallic silver tights, chunky knits, shimmery separates, slouchy sequined caps, oversized outerwear, maxi skirts and full pants, velvet coats, pussy bow blouses, Peter Pan collars, and dresses adorned with feathers, chiffon, tulle, and sequins all had a sassy retro feel with modern and sometimes futuristic-feeling details.

Givenchy‘s Riccardo Tisci is nothing if not detail oriented. His collections are traditionally small in size and he and his design teams & seamstresses really focus on making each look unique, one-of-a-kind, and highly intricate. His Fall 2012 collection focused on beading, heavy embroidery and brocades, leather working, fringe, and even sequins.

The restrained extravagance of this collection perfectly complemented the earthy, folksy theme that was somewhere between Little Red Riding Hood and Maid Marian. And I couldn’t have envisioned a more appropriate background than the lush green forest that these looks were photographed against.

While there was some of the famous Valentino red at the end of this show, the colors de jour were navy and creamy pink. The thick brocades and heavy embroideries in cream, peach, and pink played perfectly against the sequins, sheer panels, and flowing silks in varying shades of moody blues.

The details in these pieces were phenomenal, from delicate accordion pleats and metallic-laced brocades to dramatic floral cutouts and sheer chiffon ruffles. Chiuri and Piccioli have been getting their footing over the last few seasons and this couture collection seems to be the coming out party for the new Valentino – An opulent, dramatic twist on the old school glamour and romance that Valentino is known for.

In the world of couture Giorgio Armani’s Fall 2012 Armani Prive collection offered up something wholly different. Wearability. Given that couture is considered an art form and that pieces in these collections can range anywhere from $20,000 to $2,000,000, wearability is hardly the word de jour. But with the full, flattering cuts, cool, pale silks, and touchable, midnight dark velvets, wearable was just what he presented.

These looks were all about textures – Soft, sleek, touchable fabrics that you could almost feel against your skin. The jeweled and beaded veils were one of my favorite parts of this collection, they added serious drama and brought out a mysterious quality in the clothes that took you to another time and place.

The Versace show at the Ritz Hotel was wild and fun – Xena Warrior Princess meets Couture Barbie. The Versace woman is strong, fierce, and fearless, she embraces her sexuality and loves to show some skin. These clothes are not for the faint of heart, they were all about dramatic peek-a-boos, slashes, and slits.

Wide, tooled belts, multi-strap & buckle adorned heels, sheer cloth, sequined netting details, and spiderweb thin mesh gave this show unabashed shimmer, shine, and sex appeal.

The Versace girl is bold, uninhibited and in these clothes, she’s ready to party!

I always look forward to Giambattista Valli‘s collections – His esthetic is divine and I love how he always adds a little edge to his classic, ladylike silhouettes. And his second couture collection made me say to myself for a second time, Valli was made for couture.

And here in this dreamy place far away the moody reds and greens, organic prints, and flowing cuts & ruffles were all borrowed from nature; all-over muted floral patterns, applique and embroidered plant life, ruffles, flares, folds, and thick lace were all born of the outdoors. And with jewelry, accessories, and hairpieces evoking bugs, butterflies, and leaves, the theme was complete throughout the collection.

Rather than a fairy princess vibe the earthy tones and themes brought to mind wood nymphs and dryads – Woodland creatures who personified the various aspects of the natural world that they watched over; strong and eternal.

Sources: Fashionologie, Style.com, Tom & Lorenzo, TopCoat & FabSugar

If you’re curious to see what these designers have shown on the couture catwalk in seasons past here are a few links to try – Spring 2012 Couture and Fall 2011 Couture.

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MCLV Style: Pleats & Peplums

Happy – it’s almost the end of the week – Thursday! To celebrate I’d like to share some of my recent looks so that I can show how hard I’m working to meet my June fashion goals.

I have to confess, one of my favorite parts about having a stand-up desk at work is that I can wear pleated skirts to the office without having to worry about the pleats getting squished by sitting on them all day!

It’s the little things in life. 🙂

SkirtVince Camuto from Bloomingdale’s, Wide-strap tank – Zara, Cardigan – H&M, Mary Jane’s – Merona from Target, Rings – JewelMint, Vintage & Juicy Couture, and Watch – Vintage

You can HYPE this look on Lookbook.nu or shop similar pieces on ASOS Style Finder or by clicking the hyperlinks in the outfit breakdown above.

When I saw this skirt I knew that it was going to be mine, I loved both the stripes and the pleats. It’s also a fun length, almost like a cheerleader skirt (which I’ve never worn.,I swear). This whole look was inspired by the brightly colored, stripe-filled Jason Wu for Target Collection. And my love of stripes, of course.

Source

I also recently made my first peplum attempt of the season. I’ve seen so many cute variations of this trend lately – from simple peplum tops to fun & wild peplum dresses – and I wanted to give it a try as well.

Source

Liz from Late Afternoon has a fabulous and one-of-a-kind style, she frequently appears in my Looks of the Week posts, and I took her peplum outfit above as the inspiration for the look that I put together below.

Floral Dress – Vintage from Belle Cose, Peplum top – Zara, Patent (faux) Leather Oxford Booties – Wild Diva, Necklace – Express, Rings – JewelMint, Vintage & Juicy Couture, and Bracelets – JewelMint & Forever 21

In these photos is doesn’t appear that my body type is ideal for the peplum trend, but I decided that it was just the silhouette of the dress I’d chosen to wear under the peplum top. Besides, as far as I’m concerned the highlight of this look is the jewelry anyway. The finger-length floral ring is a recent acquisition from JewelMint and I’m madly madly in love.

Peplum Attempt Take II

Peplum Top – Zara, Pencil Skirt – Zara, Black & White Jacket – Zara, Round Toe Pumps – Very Volatile, Tweed Handbag – Kate Spade, Necklace – Asos, and Rings & Bracelets – JewelMint, Vintage, Forever 21 & BCBG

You can HYPE these looks on Lookbook.nu or shop similar pieces on ASOS Style Finder or by clicking the hyperlinks in the outfit breakdown above.

“I’m a Zara girl, in a Zara world…” I was definitely singing Barbie Girl in my head all morning. 🙂 The pencil skirt did a much better job of complementing the volume of the peplum top than the floral dress that I chose the first day. I’m glad that I gave this another try and didn’t give up after the first attempt was a disappointment!

What do you guys think? Are you willing to try interesting new trends each season? Or do you prefer to stick to your tried-and-true personal style?

A special thank you to my friend Liz for her help with these pictures, I’m an awful subject because I’m so uncomfortable in front of the camera, and I appreciate her never-ending patience with me!

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