Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ralph & Russo ... Haute Couture sp 2015

My overview of this collection is as follows:

The design team is definitely focused on the classical glories of haute couture in a somewhat reverential way as well as nostalgically. There apparently are references to some of the greats of this métier: most apparently Dior, of the Christian variety and then some, Balenciaga thrown in to the mix. It is important to note as this is the couture of workmanship and craft and not so much about design that will set the world on fire.

The clothes are apparently perfectly executed in that very classical manner... Everything is precise; every detail has been taken to its limit, perhaps the clothes are too rigid in their overall look. There were some stand out pieces such as the mille feuilles cocktail dress and a couple of flawlessly constructed gazar (I think) gowns. What might have added some excitement here would have been some stronger colorations and some diversity in tones. Except for the black styles, so much seems to just be so tonal so monochromatic as to detract from the beauty of it all. What I am trying to say tis that the lack of color causes a monotony of sorts where all the style seems to run in to one another and that is unfortunate.

Without question these 2 have a flair for the dramatic with opera coats and the ubiquitous high low hemline. One longed for intense contrasts or blasts of colors. One can only imagine what would have been if the palette had been different. For me, these two surely deserve more attention in the future as the potential is there but the “journey” seems a bit misguided at the moment. One thing did enter my mind more so here than most collections and that is “do women really want to wear clothes such as these?”

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jean Paul Gaultier haute couture spring 2015

Okay so let me say this now... thrilled that Jen Paul Gaultier gave u the grind of ready to wear and focused on the Haute Couture. Of course no doubt, this collection will be “reviewed” as if it is ready to wear but such is the wont of an ignorant press. RifRaf, you listening here!! Blah blah you too?

When designers write and develop their own DNA for their eponymous brands and remain loyal to it, they are able to render collections that remain timeless and chock full of clothes that delight their clients. No better place to do this tan in Haute Couture as it must again be stated that these shows are for customers of the retail buying variety and NOT the so called retailers hence they should be judged accordingly.

JPG clients will be throwing themselves at him this season to own another piece or 2 or 3, if they are lucky, as the collection was rife with the trademarks of the “enfant terrible.” Exquisite and precise tailoring, loads of jackets, plenty of his ½ and ½ styles, an incredible iridescent taffeta trench, a wildly imaginative take of jeans and much more! Unfortunately, there was no leopard but as a consolation prize, if you consider winning the couture lotter as a consolation, he gave us python… and enough it to make his ladies squirm with delight as it was incredibly beautiful.

Being the naughty boy he is, the show had multiple finales, multiple brides, a tease of his some of his famous mannequins of the past and a health y does of fashion irreverence. My favorite aspect of his couture shows is that the clothes have e a certain chic to them while still retaining his inimitable DNA as well as infusing his humor during these oh so serious shows. The ways in which he coaxed python and python prints is worthy of being referred to as masterful by exceeding one’s imagination and expectations! Got that rifRaf?

So the take away here, Bravo JPG!  Keep ‘em coming!

Elie Saab Haute Couture Spring 2015

In today’s world, one of the hot button topics of conversation is transparency. Whether you discuss politics, business or fashion, transparency will eventually take over the discussion. Elie Saab has to be considered a champion or chief proponent of this since his early days when Halle Berry first appeared in that Oscar dress. One might call him the Sultan of Soufflé… and maybe not!

Okay, so here it is, Saab is one of those rare designers who manage to segment his collections and all to his advantage. His haute couture rarely features anything other than gowns and dresses that are exclusively suitable for dressiest of events. Keeping this in mind, Mr. Saab seems to be able to keep this almost ethereal and delicate quality to his clothes despite their heavy embellishments which in my mind is an amazing feat of craft. The styles are amazingly varied in both appeal and silhouette ... Another facet of his talent in a world where so many show a single dress in too many color ways and minute variation just to fill a runway. Oopsy!! rifRaf, did you read that??

There is no shortage of drama here and in spite of a very restrained and what some might consider a bland palette, Saab shows off that he can make grey look sexy as hell and that blush is not a color only for menopausal women and J Lo. He conveys this feeling or aura of old Hollywood combined with the new and perhaps that is another part or one of his many talents that keeps him on top of his game. He has the mindset of a designer from a past generation mixed with that of a 21st century designer. Another plus for this man is that he is constantly testing the waters when it comes to the techniques and artistry of the couture. His latest adventure is the seemingly hand painted florals which he has explored in depth and with great result. Saab just does it and does it well while others again just yap on about it and it still looks common .… my bad … rifRaf you reading??

If one can find nothing else to say, it is easy to say that Elie Saab understands that for him more is better … especially when it comes to couture and that he believes every woman of every age can look glamourous and fashionable ...  in this case.. Only if you can afford the price of admission!

Alexandre Vauthier .. Haute Couture .. spring 2015

Noun … sex on a stick  … (idiomatic, slang)  … A person or persons considered to be very sexually attractive. ….. He thinks she is sex on a stick.

And I mean that in the most complimentary way!!! Alexandre Vauthier will never ever be classified as boring, staid of stuffy! This is a man who clearly understands the definition of sexy and knows exactly how to convey it through his collections. No, these are not day clothes or evening clothes or cocktail clothes or even supermarket clothes… these are clothes for women who have the self-confidence of a champion or a star and love a photo flash or attention!

There is so much chatter about young and modern when discussing fashion and yet there are so few designers who know how to manifest these qualities in their collections other than by talking about it... ah yes…  you know … like rifRaf who talks and talks and talks and still you have nothing to see.
Vauthier is a master of the theatrical and yes it is only his formal training that allows him to present such “look at me” and over the top fashion. He is a rock star of fashion without the flash bulbs and hype; he leaves that for his clients who adore and manipulate the media for their celebrity!

Okay, so the clothes are in your face and hotter than hell but they are clothes that his clients want and lust for and whether or not most get it... this is what haute couture is for... for clients not for critics who will never really grasp what they write about other than some fantasy they cook up in their heads. (read blah blah B)  Haute Couture is where the materials and embellishments push the envelope as evidenced by the encrusted, and I do mean encrusted, Lesage crystal pieces and then the amazing the hand cut skins and the intense bandage detailing. Some may read these clothes as bit S&M and some may read it sex for sex sake, but to me this is Vauthier in couture mode where he gets to push the limits to dizzying heights. So to speak the gauntlet is thrown down and the bar has been raised!

In the end, the clothes are exactly what one would expect from a man who has this mind set and so he does not disappoint. Yes, he devised and built his vocabulary and his DNA and he sticks to it!! There are moments when “viewers” must accept the identity of a designer and not critique his raison d’etre especially a designer who has come this far on his own grit! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Armani Privé Spring 2015

After the debacle at Dior, one is just awed by a designer who can present a collection that is rife with chic, understated, exquisitely executed, almost ethereal looking clothes. Such is the case with Giorgio Armani and Armani Privé.

Without question it is a feat of brilliance to deliver a collection that is appears to be so weightless and ... Relatively speaking ...with  nary a bead in sight. Armani remains absolutely true to himself by offering the tailored and the flou, not to mention both day and evening. Albeit ... whilst women still dressed like this!

The bamboo pattern runs through the collection and the palette could not me more delicate. There is such an amazing fragility to these clothes that they defy the thought of manufacture. It is as if they just appear from sketch to reality with no middle steps.

The overwhelming softness of the collection, the almost blurring of hard edges, all but creates an aura around these pieces. As a fan, my eyes are never bored with the man or what he turns out. This collection was relatively sparse when it can to accessories except for what I call the samurai sash/belt that is used throughout. There were a few arresting feats or trophies from the ateliers but my vocabulary limits me from properly describing. These were these eye popping artisanal pieces that are only magnified by the contrast they evoke when shown with the usual fare. At lack of a better description one might say this was pure 100% Giorgio Armani in all its glory.

If rifRaf wasn’t so full of himself and so wrapped up in rhetoric he might notice that Dior pales in comparison on so many levels which is really an embarrassment since Dior has been at this (Haute Couture) for over half a century and the house of Armani for not much more than a decade. Armani and his brand are as one!

PS…  was that a petit homage to Balenciaga at the end in the blue plumed dress?