Thursday, January 26, 2017

Jean Paul Gaultier & Valentino haute couture spring 2017



What can be said of these 2 collections other than one is positively and patently ridiculously minimal made with maximum labor and the other is a designer who designs and celebrates fashion in every way. It never occurred to me that there is such a thing as monastic and funereal frocks that are pale in color and yet here we have oodles of them here.
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Valentino is a yawn inducing exercise in how to make deceptively simple boring clothes with maximum pricing for little to no reason other than ego.  A friend referred to them as burial sheaths and that sure seems to be as accurate and apt as it can get. I see these clothes as heavily influenced by peignoirs, nuns, vestal virgins and night clothes and not in a sexy way. They are if anything erotically void and bland in the extreme, maybe you can just call them benign. Couture is about grand gestures and emotionally provocative clothes but it is rarely if ever boring; it may be “been there done” that or "it's been done before” or even just plain hideous BUT it is rarely if ever BORING! Apparently this designer has opted to stay his course and allow for the easiest comparison to his former partner who sticks to the same mindset and neither move on yielding 2 brands with less than thrilling collections. Take note of the slip dresses with straps too long as if to show off a sagging bust line and that silly tubular quilted bust line. Of course we can speak of the preponderance of duster coats and the complete absence of day wear but why bother... onto the next season of ennui and monotony chez Valentino. Sadly Valentino has lost the excitement and panache it once possessed. 
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Moving right along we arrive at destination Gaultier, home of the ribald color explosion and over the top presentation that has become a benchmark for the designer. He is a designer who designs, who massages and utilizes his DNA and produces clothes that are to be worn, coveted and collected by the cognoscenti of fashion. Yes, you must look past all the brouhaha and antics of each show but if you can see past that, you find amazingly beautiful well designed feminine clothes. 
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He is a celebration of fashion and of the haute couture with his flamboyant color palette and the OTT styling but what a joy to watch. I was told many decades ago, that one must always remember that Gaultier is a tailor at heart and he reaffirms that with fabulous jackets of every possible incarnation. Season after season the Gaultier vocabulary is defty spoken and season after season it remains strong and ever expanding, you might say JPG is expansive yet focused on all that he created and has yet to create. In essence it is distinctly and consistently what haute couture is all about ... taking fashion to the extreme especially in manufacture and embellishment … JPG is a celebration and homage to haute couture in every way. 
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