Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Couture ragoût fall 2017




There were fantastical, comical, unbelievable, magical, hysterical, certifiable moments ... there were stellar moments that celebrate as an almost hymnal or devotional to the art and craft of haute of haute couture… there were moments of headshaking insanity and hilarity … there were moments of WTF is that and WTF were you thinking… moments of high camp and low taste  ... moments of the future and remnants of the past and to say that there were peaks and valleys would be an understatement … but alas in very small doses there were moments that you felt the impossible seemed possible. 

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Without question there some astounding moments from the likes of Giambattista Valli that came in the form of georgette dresses that were so meticulously and rapturously draped as to recall the past glories of Madame Grès and there were embarrassments from those who took to borrowing from less that astonishing ready to wear. There were flights of fancy from Schiaparelli and crash and burns at Ralph and Russo. There were moments that made you wonder that if Iris van Herpen looks mainstream and not so conceptual, what has happened to the collective eye or has the world gone mad? There were costume epics at Guo Pei, hefty bag drama at A.F. Vandevorst and drag queen drama at Ronald van der Kemp. There were even moments of chic abandon at Alberta Ferretti and too many moments of high camp.
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The take away is that there is definitely a blurring of lines when the astute viewer ponders as to where is the border between haute couture and ready to wear aside from the made to measure aspect? To me there is a confusion that sways between pile it on till hell won’t have it and then paring it down til you yawn at the simplicity. There were clouds of tulle that looked as if they magically and impossibly floated down a runway and embroideries rich enough to adorn Elizabethan velvets; Valli provided some exquisite pieces that have been so sorely lacking during this abbreviated season but bloated  and he truly flexed his fashion muscle by not only sticking to his brand DNA but also expanding the Valli vocabulary.
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As a whole you really have to wonder where the elegance has gone and the times that made one slack jawed from what was presented. Have we become that jaded or has the body of work been “dumbed down?” Where are the countless times you wondered how in the world could they make this happen? What kind of vivid and boundless imagination could conjure such glorious moments of fashion? Can someone explain it besides saying the world has changed and this is the progression ... I find that to be a cop out rather than reason.
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