Paris Couture Week Recap
By Nikita Bakhshi
“ Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them” – Marc Jacobs
The Paris Couture Week -Spring 2016 comprised of exquisite beauty and opulence that could only be made my ateliers putting in a herculean amount of love and effort. It saw a fusion of what a human mind and hand can bring to life. Deciding my favourite looks from all the shows was as good as drowning in a sea of decisions. Each piece, talking a story and being phenomena in itself.
Even intense drama can be so simple and minimalistic one realizes with just a glance at the Armani Prive collection. The colour is intense and impactful and preordains the deep impression that the creations leave on the mind. The designs stay as a strong impression on the aesthetic canvas of the mind. To be more precise, going through the collection was like being marooned in a mosaic of mauve hue.
Déjà vu moments definitely, while scrolling through the collection, as it was an ethereal combination of all things flowy, flared and floral. The gowns are perfect for the modern muse who wishes to have her Cinderella moments once in a while.
The exotic East never ceases to inspire the designers and the Ellie Saab creations bear due testimony to the fact. The name itself evokes the Colonial Raj and sure enough the artful blend of the opulence and formalism ring in the memories of the bygone era. The history element of the creations is truly in place as well as the gowns are true blue blooded Edwardian creations with all the grace and glamour of the Edwardian Era and are juxtaposed with brilliant craftsmanship with the Indian undercurrent representative, the Nehru collar jacket. The amalgam of the two strains of the Edwardian Era is just so perfect in the gowns with built in capes and the crystalline camisoles, which were the most flaunted accessory of the ladies of the time. No wonder, then, that each creation of the recreation of the Era gone by, with so much finesse and craft with which the two cultures confluence, is, without doubt, a magnum opus.
Apart from the fact that Chanel is a name to reckon with in the field of Fashion, there is a consistency in the superiority and dignified beauty of all the collections that are showcased and the collection is just another proof of the widely accepted fact. The couture collection mesmerizes with its delicacy, the ethereal colours, the carefully crafted cuts and silhouettes and deeply impressive and appealing designs. The backdrop of the Grand Palais with a garden, ponds, stimulated blue skies and the pavilion adds to the charm and the aura of the collection. There is varied versatility as well with the classic navy and white, classic French collar capes and the pantsuits. There is a glimpse of the French culture in the form of the croissant bun hairstyle and the eye conic eyeliner. Over all, as always, a collection par excellence.
Think out of the box and the creations that best describe the term are the Maison Margiela creations. There is drama, there is glitter, there is pomp, there is surreal appeal and they all add up magically to create a collection that leaves an intensely deep impact, both cathartic and liberating at the same time. The designer’s sensibility and perception is truly original and breaks all stereotype not so much for the shock value but for the important realization that uniquely different perceptions bring out even more uniquely different creations. There is a mystic and an almost esoteric element in the way the make up is done and it duly highlights the theme of the creation. The boots, which were made for walking right inside the closet, have the same surreal yet jarring appeal.
Intricate creativity of Riccardo Tisci’s genius mind shines through the intricate designs laced with ingenuity and unrestrained expression. His collection is a testimony to the famous saying, “Do it with passion, or not at all’. His collection defines liberation and modernity with a blend of the good old couture.
The class and finesse is unmatched in tailor made creations and the collection is a testimony to that. It’s soul food for a person with an eye for detail and perfection. The feather trimmings add to the appeal of the creations, which seem to be ideal for evening wear.
The creations seem to have a beautiful take on the beautiful creations of the aquatic world. The delicate and graceful feather embroidery is inspired so deeply by the pristine beauty of the flamingoes and the storks both known for grace. There cannot be a better representation of what one would call dainty and beautiful, as seen on the collection through the exquisite use of feather embroidery.
One could see that a lot of intricate work had been done on the garments with the extensive use of fishnets, lace edged capes, oversized statement jackets, bleached denim, sequined dresses, crystals and silk. The collection is classy and glamorous at the same time. Trust him for a sartorial and raucous show where models gave each other side-eyes as they cat walked through the runway, giving each other high-fives, smoking and sipping champagne. The collection gave a very chilled out vibe, perfect for nightclubbing and letting your hair down. When we talk of living life on the edge, we are introduced again and again to the brave new world and the philosophy to live and let live, of the desire to live like there’s no tomorrow and to live with convictions so deep that stereotypes become redundant. We may sometimes miss the undercurrent of the grill, the dare to be different spirit. Beauty of a free spirited mind that lives like there is no tomorrow and the sheer celebration of HERE and NOW when we refuse to test creative boundaries- what a testing of boundaries the Jean Paul Gaultier collection is!!
Think royalty, think grace, think blue blood and you get the connotations right. The corsets not only accentuate the waist and bring out the curves, it also brings into dramatic highlight the curves with a surreal illusion. Extensive works on the garments are a plethora of different kinds of lace, satin,sequins, silver beads , floral embroidery, all belonging to a coral-mauve colour scheme.
Needless to say the royal trimming to the collection demands an eye for detail, finesse that goes beyond perfection and there is abundance of it in the collection. Lavish and opulent wedding attire defines the Zuhair Murrad muse. Definitely, this one’s a treat for the eyes.
Talk of velvet, brocade and floor length dresses, one is immediately reminded of the Venetian Era, and that defines the Valentino 2016 Spring Couture collection. Living up to the name of this heritage brand, the collection this year was an exotic blend of youthfulness, simplicity and elaborateness at the same time. God old haute couture and the only name that I can think of is Valentino. Couture is not just a garment, it’s an art. Pleasure to see a brand keeping the heritage and culture of couture alive in the age of commercialized pop culture and fashion.