Couture catch-up

Fall Winter 2016 collections seem drenched in fantasy, fairytales and drama.

If Fendi’s 90th anniversary was inspired by a 1914 fairytale book, Valentino offered tribute to William Shakespeare bringing to mind his iconic play some of them set in Rome and Venice. Christian Dior reinterpreted the iconic bar jacket and suit silhouette and presented them in an of-the-moment format. Chanel brought their backrooms into focus with Karl Lagerfeld taking a bow with the house’s petites mains, or “little hands”.

Inspiration: A 1914 book of fairy tales, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, illustrated by the Danish artist Kay Nielsen

Highlights: Perhaps the most talked-about couture show this season, for its 90th anniversary, the label secured the Trevi Fountain. There were mini squares of mink that took 1,200 work hours to stitch together mosaic-style reinterpreting a magical forest. Crocheted dresses were embroidered with long-hair mink and fringed leather and lace dresses were appliquéd with hand-extracted florals from sheared mink. Pouch bags and ankle boots added to the whimsical finish.

Inspiration: 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death

Highlights: Models looked like emperors, holy men and princelings from some of the Bard’s most celebrated works like Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. The high-neck ruffled collars, latticeworked necklines stood out and so did golden, pearl-embroidered brocades; and taffeta capes. A pink chiffon and tulle dress exuded Shakespearean romance while a bronze, imposing taffeta dress characterised by 110 hours of hand painted animals was contrasted with a poplin collar. Truly befitting a regal monarch!

Christian Dior
Inspiration: Christian Dior’s 1947 New Look Bar jacket and crinolined skirt

Highlights: Meier and Ruffieux’s collection was inspired by the ‘beating heart’ of Dior – the shapely ‘Bar’ suit. Models sported dramatic smokey eyes which stood out with mainly monochrome ensembles – hip-length black tops paired with full skirts and soft trousers. Perhaps one of the most wearable collections which gloried thanks to a panoply of gilded accessories. There were faint embellishments which later got more pronounced as models strutted one after another as the show progressed making it even more charming.

Inspiration: The hallowed house’s atelier on Rue Cambon

Highlights: The seamstresses worked on toiles as models walked out with their curly hair tied into up-dos wearing cropped tweed wide-leg pantsuits. The kitten-heels, ankle-hugging black suede boots under the cropped wide pants added to the great finish. The label’s embroidery, paillettes, and embedded strands of emerald and rubies were the real winners. Trust Karl Lagerfeld to bring the atelier to the runway.


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