While the number of shows continues to shrink from season to season, the recent Haute Couture shows for Spring 2012 rigorously continued on with the regal, other-worldly appeal that couture has always made feel so ultimately exclusive.
And although a new guard is slowly joining the ranks with collections that veer a tad bit too much towards the unnecessarily dramatic, there were a handful of top shows that offered thoroughly modern and gloriously conceived options for the elite princesses and glamor girls of the world and for us simple dreamers alike.
What a difference a few seasons of directing ready-to-wear for Christian Dior has made for Bill Gaytten as his second couture outing for Dior was a hands down winner.
And it’s all understandable considering the formidable shoes he’s had to fill after John Galliano’s abrupt exit from Christian Dior.
As Galliano’s side man for over a decade, Gaytten was smart to channel his predecessors plays on vintage starlet style from the likes of Grace Kelly and what not for a collection that championed easy glamor with a slight retro feel.
And you could see his frothy black floor-length a-line gown working its magic on Hollywood a-listers of all ages just like much of the collection. Rather than focus on unadulterated fantasy, Gaytten smartly held in the reins for the kind of subtle drama that’s made other houses like Valentino shine so brightly as of late.
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli’s proposals for Valentino have won them a bevy of fans amongst the international fashion set with their complete and carefully executed overhaul of the Valentino image and their latest couture outing made for another remarkable fete accompli.
Delicate, watery blossoms covered almost everything in a manner that brought Laura Ashley’s iconic naive floral prints to mind while the silhouette took a cue from 70’s era Valentino shapes that are still full of enough essential ease and simplistic modernity for today.
The best looks were floor sweeping a-line gowns with full on print as were the pussy-bow topped frothy chiffon numbers. All in all, it made for another exercise of the duo’s skilled set of codes chez Valentino while continuing to catapult the storied house as a re-imagined major player once again.
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Although the cliche sayings related to Hollywood glamor make us cringe from time to time, Giambattista Valli’s latest couture offering delivered just that and then some while highlighting his fantastical mastery of haute couture at it’s finest.
From deluxe day dressing options with an updated proper 60’s vibe to goddess gowns in glorious, vibrant prints, Valli’s level of taste paired with an immaculate execution of all things made this a show full of decadent impact while remaining ultimately timeless.
After all, it takes a studied hand to create a range so evocative of appropriate glamor while avoiding the threat of appearing costumey or show-stopping -thankfully, the need for that is long gone.
Original publish date: January 26, 2012