From left: Maison Martin Margiela, Elie Saab, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vionnet and Valentino

From left: Maison Martin Margiela, Elie Saab, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vionnet and Valentino

Maison Martin Margiela

How could Paul Poiret, Elsa Schiaparelli, Vincent Van Gogh and Line Vautrin all possibly be used in one, single collection? The answer was given today at Maison Martin Margiela’s haute couture collection where the whole Margiela team of artisans, lead by Matthieu Blazy, presented garments that where a potpourri of materials, styles and ideas but the final result was magnificent (as always). There was a whole century of fashion history, all gathered in twenty-two looks: from a coat that came straight from the 1911 Poiret’s Oriental-themed party presented with a sheer skirt decorated with silver and gold coins  "sourced in various dressing-table drawers and from flea markets across Paris and Brussels" to the shiny, embroidered, Japanese bomber jackets from the 50’s  – extended into evening gowns- collected between “garage sales in New York and antique dealers in London”. Elsa Schiaparelli and Van Gogh were both represented; the first with two masterfully embroidered lobsters – one in red and one in blue (still can’t decide which one I like better) – and the latter with a lavish iris dress made of thousands upon thousands of beads and sequins. The time and patience that took to make that dress alone was more than enough to make this a spectacular couture collection in a true Margiela fashion. 

Elie Saab

Why even bother doing day-wear at a couture collection when you can present a total of forty-three gowns, one more sparkling and embellished than the previous one? This must have been more or less what went through Elie Saab’s mind while thinking about his latest haute couture collection because evening looks were the only ones to be seen on the runway. There were even some cocktail length dresses, but they were few and far between to make sure that the sole attention of the spectator was the parade of huge gowns that went on the runway. The gowns were spectacular – this much is a given at an Elie Saab collection- but there was something that seemed a bit off. Maybe it was the fact that not a single one of the pieces presented was new or innovative. They were all variations on the same dresses that we have seen oh so many times walk down the Elie Saab runway. They were beautiful, gorgeous, dreamy, dazzling but variations nonetheless, and a new melody would be more than welcome. One of the highlights of the show were actually the light-as-feather chiffon dresses in gray, red and copper: they were like a breath of fresh air in an otherwise too heavy show. 

Jean Paul Gaultier

There are times while watching a collection when you don’t understand right away where the designer was coming from and especially where he was going, but this is not the case of Jean Paul Gaultier’s haute couture presentation. The inspiration was very clear: seductive, dangerous, elegant, ageless vampires. The whole show was full of references and not-so-subtle hints to his inspiration, starting from the hair and make up to the fangs-shaped studs that decorated the dresses,  but it never looked forced or too costumey like it could easily have. Instead, there seemed to be some sort of weird sobriety about them that was balanced with seemingly effortless but impeccable tailoring. The mille-feuilles of organza garments were among the strongest pieces of the collection along with the ombrè-shaded, sequin-embellished final gowns that looked like pure fire. The show was scary… scary good. 


There are not many people who can mold fabric the way that Hussein Chalaya can so it’s only fitting for him to create the couture collection for Vionnet whose founder, Madeleine Vionnet, was known as “the queen of draping” and “the architect among dressmakers”. This couture collection was indeed very architectural, featuring giant grommets through which came out layers of contrasting, pleated fabric and 3-D spirals that added a fascinating yet at times weird looking element to the show. The majority of the collection consisted in long, pleated gowns that were often completed by two-toned coats and capes. There were some missed looks – like the short dresses with long train- but they were the exception to an otherwise rich and intriguing show.


Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have made it clear: they love to create long, flowy, ancient-goddess-like dresses and this couture show was no exception. The garments presented had all the elements we’ve come to expect from the duo: they were tailored to perfection, had a sense of raw, natural beauty - one of the inspirations for this collection were, in fact, the Pre-Raphaelites and their exaltation of nature- but still managed to feel expensive and rich thanks to the masterfully applied embroidery and the hand painted fabrics. Unfortunately the beauty of the clothes wasn’t enough. The show failed to bring anything new to the table, delivering only a variation on a too recurring theme and In a fashion week in which all the designers brought their A-game the Valentino collection was slightly underwhelming and, worst of all, forgettable. 

You Might Also Like

0 commenti

Flickr Images