Spring/Summer 2014 Paris Couture Week showed the world couture in a different light altogether. No longer is the genre circumscribed within the confines of ceremonial elegance and traditional formal elements alone. Sophisticated delicate ball gowns moved alongside sporty trainers and daring corsets on the runways and what unfolded demonstrated the superior refinement and artistic dignity of the collections that is the soul of couture. There was a mix of old and new with some stand out styles that we’d like to see infiltrate the high street and red carpet for the summer.
Chanel and Christian Dior S/S14 Paris Couture Week
Sneaker Fun: First came low kitten heels, then gladiator flats, and next followed masculine loafers. Most recently raging popular lace-up booties made their appearance too. Consequently common sense would dictate trainers would be the next on the list of hot footwear trends. Still hindsight is 20/20 and if you didn’t see it coming we wouldn’t blame you. In keeping with the sports luxe fad, Chanel flooded the Paris runway with disco glitter and white sneakers to match their spritely pastel candy tweed skirts. Karl Lagerfeld wasn’t the only one in an athletic frame of mind, Christian Dior also mixed in some trainers wanting to ‘Liberate couture’ for the youth. We suspect at least the models were grateful to trade in their heels for comfort.
Giambattista Valli S/S14 Paris Couture Week
Skirting the Rules: The micro miniskirts at Giambattista Valli were another rule breaker at couture week. However Valli ingeniously redecorated the eyebrow raising silhouette with skillful peplum layers and beautiful fabric folds to defuse the shock factor and instill couture worthy modesty. We hope to see the complex voluminous cut find its way to watered down high street versions.
(Left) Atelier Versace | (Right) Armani Privé
Atelier Versace S/S14 Paris Couture Week
Hooded Glory: While we would expect to see Atelier Versace pull off hooded couture in a way that was feminine and powerful at the same time, head scarves were also spotted at Armani Privé to accessorize a collection that was all class. Using silk tie fabrics in night blues and slate greys Armani created a new dimension where gypsy styling met with smart upscale blazers and glossy pleated soft trousers. We wonder if we might see hooded heads and trainers on the next round of awards red carpets.
Elie Saab S/S14 Paris Couture Week
Valentino S/S14 Paris Couture Week
Zuhair Murad S/S14 Paris Couture Week
3D Origami: Lifelike fluttering floral origami appliqué bouquets danced in 3D on fairytale dresses at Elie Saab while complex forests of butterflies and florals were seen in more dramatic fashion at Valentino. The cut work appliqué technique is a great form of embellishment to fight weighty bling. Viewing the frothy blossoms we were reminded of leading local high street fashion house Sheep and their pret wear involving the expert technique. Extending origami applique from couture to western pret wear wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Alexander Vauthier and Ulyana Sergeenko
Corsets: More brazen than the miniskirts at Valli were the intrepid leather and silk corsets at Alexander Vauthier and Ulyana Sergeenko. Corset tops are having a major fashion moment in pret wear and the very 18th century article of clothing that represented control and restrictions placed on women has since been reinvented to be synonymous with high power edgy fashion that has now also penetrated couture.
Valentino S/S14 Paris Couture Week
Armani Privé S/S14 Paris Couture Week
Alexander Vauthier S/S14 Paris Couture Week
Valentino and Zuhair Murad S/S14 Paris Couture Week
Some of the older trends continued to evolve at couture week as well. Boho unfinished fringe and tassels along with demure kaftans were spotted at Valentino, ingenious pleats in structured and fluid trousers soared at Armani Prive and were also employed for tulle dresses that deserved a standing ovation at Vauthier. Finally ever more beautifully crafted head to toe dreamy lace and sheers mesmerized at Valentino, Elie Saab, and Zuhair Murad.
Published in Express Tribune Life & Style | Photos courtesy Vogue
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