To show couture might be considered vulgar in these times if it was staged any place other than Paris. But there's something so historic, so comforting and so right about frivolity of any manner in Paris. From coiffures in the prisons to the President marrying a controversial pop star. I, for one, love it.
But after some stunning presentations and collections for Resort 2009 preceded by nearly surreal couture collections in January, there was a hint of the somber to the couture shows so far--which is akin to saying that the Jacksons were demure at Michael's funeral. By their very essence, it's never really going to happen. Suffice to say, even dear old Uncle Karl seemed (gasp!) sensible at the house of Chanel with hemlines that hit the knee, sensible suiting options, and basic navy, red, gray, ivory and black. There were a few luscious fur trims, but not overtop fur as in past seasons. All very saleable pieces and, of course, all shown with black lace tights. Boop boopy do, woo!
Christian Lacroix's show reminded me of a beautiful funeral march. Those in the industry know that his former owners massacred the staff at Lacroix and his future is certainly iffy--a tragedy for someone who is arguably the master of couture right now. It was gorgeous although, as Style.com put it, restrained. But it felt right given that the only people paid to make the show happen were the models. Same as Chanel, we saw the one-shoulder gown again with goddess-like draping. I imagine that silhouette is now a constant classic in the fashion and red carpet lexicon, which makes it sure fire for sales. And at the end of the day, if we learn anything from Monsieur Lacroix, it all boils down to sales whether it's couture or a licensed perfume.
On a happy note, it seems that Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, Valentino's former accessory designers, have finally gotten off on the right foot with the legendary collection. In all fairness, Signore Valentino is no easy act to follow. Hello! He was Jackie O.'s faaaaaay-vorite! But the show featured all the signs of a very Valentino collection--lots of pretty, lots of lace, lots of bow-type ruffle things, lots of cocktail appropriate attire. And no red, which is fine. Black is very safe and, say it again with me, saleable! I look forward to seeing more from the duo.
Anyway. More couture tomorrow, chickens! We haven't touched Dior!