Haute Couture S/S08 II

To be honest, the last few seasons of Chanel have not been too impressive for me. It was either uninspiring or so artistic that it was beyond my comprehension. But in this season's haute couture show, the Chanel I know is finally back. The collection was simply AMAZING and I loved everything on the runway. Inspired by spiraling forms and delicate colors of shells, the models resembled youthful nymphs flowing down the runway. According to the reviews, there was also a giant Chanel jacket made of concrete in the room, that reminds one of the Tristan throne in the Little Mermaid, further alluding to the sea theme.
By pairing the classic Chanel suit jackets with these short draping and pleated skirts, Karl cleverly adds a flirty fun touch to the whole outfit.
The collar of the long coat (left) adds a modern touch to a classic piece. And the exaggerated style of the white blouse (right) is elegantly distinctive and not clownish at all (as over exaggerated pieces tend to be).
The evening/cocktail dresses were the best. Karl had beautiful romantic pieces (like above), exquisitely made with frills and details, that were pretty, girly and very very feminine.
He also had more modern youthful fun pieces that were totally adorable and cute.
He then had modern yet more sophisticatedly designed pieces that were elegant and simply stunning. The workmanship of that silver long dress is simply genius. The frills, the different materials and those two pockets- genius!
And of course there were black dresses (wouldn't be a Chanel runway without black dresses!). These are definitely more creative and different from the black Chanel dresses we're all used to. In fact, the black dress on the left reminds me a teensy bit of Armani......
And I love love love the last silver dress (right). She looks exactly what I imagine a fairy/nymph would look like. I especially like the fact that it is more loosely cut and not like all those super fitted evening wears out there we're so used to seeing.
Another thing I love about this show are the mary jane the flats throughout. All the models wore flats with outfit, which gave an extra youthful touch to all the outfits- even the evening wear. It totally made me rethink the role of flats. That sit, after I write this I am going to go dig out my mary jane flats!
Oooh and the hair. I LOVE the hairstyle, they made them look like fairies even more. I wonder how I can make this look more wearable..... perhaps a neat bun with gorgeous sparkly hair accessories?

Christian Lacroix
The theme of the Christian Lacriox show was, An Angel Passing By. I don't really see how that is from the outfits, but maybe it is something one feels when one is there? Anyway, despite that, I thought the collection was quite marvelous. It was everything I expected from a Christian Lacroix haute couture show. As the reviewer on style.com said, "...Lacroix is doing nothing new. The ideas that went into this incredible collection are the ones he's always worked at: influences from the eighteeth century, fin de si├Ęcle Paris, and gypsy costume." And I totally agree. What is really marvelous about his collection is the genius way he throws the most unlikely fabrics and colors together and makes it work in the most stunning way visually. His intricate and exquisite workmanship is also unparalleled.
An excellent example of his mastery with mixing. Who would've thought that red plaid, blue brocade and leopard print and blue/black strips, red plaid and leopard print would go so well together?
Admittedly a lot of times, his outfits are more costume like than ever, but that IS the point of haute couture. Just LOOK at the workmanship! How does the sleeves (and the dress for that matter) hold up (left)??? How does the drapes and shape of the skirts stay that way?
My personal favourite outfits were his blue ones. I'm not sure if it is simply a personal obsessions with blue for me or not, but the blue outfits just looks STUNNING. He had these two that were distinctively Victorian with a bit of an equestrian feel.
And these two blue creations are also brilliant in a more "modern" style that is both vibrant and youthful.
I am still trying to decide whether these two would make vividly gorgeous wedding dresses in reality (minus all that heavy headgear etc) or would just make a bad memory.

Regardless of its practicality in real life, the Lacroix collection was a visual feast for those of us who love beautiful things.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have the Givenchy collection that is the antithesis to Lacroix's style. While Lacroix had vibrant hues and an array of different patterns and flowing textures, Riccardo Tisci had subdued colors and a structured style that is distinctively minimalist. Yet they both equally make us salivate with lust just looking at them. Inspired by the gothic ballerina, the shape of the skirts were both flowing and structured all at once. How does he DO it??? With a lot of starch? And the tailoring of the jacket (left) and the ruffles (right) on the top is just genius.
The outfit on the left is the definition of minimalism. And the white dress is a beeeeeautiful work of art.
Besides black and white, Tisci also experimented with metallic fabrics and other bold colors (he also had a really really all red dress!). I love the shape and tailoring of the metallic dress (left) and how he mixed the fabrics in the green/white dress (right).
I absolutely LOVE these two dresses. You know how in Project Runway they talk about how a collection needs to be coherent yet not repetitive? Well I think these two are the definition of that. They are obviously from the same collection, yet one is feminine and girly (left) and one is styled and sophisticated.

Image Source: Elle.com