|Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2015|
(All photos Style.com, Getty Images & Vogue.com)
Talk about going from the sublime to the ridiculous. Or perhaps it’s the other way around. No sooner did the menswear collections for fall 2015 come to an end in Paris, then the magical world of haute couture began. And while in past seasons, I might have pointed out that it quickly went from grounded reality to fantastical flights of fancy; not so this time around, as the menswear shows were certainly filled with their share of the latter and it could hardly have been considered a season that was ‘garden variety’.
|Valentino Spring 2015 Haute Couture|
Speaking of ‘garden variety’.the haute couture shows for spring 2015 were marked by enormous variety (each of the 15 houses did their own thing and played off their unique signature strengths). That being said, it was hard not to notice an emphasis on flowers and florals (they never seem to fade from fashion’s horizon and in fact, they were even proposed for the guys on the recent runways for fall 2015). And while there were many highlights during the week, perhaps the most poignant show for me had to be Valentino (though I could have done without some of the overly costumey pieces). It was an homage to love, (“Amore”) and the design duo, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli cited as their inspirations: Shakespeare, Dante’s Inferno, and Marc Chagall (a personal favorite of mine).
Marc Chagall was born Moishe Shagal in 1887, and emigrated from Vitebsk, Belarus in Russia to Paris in 1910. His instantly recognizable, fantastical, and mystical paintings were often religiously themed, and they focused on every day scenes from what was an impoverished life in the shtetl. Yet the resulting works of art were not depressing and sad or mournful, but hopeful, joyful, and life affirming, and for him, they represented a true labor of love. The fact that he was Jewish, as were his subjects, is not lost on me given the recent terrorist killings in a Jewish deli in the outskirts of Paris, and the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, specifically France.
It was also hard not to notice how many designers seemed intent on injecting a dose of reality within their extravagant collections, accessorizing as they did with grounded boots and flat shoes. There were flat white espadrilles at Jean Paul Gaultier; flat black midcalf boots at Chanel; flatform thong sandals at Viktor & Rolf; flat ballerinas with upturned toes at Ulyana Sergeenko; flat metallic sandals at Elie Saab; and black patent leather pointy toed flat men’s oxfords at Jean Paul Gaultier and Bouchra Jarrar. But regardless, it’s a stretch to use the words haute couture and reality in the same sentence, given the astronomical prices, which are out of reach and beyond the grasp for most of us. Though, not for the glamorous celebrities who routinely seek out made to order, one of a kind creations for their real life needs (personal appearances, weddings, premiers, galas, openings, and all the various and sundry award shows).
And right now, there are plenty of big deal events looming in the horizon: the Grammy Awards are on Sunday February 8th, the Academy Awards are on Sunday February 22nd, the Met Gala, themed around the exhibition, “China: Through the Looking Glass”, is Monday May 4th, and the Cannes Film Festival runs through May 13th through May 24th. So, as I watched the shows, I found myself speculating as to which designs would most likely appear on which stars (or in some cases, which designs I would like to see on certain stars), and would thereby make it from runway to their reality.
|Left Amal Cooney; Right: Bouchra Jarrar Haute Couture 2015|
|Left Kate Hudson; Right: Versace Atelier Haute Couture Spring 2015|
|Left: Goldie Hawn in Laugh-In; Right: Dior Haute Couture Spring 2015|
|Left: Julianne Moore at the Golden Globes 2015 in Givenchy Haute Couture;|
Right: Elie Saab Haute Couture Spring 2015
|Left: Rihanna in Chanel Right; Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2015|
|Left: Lupita Nyong'o attends CFDA Awards; Right: Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring 2015|
|Left: Katie Perry; Right: Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2015|
|Left Taylor Swift performs in London; Right: Atelier Versace Spring 2015 Haute Couture|
|Left: Emma Stone in Lanvin; Right: Ulyana Sergeenko Spring 2015 Haute Couture|
|Left: First Lady in Marchesa; Right: Valentino Spring 2015 Haute Couture|
- Marilyn Kirschner