The highbrow world of haute couture continues to be a lesson in contradiction. It celebrates the inspired ritual of the fashion industry’s creative expression–yet, in reality, it is the industry’s most exclusive rite available only to a select few. Nonetheless, the conversation regarding the relevance of haute couture endures. What purpose does it serve in the frenzied pace of the ready-to-wear market—which presents six collections a year—and the mass market industry of disposable clothing? Fashion trends, profiles and reviews.
The rarefied world of haute couture is not simply a marketing tool for the couture houses. It delivers dreams about the possibility of pure elegance and extravagance! Both individually and collectively, this season the designers of the few selected couture houses let their imaginations run wild and brought us breathtaking fantasy!
Atelier Versace opened the Fall Winter 2015-2016 Couture Fashion Week in Paris channeling A Midsummer Night’s Dream, an ethereal fairyland at its best. The whirlwind week (actually three days) closed in Rome with a Valentino spectacle saluting dark spirits. Valentino usually shows his couture collection in Paris, but this year the firm brought the show to Rome, the city where the current designers Gratzia Chuiri and Pierpaolo Piccioli live.
And in between, there was voluminous feathered opulence at Giambattista Valli; chic celebrity sightings and a mash-up of archival shapes, (and a bride) at Chanel; color, color, color at Armani Privé, and Raf Simons continues to revive the structured silhouettes to perfection at Dior.
In the collective imagery of this season’s shows, there were a few (namely two) striking similarities that reigned supreme—feathers and fur with their origins, of course, tracing back into the world of fantasy.
The Fall-Winter 2015-2016 Couture shows were a festival of invention in themselves—sophisticated, highly cultured collections exuding creative expression, which elevated mere clothing into an art form. ■
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