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Monday, July 9, 2012

Couture Week with Josse, Mabille, Dior and Valli

Monday: First day of Couture.  It was a big day, and I was thankful for a bit of rest before starting.  The day was to consist of shows by Christope Josse, Alexis Mabille, Christian Dior, and Giambattista Valli.  Doesn't sound like much, but I knew what was ahead.  A lot of waiting, sitting, walking up staircases and racing to the next show - all in six inch heels.  Allez-y!

Christophe Josse is a French designer, relatively new to the Couture scene.  He was granted his Couture membership in January 2011, and I had never seen his work.  Held at the Lycée Henri IV in the 5th arrondissement (an area of art and scholars and where I lived for a short time long, long ago), this was a small show with mostly French guests.

Love this wool dress with croc details
  The collection was nice.  It was very simple in its design, showcasing beautiful lines and interesting fabrics.  The accessories were eclectic from turbans, to flats to feathers.  I'm always a sucker for feathers - and there were lots to be seen at Couture. Josse blended a lot of wool with fur, feathers and crocodile, creating very three dimensional looks.  Not much color to speak of - a lot of muted tones, which I think of as very city and sophisticated.

The bridal look was very angelic - in fact she wore an acrylic halo of sorts atop her head, that I rather liked.  She was a chic and almost casual bride.  If you count hand-embroidered beads, feathers and silk as casual.

After a quick and breezy lunch at Deux Magots (one of my and Hemingway's favorite haunts), my friend Cameron and I made our way back to the hotel for a quick change.  And off to see the Alexis Mabille show.  I adore Alexis Mabille.  I've gotten to know him a little in the past six months, and he is such an endearing and interesting person.  I bought my first ever couture pieces from him in January, and he designed and made my gown for the Met gala in May.  I am a fan.  He had told me that this collection was all about fantasy - and I was excited to see it.  I read that he had been inspired by women as jewels for this collection...

Thinking about this shortened as a cocktail dress...
The collection was eye candy.  There were lots of deep colored velvets adorned with Swarovski crystals, antique lace embroidered with cordonnet, bows in surprising places, and lame, organza, crepe and sequins.  I loved a lot of the pieces, but for me, maybe a bit too much all at once.  The models wore high braided ponytails that arched over their heads and had a crystal drop at the end.  Alexis seems to delve in the avant garde, which I think is cool - if not risky - both characteristics that I like.

After the show with McCall - her first couture show! I'm wearing Alexis Mabille Couture
Oh Dior.  Raf Simons has taken the baton for Dior as Artistic Director.  Simons, a Belgian designer formerly with Jil Sander, certainly brought the crowd with actresses, designers and the likes in attendance.  Like everyone else it seemed, I wanted to see what he was going to do.

Shown in a private house on avenue d'Iena in the 16th, this was indeed going to be special.  Let the romance begin.  I may have fallen in love with Dior and Raf Simons at once upon entering the space.  I was seated in the Dior Salon, as opposed to friends who were in the Blue Salon.  Each room was covered wall to wall in flowers.  The first room to see was the white room: a dream of orchids surrounding you.  I sat in a room of all colored flowers, but they weren't flat as you might expect, but three-dimensional, like bouquets upon bouquets.  I was impressed.  And allergic.

The clothes were beautiful and simple and feminine and rich.  Starting with the black wool suits with cigarette pants that transformed into cigarette pants with cut-off ball gown tops (one of my favorite looks of the collection), there was a clear idea that was consistent with the New Look of Dior in a modernized and functional way.  Instead of being poofy or flowery, the silhouettes were architectural and sculptural.

And the mink pieces.  Pure genius and gorgeous.  The midnight blue mink "bar" dress was breath-taking. The gowns were equally spectacular, and they probably don't show in pictures as well as in person.  My two favorites were the white organza dress that was layered in blue and pink feathers and the white organza dress embroidered with chiffon - Seurat himself could have designed this pointillists floral confetti confection.

Dior is back.  Ladies, get those cigarette pants and pointy stilettos back out to achieve the New New Look!

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