Versace made a return to Paris Haute Couture Week after eight years since 2004. The return highlighted its plan to show that in a recession fashion is still relevant. Versace clearly means business by showing that fashion can survive in a changing world. It’s comeback in couture when the emerging economies e.g. Middle East, Asia and Brazil are investing in luxury clothes. Armani reported a rise in sales for couture of 50% in 2011 compared to 2010 and Valentino's couture sales rose 80%. Yet it’s also paying attention to the other end of the market due to its successful collaboration with H&M. (Long may it continue)
The intimate Atelier Versace show at the Ecole des Beaux Arts had stars such Cameron Diaz, Diane Kruger, Abbie Cornish, and Anna Dello Russo in attendance. Instead of walking down the runway, a supermodel filled (Karlie Kloss, Lindsey Wixson, Arizona Muse, Karmen Pedaru, and Josephine Skriver) were among those who showcased the 15-look collection on a presentation platform.
The collection was signature Versace, recognizably sophisticated with its silhouettes accentuating the beauty of a woman’s figure with a dramatic glamazonian twist. It had highlights of the mermaid theme SS12 Prêt-à-Porter and the bold tones in Versace for H&M.
I was enchanted by the daring and beautiful designs. Versace mastered elegance with corseted metallic glittery gowns packed with high slits, sheer detailing and lace but with a 3D futuristic look. The corseted pieces, led by Kloss, had sheer panels, gold metal insets, armoured plastics, high shine and geometric details. Such a sharp contrast, but it worked. The cutouts, heavily textural feel, and architectural details were eye catching. I can’t imagine seeing many on the red carpet. Gaga perhaps? There were hot orange and lime mini dresses, floor sweeping grey dresses and bodysuits with jackets to keep things interesting. I thought the armoured shoes were outstanding. Sometimes transforming themselves into thigh-high boots. Every piece presented was teamed with high ponytails, seductive smoky eye and nude lip which perfected every look.
My favourite? Hard to choose as I’m in love with every structure, curve, bone and fabric. I love the intricate detailing on the gold one that Arizona Muse wore. Love the last fire-orange gown, the sheer fabric is remarkable. But I’m drawn to the short acidic yellow piece that only good legs can sport. So inspiring. I bought a structured neon neoprene dress from ASOS BLACK a while back that I have not worn. I will now.
Other Notable Mentions
Christian Dior was complete U turn to Versace, more of a classic old Hollywood look for real women with real figures. The collection seemed more sensible: floor length gowns, pencil and peplum skirts, organza 50’s cocktail dresses. It featured voluminous sheer skirts, elbow-length gloves, and houndstooth separates in basic tones with embroidered subtle beading. Gaytten did a good job but I missed the drama of Galliano. Dior heritage was noticeable- The 1947 New Look Bar jacket came in black and white. Karlie Kloss was in my fourth favourite look, a sheer light white puff sleeved organza dress with detailed black beading. Loved the simple understated tulle ball-gowns in purple, nude and black plus the final red look. My two favourites are the two below. The gradual change of tone is magical. I WANT!
Amy Winehouse was Jean Paul Gaultier's muse and like Amy the collection didn't fail to disappoint. It was a fitting tribute with a vibrant pop culture feel teamed with an acapella quartet. The theatrical show had cigarette-smoking retro pin-up models sporting beehives, winged 50s eyeliner and silk veils. Some were more masculine with draped jackets and trousers. Nothing had been overlooked. My favourites? The tough structured bustiers and cone bras coupled with bright loose trenches and embellished veils.
Elie Saab's collection brought good old fashioned romance to Paris and was a reminder that the Oscars are just around the corner. Fairy tale inspired, candy coloured (we'll see loads of that this summer), embellished vintage looking dresses was a sweet interpretation of couture. The gowns had splashes of shimmer, tulle flowers and leafs with plentiful crystal embellishment. Yet every piece appeared weightless. The colour palette consisted of cotton candy, peaches, power blues, peppermints. Saab and Versace were the only collections that I wanted every single look.
Favourite individual looks
|Chanel ( I always said i needed a cocoon coat)|