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There are Haute Couture Fashion Collections and then…There is Azzedine Alaïa

From Benjamin Kanarek Blog

My expectations for the last Haute Couture Fashion Week shown in Paris at the beginning of July, was not of the kind that I thought would leave a lasting impression. The Fashion Designers Showing in the Official Haute Couture schedule is shrinking from one season to the next. I would love to see a revamping of the Couture Fashion Weeks in Paris. Luckily, there were some rays of light coming through the heavy cast of clouds to brighten up my day and the confirmation of a heavy trend: the arrival of the coat-dress for the winter season.

The Good News...

Giambattista Valli presented his first Couture Collection in Paris. It is always good news to see a new comer in the Haute Couture official Schedule reinforcing the statement that Couture has a raison d'être (reason to exist). The collection is quite complete from day wear with the coat-dress, the must of the season, cocktail dresses and evening gowns. The Giambasttista Valli clients are with no doubt feminin and chic, bringing a bit of a 60's retro feel with beige, coral, animal-printed mousselines, beige ostrich-feathers and red dresses with Valentino influences.

Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2011/2012 © Yannis Vlamos -

Iris van Herpen was invited to present a retrospective of her poetic experimental work from her "Crystallization Collection". She worked around a concept of the transformation of liquid into crystals. The volumes and materials are more about art performances and sculptures than wearable outfits like a skeleton dress to a water spray mini-dress. Her work is very organically inspired and reminds me of Alexander McQueen or Hussein Chalayan's most conceptual work. I see a great potential in this young fashion designer, but would like to see how she transcribes her research into commercially viable clothing.

Iris Van Herpen Couture Fall-Winter 2011/2012 © VOGUE Paris

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