2010 July 7

Runway Reviews: Couture Fall 2010

Chanel Haute Couture, Fall 2010 Chanel Haute Couture, Fall 2010
Getty Images
View Gallery

(PARIS) Chanel
Karl Lagerfeld’s enchanting Grand Palais show played out like a supernatural Byzantine fairytale. A 45-foot lion and a giant pearl were just some of the symbols that paid tribute to Coco, but the dresses, tweeds, and skirts had a distinctly glittery Russian bravura. Natasha Poly opened the show sporting glistening red lipstick and a dark cherry-colored number, and the message was clear: there would be no noir at this season’s party, and in fact, no dresses dared to bare the knees. And while the first half of the Lagerfeld spectacular was in all shades of camel and plum, the second glistened with plenty of embroidery, lurex, and jewels. It was a study in restraint and opulence at the same time, a la Beauty and the Beast, just as Iris and Baptise confidently illustrated showing off the collection's final looks.

We're so deprived. No Givenchy show this season, but Riccardo Tisci’s ten-look couture effort (very loosely inspired by Mexico's Day of the Dead festivities) was nothing short of spectacular. The four-room salon at the Place Vendome might have been inspired by obscure Roman Catholic missives, but in simpler terms, the beautifully presented creations looked like they were part of the royal dressing room…or at very least Lara Stone’s wedding closet. The standout pieces included awesomely heavy gowns showered with zippers, chains, gold ornaments, and other bits of handcrafted joie. The polar opposite? Beautifully constructed ostrich feather skirts, wondrous translucent lace pieces, and lots of buff tulle. We didn’t spot Tisci during heart of the presentation, but his team's prowess was everywhere.

Armani Privé
This season, Giorgio Armani send out an all-blonde model cast for his newest couture effort, spun Middle Eastern music during the show's critical moments, and showcased a more seasoned, tailored collection. The show was in fact an opera in three parts, emphasizing the designer's eternal day look, classic evening, and then some Lady Gaga-worthy glitz. More casual pieces were mostly biscuit, chocolate, and camel-hued suits, blazers, coats, and smart pencil skirts. It was classic, earnest Armani, as were the asymmetrical neckline cocktails and kimono-sleeved numbers. The parade of grand finale dresses featured few mature bustier dresses and more than few spectacular embroidered wonders. Daphne Guiness was naturally salivating for all. “This show was all about beautifully done backs for me,” she raved. “And those gorgeous bottoms that we all strive for so hard.”