2010 July 8

Runway Reviews: Couture Fall 2010

Elie Saab Haute Couture, Fall 2010 Elie Saab Haute Couture, Fall 2010
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(PARIS) Elie Saab
Elie Saab could probably sell out a couture collection in his sleep, but he raised even his own buyer-friendly standards with a "theatrical" themed ensemble that was all ruby red candies, shaved mink, and glistening metallic sheaths. Saab wanted to capture "the spirit of the Phoenix in a blaze of crimson," and he translated that mantra with an all-star cast (Karolina Kurkova, Anna Selezneva, and Vlada) parading in starlet scarlet showstoppers, goddess gowns, and showers of delicate beadwork. Saab worked extensively with his own take on ash gray prints that flowed as beautifully as his gala-bound standards. He continues to confirm his reputation as one of the most dependable and spot-on evening designers working in the world today.  

Jean Paul Gaultier
Yes, it's couture, but Gaultier still had a few collabs to hawk: Saga Furs, La Perla panties...and oh yeah, his scuba-inspired columns. This season, Gaultier's Parisian dame had a warrior attitude, an occasional cone bra, and jeweled headpieces just for kicks. There were some strong standouts like the glistening noir skeleton suit, spiked evening numbers, blanche trenched wedding gown and a shiny biker jacket. Dita von Teese even stripped down to the bare minimum into a breathtaking corset (another one was beautifully modeled by Magdalena) that served as a seasonal highlight. However, despite these originals, the overall effort was a fashion smorgasboard with too many colors, too many textures, too many moods and one too many shoulder pads. The gorgeous, goddess showgirl-worthy kind of looks couldn't save this unfocused effort that overshadowed its own moments of Gaultier brilliance.

"Dynamic, unconventional, at once fragile and dangerous," were the adjectives that Chiuri and Piccioli used to describe the essence of their Valentino couture vision. And of course, the eternal basics were a big focus: structured little black dresses, perfect lace numbers, and Valentino red cocktail pieces. The "dangerous" elements included a ceged bolero, cocoon velvet flower textured tress, and dynamo long gowns complete with oversized bows. That said, the collection was obviously softer, more timid, and more abstract than Valentino Garavani's own loud and proud couture efforts. Some dresses and coats came off as a little reserved for the intricate standards of the week, but the duo’s attention to details (like the beautiful rows of tiny buttons, captivating organza work, and appliqués) is certainly appreciated. “This is our direction,” Picoli proudly said after the show. “Taking that magical workmanship from the past and giving it our own modern signature. We want to make this our own.”