2011 January 25

Paris Haute Couture Spring 2011: Armani Privé, Chanel

Armani Privé Haute Couture Spring 2011 Armani Privé Haute Couture Spring 2011
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(PARIS) Armani Privé
If the Twitterati mean anything, bloggers and internet folk were immediately divided about Giorgio Armani’s latest haute couture presentation, a luxurious space-age foray into Lady Gaga meets Tron. However the designer’s guests, including Jodie Foster, Sophia Loren, Pedro Almodovar, Asia Argento and Tron’s own Olivia Wilde, seated front row at the Espace Vendôme, were definitely more enthusiastic, clapping and cheering loudly during the parade of colorful voluminous pant suits and dresses, which saw models also wearing space ship-like hats created by Philip Treacy.Anyone who knows anything about fashion knew that this collection was definitely a departure for Mr. Armani. It was both intriguing and highly exciting to examine the shiny armor-like fabrics, mirror-effect silk organzas, which shimmered or slinked in just the right way; or the expert weaving and melding of rich colors of red, green, and blue, using textiles of metallic threads. The meeting of high couture and high drama was particularly enthralling when one model almost toppled in her long bustier-style dress beautifully embroidered with black diamond Swarovski crystals, which was so form fitting at her legs, she could barely move. Before the lights went down, Foster, currently in Paris to film her latest movie with Roman Polanski, admitted this was her first fashion show. Not a bad place to start.

Leave it to Karl Lagerfeld to attract only the beau monde of society at his spring 2011 couture show. Chanel regulars Diane Kruger and Vanessa Paradis flocked to the Pavillon Cambon Capucines along with Lou Doillon, Jerry Hall, Janelle Monae, Alexa Chung, Karen Elson, Pedro Almondovar, Poppy Delevigne, and Kirsten Dunst. This season, Karl looked to Marie Laurencin for his inspiration. Interestingly, Laurencin--a famous Parisian avant garde artist--painted an oil portrait of Coco Chanel lounging in a floaty one-shoulder gown in 1923. Coco couldn't stand the painting, which she claimed looked nothing like her, and never purchased it. Over 80 years later that same painting is revived via dainty layers of chiffon, bouclé suit jackets with sequined trimmings, and drop-waist dresses in a soft color palette reminiscent of a waning sunset. To anchor the saccharine silhouettes and ultra-feminine hues, sequined noir leggings and slim Chanel jeans with a button ankle were added. The bevy of everyday staples, including the iconic tweed coats, will continue to be a commercial success for this deep-pocketed client.