2011 July 5
Runway Reviews: Dior Couture, Armani Prive Couture
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The house's first show sans creative director John Galliano was predictably, a bit uneven. The supreme confidence and polish (more like a few layers of lacquer) that governed Galliano's aesthetic at Dior will naturally be rethought, reworked, and reinterpreted by whoever comes next. For the moment, the much-liked Bill Gaytten has taken the creative reins at both Dior and John Galliano. The master's longtime protegée is no Sarah Burton—he is more prone to a sassy shake-up than a quiet, thoughtful evolution. Which is all well and good—if the clothes look sublime. The first thought: Eighties! (Pastels, the black and white, the general boxiness.) The next: Architecture! (Not of the Costa variety, unfortunately.) While some of the quote-unquote day pieces may sell, will the Dior couture client signing up for those ruffled, micropleated evening looks?
An intricately woven Philip Treacy hat, resembling a geisha’s black Shimada hairstyle, was the invitation image for this morning’s Armani Privé presentation at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris: an homage from Mr. Armani to Japan. Bejeweled couture ladies descended the darkly lit red-carpeted staircase, which opened into a slickly marbled black salon. French Vogue editrix, Emmanuelle Alt, sat front row looking tanned in her signature white blazer and t-shirt, while Marie Claire’s Nina Garcia stopped to take a picture on her blackberry of Chopard President, Caroline Gruosi Scheufele, and her little boy, seated across the catwalk. Daphne Guinness gave an arch look as she greeted Philip Treacy in the front row –- a full half hour after the start time, before quickly taking her seat with not a moment to spare next to Katie Holmes, Roberta Armani, and regal lady-in-red, Cate Blanchett. Walking the runway, Armani’s Geisha Girls were solemn yet proud, they tottered on sky-high heels in large glamorous overcoats and in stunning straight-leg pant suits made of Mikado and shantung silks, accented with black patent leather bodices and pleated silk accordion detailing along the back. Tangerine colored silks mixed effortlessly with black velvets; variations on obi belts and side splits on skirts and trousers were another subtle clin d’oeil to typically Asian tailoring, however the silhouette never strayed too far away from pure Armani, with clean lines, structured shoulders, and a collection of body grazing evening wear, including one particularly stunning black velvet bustier dress with bow detail on the back and tangerine Swarovski crystal fringes swaying seductively on the hips. At the end of the show Anna Wintour was seen rushing over to Blanchett with a broad smile on her face--obviously eager to talk more red carpet and haute couture.
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