Haute Couture Autumn & Winter 2018-19
In high Summer in Paris' July we saw what was coming for Haute Couture in the Autumn. As ever the schedule was thriving and busy with the peak of the fashion industry demonstrating that it can dress a wide spectrum of interntional clients.
The latest offering from Karl Lagerfeld and his team at Chanel always promises to have tip top treats in store. The best of design technology adapting the themes of a heritage brand for a new generation and pieces to tempt long-time friends of the brand.
The collection opened with a series of Grey ladies walking out in looks mixing a Millennial feel with hints of the mid 20th century. Urbane and cool is was future facing rather than haunting the past. The collection opens with a twist on the traditional Chanel close cut jacket split above the elbows with finely bordered slashes. Perhaps a twist on the style of the high renaisannce and the late Valois. A blouse with chainmail offsets the bordering of the jacket and the nuances of texture are echoed in the lining of the skirt slashed to the high thigh. Button detail representing codes of the post-war era appears in disguise in the second outfit. A single tweed cloaks the figure from neckline to another long line split hem with a contrasting Rose colour lining peeking from underneath.
The fingerless gloves nod to the colder months and a full length coat in single weave tweed to the centre offers warmth within the folds that is preserved by the generous cut of the fabric enveloping the length split. Matched with a mini dress underneath, it sits in lose comfort on the figure. The knee length tweed skirt suit also gets a re-working with the formality of the lapels and suit border contrasted with the open-slashes of the sleeves rising above the elbow. To the right an innovative dress with open neckline comprises a tweed knit halter descending from the neck to the bodice. Woven matching the cuffs if blends textile with jewellery.
Elegant day wear must conform to the rules at the House of Chanel but blending into the realities of life across the world for Chanel's client base is high in Karl's mind. A tweed jacket cut to below the waist features discreet barely there pockets alongside the open cut of the sleeves. A mid calf box pleated grey skirt brings a different look of women's formal dress and another hint of British style to contrast the woven tweed. Bringing a hint of uniformity a Navy Blue jacket and skirt combination subtly mirrors fine pleats in the skirt with layered pleats across the breast of the jacket. Silver-White buttons offset the depth of the Navy with clean precision whilst blending with the collar and cuffs of the shirt below. Ankle boots are the show of choice through the collection and this simple staple all women and girls own at some point.
Style is something not always easy to define, it's something that you recognise and 'feel' when you see it. Chanel, even when at it's most exuberant always manages to hit the nail on the head of refinement. Playing with a Magenta and Lilac braid border the grey jacket and thigh split skirt to the centre above both locks in core warmth to the figure with it's close cut and also offers freedom of movement. A central vertical braid defines the line of the figure balanced in symmetry and appears in the next Fuscia and Black weave of the next suit. The Chanel briad first created by a member of Gabrielle Chanel's team many decades ago defines the boundaries of the style code. Sitting softly across the curves of the figure it forms a natural elegance. It's a stylish suit with a flash of daring. To the right a soft Blush Pink suit is accentuated with long gloves to shield fingers against the nip of winter.
Metallic hints feature through this collection as they have in several past seasons and it's clear that Lagerfeld has found plenty of scope in play with fabric technology that enables him to push the boundaries. Above to the left a suit features a high collar and plunging V neckline. Although descending to a zip opening, the shimmer and mood hint at evening as much as day and it heralds the start of evening wear looks. Shimmering sparkle arrives in the next look with a platinum dress featuring a jewelled collar, waistband and above elbow cuffs. Again jewellery and fabric become one in this piece with crystal jewelled boots creating the impression of the wearer walking on stars. For cocktails, parties and the red carpet it will look sensational and a perfect treat for New Year.
The 1950's and early 1960's broad skirted silhouette is given a new kiss of life in the following two dresses. Firstly a Lilac-Grey dress fringed in double layers with feathers uses the flattering fit and fare style with volume in the upper sleeves to add a luxuriant touch and echo the shape of the lower dress. It's a pretty party piece. To the right hints of the rock and roll era's influence on High Society style shows a broad ball gown skirt running to knee length with the tweed braid sneaking in to add another texture. A sweetheart ribbon ties around the waist and with ruffles of Black silk ribbon creating a soft border between the skirt and a light woven bodice. To the right a chic Black cocktail dress channels classic Parisian elegance and a broad ribbonned waist also acting as a muff to shield the hands and arms from the chill. You could wear this to drinks parties and many events through the party season and into the future.
A single shoulder dress with hints of Grecian style wraps lightly around the figure and the braiding seen earlier in the collection takes on a shimmer with a crystal-like appearance. Gently off-setting the Black of the dress fabric, it's a daring but elegant look with a perfectly crafted bandeau bodice sitting above the high waist. A jacket with cut-away shoulders and finely ribbed by lines of crystal echoes the pin pricks of stars in the night sky with a fitted bodice sitting above a delicately draped skirt with handy hip side pockets. Sheer and opaque combine to form a neat evening style with a rounded collar sitting above a Black tunic and lightly pleated two tier skirt. The sleeves and skirt lengths flow in the lightest fabric with hints of the signature tweed border returning for a finsihing touch also at the circle of the ankles. A square cut tunic woven in another metallic tweed appears to the right sitting above the high cut skirt as neatly as a glove. In all Black the look contrasts with the one to the right which features an intricate weave that isn't overbearing or loud, just enough to capture the eye of the viewier and command quiet admiration of the design. It's an easy look to wear in either Autumn or the colder days of Winter.
Moving back to working around broader colour themes Rose and Leaf Green combine with Black in a gentle colour weave across a jacket, sirts and boots. Peeking from the left hand thigh, as with other garments in the collection you can see a hint of an under skirt that runs through the collection. A design addition to retain a little modesty. Cut perfectly the fabric sits gently over the figure just like Haute Couture should always do. Moving more toward evening wear a sparkling Lilac and Blue bodice gently cinched at the waist sits above a Black skirt with Flamenco style tiered ruffles in it's lengths. Hints of vivacious spirited party-going and doing things in a new way signalled by the tulle gathered around the neckline. The plumes of the ruffled under skirts of the next shimmering Silver gown recall the form and shape of a Ballerina's gown given a new interpretation. It's an eye catching piece, again perfect for so many parties and a gem to wear for formal appearances in front of the cameras. Topped off with twinkling boots, it has it's own appeal for a private party or the spotlight centre stage. The European Grimaldi clown perhaps provides inspiration for the next piece. Ruffles at the circular neckline and sleeve cuffs and central trim make an amusing recollection of the spirit of the clown at Carnival at the end of the long winter nights. Gold and rich Navy recall the opulent designs of ancient Egyptian and Roman decorations and the fine texture of the fabric and tunic lined cuts, further herald echos of antiquity.
Crossing the day suit and evening wear in a jewel of a hybrid the first look above to the left brings a shimmering suit to the evening wear wardrobe. With discreet hook fastenings creating a seamless close to the jacket, the total look is scintilating transforming the wearer into a shining star. Channeling the pretty lines of the Grey-Lilac party dress earlier the next look above works the soft curve of the bow into the soft ballooned sleeves and curve of the bodice. The fabric is richly embroidered with a Silver-Platinum shine and the woven chord border gently defines the line of the figures in a charming silhouette. The decollette stretching from neckline to bodice is another blend of textile and jewellery and captures the elegance of previous centuries in a modern flourish. Centre above Black velvet, that winter favourite creates both a chic Black dress and sleeved cloak. The Black is broken up by a colourful intricate lining with floral patterns hinting at the lights decorating the dark nights of Winter. Mysterious symbols resembling the mitochondria, the energy pack of human cells, swirl on the bodice of the next outfit. Perhaps this indicates that the Chanel lady has academic pursuits and interests in mind beyond her tastes in fashion. To the far right a very culturally versatile piece that could be worn in the most conservative environments with the side seam closed. It makes an easy to wear option for Haute Couture and the crystal sewn braid and sparkling boots bring light as the wearer walks.
A beautiful soft Rose forms the centre clasp of silk ruched to perfection crossing the upper arms beneath bare shoulders. Smokey Grey silk falls behind the wearer in an elegant train and the Empire line dress descends to a skirt of White silk rippling around the figure. The 1930's and 1940's, one of Chanel's peak era of creativity seem to have been very influential on the designs in the later part of the collection. Jackets with Neru collars descending to high cuts above the waist are jewelled with glittering applique and satin and silk skirts swirl underneath them in Rose Blush and Black. These are modern fairy-tale pieces that work well across generations of clients and will create happy memories to treasure in the wardrobes. Underneath simple bodices match the beautiful outer jackets and keep the shimmer dancing around the figure. To the right a tweed jacket and bodice trimmed with two layers of feathers sits above a broadly flowing layered Grey silk skirt. It almost whispers as it walks and flows like liquid. For formal presentations or private events, it's a memorable piece to dance the night away in.
A sparkling dress with crystals reaching from neckline to finger tips creates the full look of glamour from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Voluminous White skirts float around the wearer as she walks, as light as a feather creating gentle volume. Centre above a look the merges Black and White tie with Bridal style, although in reality for brides the Haute Couture atelier will create anything that you wish. All in White with sparkle and shimmer the look is ready for a Ball or the Red Carpet. To the right a fresh look at the closing Bridal piece. A Pistachio suit cloaks the figure with hints of masculine military style in the cut of the jacket line and the flowers replacing military insignia. Colour in Bridal is slowly blooming across the world and if that's your heart's desire - so be it.
All couturiers found their Maison in their own image and to pick up the baton and carry on the legacy of a founder of an Haute Couture House is one of the most challenging routes to walk in the fashion industry. Done well you ensure the legacy lasting perhaps beyond a century since the House was founded, do it wrong or badly and you not only dull a good name but risk fading away yourself. Taking on the re-birth of a House as iconic an unique as Schiaparelli was no simple undertaking but it's been done and done brilliantly with playful fun whilst ensuring that clients have returned across ten seasons since it re-opened.
Elsa had an extraordinary life shaped not in part by her large family of Italian Aristocrats turned academics in the fields of sciences and languages. Well-travelled and fond of the burgeoning Surrealist movement and all things 'new' in her adult life she embodied the spirit of juxtaposition in her designs that in many ways feel like her way of creating art. The new House of Schiaparelli clearly lives and breathes her motifs to this day and opening the Autumn-Winter 2018 season collection with Zebra stripes running across Palazzo trousers underneath a fitted jacket protected by three golden hands, the hint of the adventurous Roman Aristocratic was back with us. This is a coolly sophisticated suit that brings a hint of humour to the grandest of ocassions. Using faux animal skin to the utmost in the belted coat to the right, Burgundy feather plumes sit at the shoulders like Angel wings. There is humour in the excess.
Centre above one of the menswear pieces that uses colour with the bold confidence the Elsa always understood. Neon faux plumes fall down the length of the jacket while flowers grow across the length of the trousers and incase the shoes. Intricate artwork dancing across the surface of a Black jacket pairs superbly with wide legged Black silk trousers to again make a confident style statement in keeping with codes of high society elegance. To the right a knee-length jacket with belt tied waist sits with marbled silk long line trousers in an elegent elongated composition.
The shocking Pink of Schiaparelli returns ready for the masqued ball. A Butterfly's wings sweep across the face of the wearer and the voluminous gown echoing the boldest of historical costumes also recalls the early and mid twentieth century balls that Elsa knew in her lifetime. You're sure to make an entrance wearing this and it would light up the grand carnival in Venice on the eve of Spring. Mystical creatures made real wrap around the bodice of the Blue and Navy velvet suit above. Golden sewn swirls across the surface of the fabric contrast with the depth of the velvet as deep as the night sky. It's an easy formal suit to pass a special evening in. A bold Lapis Blue silk dress uses ruching at the neckline and waist as a method of shaping the garment around the figure. Trailing elegantly behind the figure it looks like the most seemless one-piece creation. The senses where something that Elsa enjoyed exploring and the eyes at the bodice above the heart perhaps guide the wearer to follow their instincts. Gold plates belt the waist and cover the forearms in a shield to leave an impression of strength. With simple drapes falling to the hem. A fascinating trouser suit combines the prints of nature at the shoulder jacket descending to marbled silk in the trousers resembling the grain in the cut of nature's wood.
Butterflies, that universal stmbol of floating beauty flutters across an umber gown with a Golden Butterfly cinching the waist and a bow tie neckline elegantly replicating the shape again. It's a piece that could be worn on Indian Summer evenings or make a bright impact at New Year's parties. Bold block colour comes next showing the Schiaparelli Butterfly like theme of skipping around and a one shoulder gown in Navy Blue reveals Gold and Purple lengths of fabric from the under dress that also forms a beautiful train behind the wearer. It's a beautiful elegant timeless evening wear piece. The same Purple translates into the next garment set against a backdrop of Blush with Blue flowers and Lime Green gloves just to keep a twist. A stencil cut-away design in Black velvet revealing and not revealing the figure is a playful creative look that would be perfect for Black Tie receptions and Red Carpet camera commitments. Wear with jewellery for even greater impact. Diaries, letters, writing is an art that we should all keep with us and about the script in Magenta and Black on white silk is off-set by a Golden belt and bright Pink boots. Through creation, the soul finds it's freedom.
Bold colour and print appear again above in the Aqua Blue and trouser combination above to the left and Silver Butterflies dance around the lapels of the jacket. In an striking style twist the jacket comprises the fingered gloves and creates a full length outfit. The colours are light and striking throwing off any notion of winter darkness and the Carnival feel returns in an ornate Flamingo Masque that shows two winged birds growing out of the head while a flock of Flamingos in bull rushes appears on a cloak cut jacket. The soft Pinks of the Flamingos are reflected in the trousers with the soft hues forming a contrast to the proud Black beaks. Centre above shimmering Kaleidoscope strains of Pink, Lilacs and Silver swirl around a jacket sitting high above the waist. Two Butterflies rest on the left shoulder with another by the upper waist and soft pastels painted across the trousers and the boots bring a touch of art to the Haute Couture suit. And why not, Elsa believed in breaking boundaries and re-shaping ideas. To the right a shift blouse in a rainbow of colours makes a fabric contrast to the long lined feathered skirt beneath. To the far right, the animals appear once again with simplified characters and bold colours representing woodland creatures. A Golden masque with flopping bunny rabbit ears is both comical and opulent, ready for a Winter season ball.
Black velvet is a flattering classic option for winter formal wear and with a dash of shimmer at an angle across the bodice of the dress, it's subtly tonal and just ready for a special party or Red Carpet commitments. The skirt flows into a natural swirl and the slightly reserved tone will make it an easy option for a wide variety of clients. A bold Teal sheer outer dress sits over beautifully crafted trousers. Creatures of the sea in in Scarlet swim against a Blue backdrop under the gown and the composition recalls a beautiful Queen of the Ocean. Fastened with a Golden ring belt, it's a regal statement for the 21st century. A rainbow profusion ball gown reaches down to the floor in a classic line fit and flare dress with birds and Butterflies nestling at the bodice. Truly a piece of nature ready to take to the ball. It's a carefree piece that doesn't dispense with formality yet is playful with tradition. Butterflies are all around in the next piece to the right with voluminous layers of silk tulle sewn with a swarm of Butterflies. It's broad skirts are as light as a wings and the dress is easy to carry through a long evening.
Delicate Blush forms the colour base for another beautiful floor length dress perfect for Black tie receptions with gentle ivy shapes wrapping around the bodice and running down across the lengths of the skirt in gentle tendrils. With a soft volume that moves with the wearer's walk it's a flattering versatile formal piece that captures the essence of Elsa, embracing nature and all that is natural. Frosted ice patterns dancing across the surface of the dress centre above signal the cool fingers of Winter with embroidered lace stretching across the skin and down over the outer dress skirt layer. To the right Blush and Silver create a dress of majestic proportions with Butterflies fluttering across the arms, bodice and hips of the dress. You would be a Fairy Queen at a New Year's ball in a dress like this or again, like several looks in this collection it would be wonderful to wear for Venice Carnival.
Showing a sense of humour is perfectly compatible with Haute Couture; the first dress above to the left in White adds a doggie masque to the overall look with the feathers of the neckline also making the attentive ears of the dog. Criss crossed around the figure, the dress uses a Romanesque cut shape to gently accentuate volume and shape around the wearer while also leaving enough room for a small train. A bouquet veils the wearer of the next dress centre above with soft pastel flowers harmonising with the light applique detail embroidered upon the sheer dress. To the right the sequins and shimmer of the dress also capture the Glitter Ball feel. Representations of creatures of the sea in Lilac, Pink and Green in symmetry bring colour and the natural world to the scene. To close hints of the prints found in nature adorn the length of the dress cut close to the figure in the style of the 1930's and 40's heyday of Elsa Schiaparelli's first Couture House. Her legacy lives on, in very safe hands and has a passion and a drive to discover more in the future.
Ralph & Russo
Tamara Ralph & Michael Russo have brought a dream to life. They founded their own Haute Couture house with her design knowledge and experience and his business know-how. Together they have built a company in just over a decade that produces some of the most sought after Haute Couture seen in Paris. Working to classic themes with highly skilled tailoring and a dedication to preserving as much craft and skill as possible, they have produced consistency across a decade where some houses became perilously experimental.
The classic tailored suit complete with double breasted button design gets and imaginative re-style to become a power suit dress. With buttons running across the bias cut White fabric rather than cutting a clean line of symmetry the garment is split front facing across the left thigh marking the stride while an cut seam at the back in the style of coat allows for a smooth walk. The collection focuses on the monochrome of Black and White as it first opens with hints of the Silver Screen movie era glamour style. A Black trouser suit with feature bandeau corset underneath again uses the bias cut button row design. It's a crisp neat way to re-work a classic and would be equally perfect for business or formal social occasions. Palazzo pants sweeping stylishly underneath a jacket give a dynamic twist to an outfit that blends conformity and volume. Shimmering crystal lapels add extra detail to highlight a healthy complexion. Grand gowns are something that Ralph & Russo have made an opus of and the wrap-around gown with it's half moon stencils is softly symbolic of romantic adventure. In an opposing theme the structure of the corset forms the basis of the design of a cocktail dress. With hints of volume created by feathers at the waist flowing to the hem, it's a piece that emphasises geometric structure and it's resonance in the human form.
Strands of silks ripple across the surface of a dress like ribbons flowing free. A Black satin escalloped bodice with sheer silk descending in waves to the wearers right creates a stylish flourish that descends to an elegant train. It's a classic Red Carpet dress that would stun through the media but also memorable for a private event and gown collection. The lines of the 1930's and 1940's appear again in the waterfall folds of the shoulders of a Charcoal Grey gown cut close to the figure but loose enough to allow the wearer to move with grace and ease as you would expect. Centre above crystals adorn the bodice of the dress with feathers coating the lengths of the gown to above the ankles of the sheer nude dress. A slender diamond necklace circles the neck but for all of the dresses in this collection, jewellery is many different forms compliments the look perfectly. The escalloped bodice proves a popular design idea and a shimmering floor length Grey-Black semi sheer gown wrapped around the hips twinkles with the light of stars. Reaching out from the heavens down to earth, colour enters the collection in a bright profusion and a burst of Lemon appeared on the catwalk with a voluminous flourish. Volume gently flowing around the figure of the wearer as she moves is emphasised by fabric falling from the shoulders to create a train. Worthy of a gala or film premiere anywhere in the world this season, it's a timeless versatile classic.
Radiant colour in tones of softened Violet, Pink and White flow around the figure like streamer ribbons. The bodice of Violet dress itself appears to be composed of ribbons of silk draped delicately on the figure. With a dropped waist on one hip it flatters the figure in a natural composition of fluid lines. To the right a crystal sewn Magenta bodice shimmers with 3D effect above a floor length skirt of Clementine with the Magenta continuing through in the base layer. A statement piece to enjoy through the dark winter nights and easily into next Spring. Ruching takes on a leading style note in the bold Magenta dress perfectly fitted to the figure. Layers of silk appear like feathers, delightfully gathered to give a swan-like appearance creating a blend of the Black-tie and ballet dress style. It would be a gem to wear with a jacket on colder nights potentially and with jewellery, it would look even more stunning. To the far right a high impact look sees a thigh split asymmetric gown with buttons curving across the right hip and waist with a flourish of Rose at the left shoulder of the hidden/revealed inner layer of the dress. A seriously stylish look with hints of the high voltage glamour of the 1980's.
A rich Scarlett gown with plunge V neckline running to the waist uses symmetry to highlight the natural beauty of the figure. Geometric detail in the waist band, shoulders and the border of the neckline balance the smooth free running folds of silk gathered around the figure. It's a dress that will be confident in front of the cameras like all Ralph & Russo looks. Also the slightly burnished Scarlett suits all skin tones. A feathered dream in White again works classic Cannes or Hollywood Red Carpet style with thigh high splits, detailed embroidery and feathers cascading from the neckline to the hem and small train. Simple and elegant this look again is seriously versatile and a glamour mainstay. Centre above a shimmering crystal sewn gown descends from bodice to sheer skirt with a broad natural flow and a contemporary princess look. To the right a new look for Ralph & Russo using floral print in degrede from Sky Blue, through Violet to Charcoal Grey. Floral bows at the shoulder in Black ribbon accent the look with the flowers of the dress recreated in a second medium. To the right broad sweeps of colour in satin silk make a confident statement. Violet, Scarlett and Lilac all blend together in acres of fabric to create a look of natural harmony with a hint of flamboyance. This dress will certainly make an entrance with swathes of fabric ooshing behind you in a regal fashion and would be an unforgettable New Year's ball piece.
Black is one of the most reliable classic colours to create Winter elegance with and the halter neck floor length dress to the left above emphasises the simple lines of the figure whilst cloaking the figure luxuriantly in beautifully embroidered material. There is something unmistakably satisfying about wearing a large dress in the Winter months to a formal event. Centre above a fascinating dress fitted to the figure creates the optical illusion of silk becoming liquid running down the figure of the model from head to toe. Finely woven chord snakes around the figure interlaced with the silk of the dress itself in a fascinating organic composition, the dress almost appears to live itself. To the right a style that has worked well for Ralph & Russo in previous seasons, the trousers and bodice completed by a full skirt that acts much more like a train. In it's gentle Blush tone it makes a subtle statement on fairer skin and would give bold impact for ladies with darker tones to skin too. It occurs to me that this is a fun piece of versatility that enables to piece to be worn in different ways. To the far right feathers and crystal sequins work their magic charm once more in a look that could charm the Strictly Come Dancing fans as well as clients on and off the stage the world over. Again this is another choice piece to light up the dark nights of autumn and winter. It also uses the Blush tones that can be pared down or impactful depending on your style tastes.
A chic echo of former seasons style appears in the sweet chain mail style dress to the left above. With White crystals off-set by Black velvet ribbon at the upper arms and neckline, a bow descending over the right shoulder seals a look of romantic elegance. It's a beautiful piece to wear and will show off your pins should you wish to good effect. Again note the use of a simple juxtaposition to create a charming memorable effect with metallic tessellated weave and long ribbon. A whisper light dress cut on the bias and split at the upper left thigh is an answer to camera calls under hot Red Carpet lights and balls with numerous guests. If you're headed to hot climbs this winter, this could be the gown for you. To the right ribbons of colour appear once again in a look that combines the purest elements of colour set against Black and alternating from the solid to free flowing fluid. To the right an elaborate bejewelled piece shows the artistry of the Ralph & Russo Atelier. The hand sewn detail is mesmerising in person and for a dress for the special day it's a fitting place (no pun intended) to find your dream Haute Couture piece. As with all couture Bridal this piece is a template and you are only really limited by your imagination.
Dior, the House that gave the world the New Look in one of the 20th centuries most successful and influential campaigns is fairing well with the steadying hand of Maria Grazia Chiuri on the tiller. She opened her Haute Couture offering for the coming autumn with a series of Navy and Blush tone looks that effortlessly embodied sophisticated Parisian chic. I'd even go so far as to say that Mr. Dior would approve of this collection very much in the 21st Century and I'm not someone who would normally put words on the lips of a designer no longer with us.
The collection opened with a Navy skirt suit belted high at the waist that was wrapped in a broad sleeved shawl-jacket. Delicate fringing and a beret signalled the deep roots of French provincial history and the love of France are quietly present in the collection alongside superlative chic. This outfit will take the wearer happily through the streets of Paris, London, New York and your home village. It cover both social and business; the key is in the distillation of style. A Blush toned dress fitted to the figure in the most charming way looks effortlessly simple to the eye belying the skill of the tailoring that enables the piece to be created. It's horizontal off the shoulder neckline finds a parity in the thin belt at the waist and the overall effect is to further slim the figure in the eye of the beholder. For the client, this is an easy versatile piece that is a hugely versatile addition to the wardrobe and would combine easily with a jacket or a wrap. A scooped neckline with ribbed detail creates a subtle style effect.
A Nude Blush tone blouse nestles almost invisible underneath a Navy fringed shawl and wide generously cut skirt reaching to the mid-calf. This is a beautiful comfort day wear look that is undoubtedly a piece of high fashion. Elegant and discreet like much of the day wear it brings Paris to your corner of the world. Pleats become a central feature of the next Blush coloured dress cut close to the figure with an easy adaptability for both work and leisure. The simple volume enhancing features also allows the dress to sit close on the figure and thus preserving the silhouette. To the right a chalice-shaped neckline dips across the bodice of the dress in soft tiered panels. Fabric falls generously across the figure as soft comfort envelops the wearer. This piece crosses the realms of both day wear and evening wear potentially with ease. The choker necklace emphasises how easily this piece coordinates with jewellery.
Tweed has been a classic hallmark of women's design style for over a century and a gently cut trouser suit has equal measures of style and warmth. With sash tie at the waist of an expertly cut jacket the Grey balances an under layer of Blush in the blouse, beret and court shoes running through the collection in a soft tonal style. It's a chic piece for town and country rather like it's neighbour a mid-calf Grey dress coat. In this piece superb tailoring once again comes to the fore with ample fabric cascading across the waist wrapping the figure in warmth. The Blush blouse and beret are also present once again to create a soft contrast. A dramatic plunge neckline reaching to above the waist combines simple elegant lines of style to create a tailored day dress. Pleats grow into voluptuous folds swathing around the legs feeling light as Haute Couture does while giving every sense of luxury. This look is pared down in contrast to the ribboning folds across around the figure to the right that is swathed in ribboned silk layers resembling the petals of a flower. The curved angles pay an omage to the natural lines of the figure with a tulip shape. A perfect day or evening piece. To the right a Navy jacket takes the long line form of the hunting coat with outsized deep pockets providing an extra style signature. It's luxuriant, warm and flattering and everything that you could wish for in a coat from Dior tailored with a fine collar and double breasted buttons.
The silken tulle folds of the traditional ballerina dress and a soft Romanesque tunic bodice create a light and breezy piece for formal and pleasure wear flattering to the figure. You want to twirl in this and a wrap could be added on the cooler days and nights. To the right the double breasted coat with broad cape-cut sleeves in a deep Navy is pared with a beret incorporating a light net veil. A serious glamour statement this elegant look would be at home anywhere in the colder days of autumn and works in hints of the mid-20th century in it's chic simple style. Centre above a beautiful cocktail dress features a bold plunging neckline descending from halter straps. Belted at the waist it flows into a layered skirt of many soft fine pleats with an outer layer of Navy sitting over soft layers of Blush. The romance of this is inescapable. In a more understated move to the right a Navy dress with full sleeves and a rounded neckline flows to the mid-calf length in harmony with the traditional silhouette of Dior. With belt and beret it uses hints of tradition lightly evoking Parisian elegance. To the right and interesting harmony of layers is created by bands of sheer and semi sheer fabric at the bodice and in wide sleeves descending to a full length skirt with floral accents. This dress whispers as it moves across the room and is a soft option for indoor evenings in the winter.
Up to hear the collection focussed on block colour with a clear strength of effect but Grazia Chiuri introduces multi-colour and texture giving a fresh perspective. Intricate embroidery with hints of Indian design embellish an aubergine bodice and embroidered seams at the neckline doubled at the cuffs are echoed in intricate sewn hems in the skirt to create gently broadening panels in the length. In a soft Blush tone mirroring the embroidery of the bodice, it's a soft but striking harmony. Olive colour is an easy autumn essential and a generously cut jacket with box pleats is a novel way to add volume to an autumn look. Romantic gathered folds of Blush silk drift around the wearer in a dream-like way following nuances earlier in the collection. Centre above the theme of turning soft pleats into panels around the core figure continues with a long-line Blush dress almost echoing traditional monastic dress. The generous cut of the fabric combines the loose with conformity in fluid movement. Flowers in abundance wrap around the figure and this is a cocktail or ball gown to treasure in a collection. Truly timeless it could be worn to a wide number of occasions or enjoyed when entertaining at home. The cape look returns again adding another touch of mid 20th century vintage with broad cut culottes. It flatters the figure and again is another easy to wear look for formal, leisure or work.
Subtle hints of the flourishes that appeared in the collections of Valentino translate into classic pieces offered by Dior. A garden of autumn flowers weave across the surface of an open jacket with wide blow elbow sleeves emphasising both comfort and soft volume for the wearer. The gently pleated dress underneath in soft Blush billowing like a gentle veil in the breeze strikes a note of colour harmony with the flowers sewn onto the jacket. It's a flexible piece you could wear to a variety of places. A brave sheer bodice compliments a semi sheer gipsy skirt embroidered with print flowers increasing in size from the waist to the hem. Sitting lightly on the figure it compliments a healthy shape. It's neighbour to the right also uses Black as a colour base with fine embroidery forming a detailed geometric structure and a semi sheer bodice. Duck Egg Blue and light Olive bring subtle colour harmony. Dipping into the paint box combination of Blush and Burnt Umber for the base colouring of a dress with an outer layer of intricate crochet style florals in light pastel. Hints of the leaves of early autumn dance across the surface. To the right a Sugar Pink dress melds influences of the 1930's and 40's with millennial style as the pleated style returns to bring a hint of uniformed chic to an evening wear dress.
Floating goddess femininity in a form that Mr Dior would recognise crossed with the eternal chic of the Rome of Grazia Chiuri combines to create a fluid elegance that mesmerises and flatters the figure. To the left above Blush wraps the figure in an optical illusion of degrede colour as pleats fold neatly around the model. Rising to a ruched effect across the bodice the tiniest straps ensure that the piece sits on the figure descending like the following three pieces to a circular cut base. A soft Terracotta dress to the right channels similar features with fabric gathered at a point at the centre of the waist. Tight pleats float around the wearer like tissue and will be effortless to wear across an evening of commitments. A deep Pistachio pleated gown features a bodice styled in fabric wrapped tightly around it. This simple technique adds another dimension of movement to the eye and camera lens and makes an extra attraction as something to wear and collect. To the far right, Blush tones return again in contrasting darker and lighter shades with a fun two tone goddess dress playing with length in an innovative way in streams of fabric falling from the waist band.
Lineal print on fabric attracts the eye in a series of looks that venture beyond the close convention of Dior but in a less alarming way than some may have done at the House in the past. Geometric lines bisect the figure at different angles in a partial echo of the form of the cobweb. Tissue light layers of fabric swathe the wearer in the lengths of the skirt and the gentle shape is reminiscent of the classic Dior Bar style. Nature weaves a spell in leaf stencil across the outer layer of a dress in light Golden Brown with a thin belt and vertical lineal bands to maintain the conformity to the Dior line. Shimmering in and out of the light, soft leaves have a partial luminescence as the last rays of late summer light catch them. It's an imaginative piece to take you into Party Season. Memories of Valentino's play with mettallics and florals surface in the next dress to the right upon fine chinoise style embroidered silk. Worn alone or, perhaps with a wrap or a jacket, it's a delicately beautiful piece. To the far right this high embroidery comes into it's own upon a tunic top. Paired with a broad flowing Blush silk skirt it could also work very easily with trousers in culottes or close-cut style. It's an elegant day into evening piece.
Blush fades into beautiful degrede shades before becoming White at the him in a dress resplendent in feathers from the waist to near ankle. It's a broad skirt that always maintains perfect proportion as you would expect from the House of Dior and the ruched Blush fabric shaping the bodice from deceptively simple gathers creates a subtle contrast in tone. To the right a sheer bodice in the style of much of the collection, that could be adapted to become opaque for clients, in strewn with light crystal embroidery that weaves and grows through the length of the garment down to the hem. It's a work of beautiful simplicity as much of the collection is and also like much of the collection would be easy to match with a light jacket. Centre above micro-fine pleats in Ivory silk create generous volume that asks to be danced in. Floral embroidered flowers weaving their charms across layers of light ballerina-esque tulle also hints at past collections from Valentino but it's a very worthy addition to the Dior fold. An ageless contemporary gown with the glint of Gold would be a special addition to a collection, or like many of these pieces would make a special reception dress choice for a wedding wardrobe. To the far right sheer fabric is fixed in a playful style with the bodice being crossed emphatically by wisps of material across a corset like bodice. The outer layer of the length of the skirts uses at least two different forms of sheer fabric to create a carefree patchwork of veil-like silk.
Hints of bridal chic continue with a Blush dress combining linear sheer fabric with richly embroidered floral detail poses another possible option for wedding dresses; either an adaptation for a main dress, or an evening reception. The simple use of a belt creates the classic Dior fit and flare line in this and the next piece. A beautiful sheer bodice with flowers that glint with Gold woven around the curves of the figure descends to another heavenly tulle skirt that is composed of a millefeuille but light as a feather to wear. To the right a light Aubergine gown rests on the figure with a bodice descending over the hips. With a full skirt reaching to the floor this is surely in the eveningwear category with dotted silk echoing the exuberant styles of the 1950's and 1980's. To the right a broad style romantic dress again makes the Haute Couture dream of every client a realisation with it's modern fairytale style. With a skirt that would twirl into the most wonderful shape as you danced or walked the Red Carpet, it's a triumphant piece for gala's or private events.
Blush was clearly a colour that Dior felt they could work an opus around this season and could well be something that clients feel is an assured go-too tone. I would agree as it's an easy colour. It's subtle if you have fair skin and if your skin is darker it creates a really nice gentle contrast so a win win all round. To the left a play on the fold and circular hems of dresses from the 19th century can be detected in this outfit. Ballooned gently around the legs it's an ode to the skill of creating something that looks effortless whilst paying very close attention to the designs and techniques of the past. Fabric is placed in crossing layers to look accidental when it is anything but. To the centre, strafes of silk cross the bodice descending in holds across the hips in smokey gathers. Seemingly more than a dozen layers make up the skirt in a diaphanous cloud of silk. From Blush the focus turns to block colour once again but here in contrast to the opening of the collection, the attention has turned traditionally to eveningwear. Antique Rose silk is cut in a post millennial simplified draw. Panels make up the gown that composes the softest form of metallic chic possible. To the far right the deep Pistachio returns with the pleats of daywear tamed by the luxuriant glamour of the most refined silk. The defined waist gives just the tiniest hint of classic British ladies day wear.
Refined metallic colour tones continue with Burnished Copper pleated across the lengths of a gown. With a bodice in ribbed panels fitting closely to the figure it has the instinctive glove-like fit of Haute Couture with a simple halter neckline forming an attractive feature. Pleats give the garment body and movement and again depending on skin tone this can be worn to subtle or striking effect. The vibrant cerise of the dress to the right contrasts with the underplayed simplicity of the style and shape of it's form. Fabric swathes around the figure in a considered lose fit providing a demure yet captivating evening wear option. A light Pistachio dress that continues the bandeau neckline theme features panel detail in three tiers from the bodice, around the hips and down across the lengths of the skirt. The metallic lustre present in all these looks above gives an extra sense of energy in the piece and ready to create an entrance at any event. To the right to close this look at Dior a Damask Rose satin silk offers a gentle alternative to the traditional bridal White but this gown is eminently adaptable to wear for a variety of formal events.
Ulyana Sergeenko demonstrates that the more international designers that can take part in the Haute Couture schedule in Paris, so much the better for Parisian Haute Couture. The client turned designer has forged a strong career as a couturier based in Moscow and I hope perhaps she will be the first in a wave of Russian high fashion artists that will launch a new era of Russian high style.
The collection opened with a beautiful White day dress belted simply channelling Rock and Roll vibes with a playfully layered hemline. This is a sweetheart piece capturing rich romance in simplicity and could easily be worn with or without a jacket for work or social. Much of the collection exemplifies Sergeenko's mastery of simplicity and looked like a ladylike masterclass. Many looks have the feel of classic staple about them. A Black trouesr suit comprises subtle folds in the jacket in quiet elegance and with high waisted trousers cut loosely down through the legs. White pearls at the neckline break the block colour and nod to the Lady chic mood. A hint of ambassadorial style is present in the next look to the right in light Baby Blue as clean lines are gathered into romantic folds of soft geometry and a subtle jewel brooch at the left shoulder hints at formal decorations. A gather at the left hip of the skirt falls to soft folds contrasting with the open fan of the right side of jacket descending from the shoulder. To the right a more casual feel in Baby Pink with a soft knit sweater paired with a pencil skirt. Line is defined by a belt with the lengths descending to the mid-calf, a demure length favoured by Sergeenko in this collection. To the right a headscarf offers a more subtle style note with a generously cut Chocolate Brown dress cut in quasi Bohemian style featuring tight pleats with a flourish of the 1930' and 1940's. This look could suit work or play and the pleat detail shows Sergeenko's fascination with playing with volume without losing prettiness.
Baby Pink softness returns in a long line coat in soft faux fur. With sleeves reaching to the mid forearm and a mid calk length it will keep the wearer warm but too hot in autumn. Discreet deep pockets and clear lines are complimented by short Baby Blue kidd gloves with sweet heart Black bow detail. Some styling detail from the Chocolate dress above is carried through to the Grey ladies suit above to the left. Faint hints of military lines are blended with the tone of the 1930's and 1940's and this look could be spiced up colour-wise with a brighter clutch purse or scarf. Light Baby Blue and sweet ribbons return again in another beautiful skirt suit with a skirt cut in taper at the waist and high-waisted jacket set with a beautiful bow at the neckline. The look is finished with a chic Scarlet long purse in vintage style.
To the right a White day suit harmonises romance with elegance as the neackline of the jacket plunges in a heart shape above a neatly cut piece with fine pleats in the skirt. Chic, stylish, timeless and international it would be a look with great longevity in your collection as with many of it's contemporaries. To the right a rich Emerald bodice and skirt take a contemporary approach to evening wear in a flattering shade and cut that could also accessorise with a Black jacket or wrap. To the right a Brown day dress is sewn with applique flowers in a pretty 3D effect across the fabric bringing life from the earth in a poetic celebration of the woman and creation.
A Baby Pink day suit is comprised of a jacket crafted in woven wool that resembles the patterning of traditional Scottish knit and a simple plain skirt reaching to the favoured mid-calf. A slim Black belt at the waist draws a line of definition to the outfit and the ribbed knit effect brings the homely to high fashion. A head scarf seals the hint of vintage. To the right an Emerald silk dress with it's broad collar and wide puffed sleeves tapers to a long line tulip shape skirt bring a hint of the Edwardian era or Belle Epoch as it was known in Europe to the collection. The central neckline jewelled with a pin brooch. Ruched ripples of fabric brings ray of sunshine to this Autumn - Winter collection with a light Summer shirt dress that has easy appeal. To the right a chic White blouse buttoned to the collar makes the sophisticate contrast with a ruched multi-layered skirt creates a maritime wave across the length of the figure. An opus on the ballerina dress ball gown appears next to the right with layers of fine tulle silk wrapped around the figure. A curved bandeau at the waist holds the skirt into place whilst a sheer single layer of silk across the bodice reveals the form.
A haze of Pink and Gold recalling the embers of dawn and sunset creates a fun colour base for a circular cut skirt with layered tulle adding volume from underneath. A finely cut White blouse with embellishment at the shoulder and cuffs of the sleeves makes a slightly formal contrast in this carefree piece. For day or evening drinks receptions, this look would be fun. The collection moves assuredly to eveningwear with the next piece as a soft sugar rainbow of colours light out the skirts of the dress. A soft cape, tutu-esque bodice and descends to a floor length gauzey full skirt trailing behind the wearer and topped by an outer skirt around the same length as a jupe de ballet. To the Baby Blue returns in the next gown with a cape used again to shield the shoulders from chill breezes and a flattering full length dress with a pretty cascade of layers. To the right a light Pistachio gown plays with layers of folds and tightly pleated and also paying attention to style detail in the shoulders and lengths that echoes the glamourous style of the 1930's and 1940's.
A bold statement in Black creates an easy to wear dress that would look great in the day but also in the evening without the belt. Finely pleated, it swings around the figure with a natural volume of it's own and is a piece of joyous femininity. A bold Scarlet dress with caped shoulders layered in soft tulle is pinned at the collar bone with another brooch simply made of Black velvet with a pearl and tiny crystals. The dress is cut in subtle fit and flare lines gathering fabric around the central waist band to form easy volume maximising glamour in every turn. A powder Lilac Blue with tiered layers of gathers in ballet dress style brings the magic of the Christmas and Winter ballet season to the catwalk. Romantic heroines come to mind with the brooch favoured through the collection appearing at the right hand waist and a broad flourish of gathered silk across the right shoulder giving an emphatic movement to the outfit. To the right a Bridal dress works it's fairytale charms as it glides down the catwalk with shimmer sewn into the voluminous folds and a second small outer skirt encircling the waist.
Alexis Mabille is a superb Couturier creating style in the way that many clients really dream of owning when they know that budget isn't a question and they can indulge in the most beautiful artisanal fashion. As a journalist in this industry it's not really professional to say that I have a favourite Haute Couture designers but, just suppose that I have and it would not be difficult for you to guess who this might be.
Alexis opened his collection with some dream-like pieces of Haute Couture carefully crafted to sit feather light on the figure and creating the most beautiful composition. A trouser suit cut close the body in a lace like second skin is a beautiful example of fine embroidery crafted across a garment. A small skirt encircling the waist adds another dimension of detail to the look. To the right sweeping Black embroidered lace trails at the feet of the wearer sitting over a nude satin silk bodice. It's a chic evening wear piece with hints of boudoir but perfectly acceptable to be worn at events and in front of the camera. It would look great under moon light at a special party. Moving from Black lace to White, detailed floral embroidery surrounds the wearer of the next look centre above with a easy bandeau top matched to a below the knee skirt. There are hints of Summer perhaps here and this would make a beautiful party piece like much of the collection.
Diaphanous volume is curated to perfection in the next look with bias cut silk in sheer/opaque chevrons forming an abundant skirt with a delicately embroidered bodice showing silk weaving down the arms of the wearer. Perfect for the Red Carpet and Black tie events through the party and awards seasons. To the right an Ivory cocktail dress, cut with discreet deep practical pockets is accented by a White lace shawl encircling the shoulders. A charming enhancement of the smock collar perhaps, it carries hints of traditional clerical wear and also French regional dress of earlier centuries.
Beautiful soft florals are painted across the surface of an Ivory floor-length gown. Almost playing with the sleeveless shirt style by utilising the defined collars, the dress above to the left uses an expanse of volume to luxurious effect. Remaining light on the figure whilst also shielding a little from autumn breezes, it sways beautifully with the figure as she moves. You should have flowers in sight all year round. Sleek satin in light Platinum forms the base for a beautiful double breasted jacket style dress. Again a traditional aspect of men's tailoring is reawakened to dress the female figure with aplomb. Clear refined style perfect for floral events in the day or evening and another potential stunner for the Red Carpet. To the right the thin stripes of colour blues and white of the corporate turned weekend style translate to the broad loose drapes of a dress. Light Old Blue stripe upon what appears to be a single cut piece of silk creates an enviable fluidity moving around the figure as she walks. This piece would team well with a bolero jacket or light mid-calf or ankle length jacket in a single colour. You could twirl the night away in it. To the right another evocation of the shirt dress transforming it into a wide form ball gown. Billowing and audacious, it flow from a shirt like collar line though into a gown with gentle train.
The form of tailoring of the broad shirt dress is adapted into more formal lines with geometric lines bisecting the upper figure in a diamond shape. A dropped waist hem and a profusion of pin tucks surrounding it create generous folded volume through the lengths of the skirt in layers folded in a multitude of fabric like ribbons. Bordered by Pistachio Green piping with including sweet bow-ties at a edge of enlarged sleeves the colour contrast creates an edge away from appearing too saccharine sweet. A single shouldered Lilac gown with soft Rose Pink lining with channels lines of Classical Greco-Roman style with silk flowing across the figure over the shoulders to a side split below the waist. Cut on the bias in one piece it's another garment that shows in detail how Alexis understands how fabrics flow around the figure. To the right a deep Rose Pink forms a culotte gown where wide legged trousers flow with the movement of the wearer and a deep hood that can also be worn as an off the shoulder cape in two tone light and dark Pink silk. A beautiful contemporary gown composition. To the right a bold floor length gown in regal Purple uses the raincoat jacket form, pockets included, to give that extra edge of practicality.
Alexis moves boldly through colour themes through the collection and through Pinks and Purples he moved to Gold, Rose and the classic neutral of eveningwear style. The shirt dress returns in Gold with neat collar descending to a bodice with ruched sashes falling on either side of the gown to broad open shoulders. Sash tied at the waist it carries a nonchalant feel within it an although this will do a great turn on the Red Carpet it's also a perfect piece for drinks receptions and also more low key events leading up to the party season. Centre above a soft Rose dress uses an innovative style with faint hints of Japanese style. A deep V neckline bordered by broad lose cut above elbow sleeves plunges to a broad Obe style waist created from finely gathered fabric. The skirt length reaching above the knee has a sweetness about it but it's not an exclusively young style and would look good on clients off all ages.
Black and White is an evening wear staple and Alexis takes the theme of striped formality into the bold and sheer lines of the blouse with an open collar in a relaxed style the below knee skirt in dual layered silk, underneath blush and an outer layer of woven Black lace tied with a thick belt. It's another versatile piece that would suit clients of several generations and could be worn to receptions and events across a broad spectrum and also worn at home for entertaining. A hit for the party season. To the right an open sleeved Black velvet jacket plays on the traditional men's tuxedo with a long line Blush skirt making a subtle accompaniment in a new take on the traditional 'Penguin' suit of the man's wardrobe. It looks charming, every inch.
A Blush gown encorporates and elegant train sweeping elegantly behind the wearer as she walks in a froth of flowers. The dress is cut with a confident front opening seam cut on the diagonal across the left leg. The gentle contrast between the soft tulle folds around the neckline decolet ties with a Black velvet bow and the smooth crepe of the dress is a sopihsticated tonal contrast. Moving to Black diaphanous Black silk falling across the figure and a generously cut gown is off set but dot netted sleeves, perhaps borrowed from the hosery arena and broad plumes of Black netted gauze. Rather than used in an underlayer this is transformed to become a feature of the gown itself to luxuriant effect. For a night at the Opera, Gala or a grand gala it's a show stopping piece.
The female tuxedo appears in full after being teased above with perfectly cut trousers making a contemporary high style match to a white silk shirt and beautiful jacket. The jacket is cut with a softly curved broad lapel, two small pockets are cut at the top of the hips and the wrist is cuffed in smooth Black silk like a ribbon. A Black evening dress styled in Alexis's clear fluid style is accented at the bodice by two large feather plumes. The points of their quills secured by a Black feather bow, it's an exquisitely beautiful piece. To the right the play with lines that appeared in the earlier collection return with chevrons cut in narrower bands that make a bold display that catches the eye with it's optics. Black silk criss crosses the bodice using a twist in the fabric to create a natural turn and the generous cut of the gown gives the piece a freedom of movement that enhances the beauty of the figure.
Alexis' signature floral pattern for the Autumn Winter collection translates into new styles with a semi-sheer blouse cut loosely on the sleeves and nipped in at the wrists. It's a versatile separate here, matched to a pair of Black jeans style stretch velvet trousers. There's a tiny hint of Flamenco style and continental panache in the look and it's a subtle statement. To the right the broad circular cut of earlier pieces in the collection returns with florals encircling the figure falling from a bandeau dropped neckline. The stripes return in a border to the base of the garment curving around the figure and seen side on the dress ripples as the wearer walks.
To the right a Spanish style blouse border defines the neckline again employing the sheer and non-sheer silk fabric, this time composed in soft Rose. The lengths of the main dress embroidered in delicate silk has a hint of vintage bridal and incorporates the formality of the sleeves of a shirt. It comes together perfectly in a harmonious composition helped by the soft colouring and careful cut. To the right another dress that brings the shape of the formal shirt to formal eveningwear. A long-line sleeveless shirt styled with an outer skirt that hangs from the waist is a strong style statement but the softness of the Blush tone pares the look down. It's a bold Red Carpet piece.
A modern fairytale dress in Baby Blue incorporates generous volumes of fabric pluming from the hips outward to the floor. The skirts dotted with sewn crystal disks reflects the light in the purest old style fairytale look. The bodice of the dress makes a contemporary statement with fine lines across the figure and geometric forms. To the right the open necked blouse style loose cut dress with broad plumed sleeves is a relaxed evening classic with pin tuck detail creating simple gathers. The lengths of the fabric are richly embroidered adding a 3D texture to the garment as it moves. A shorter slashed sleeve tunic dress works a faintly Roman look with a bold ribbon border crossing the neckline echoing traditional dressing gown style. A pretty ribbon bow tied at the left shoulder makes a pretty stylish twist. To the right a Light Teal satin silk suit clings to the figure. A tuxedo cut sleeveless jacket sits underneath an outer jacket with quilted raffia - style strands of silk running lose across the surface. It's a beautiful style contrast twist to the sleek finish of the suit beneath and carries through the Baby Blue colour.
Beautiful folds of silk in Egg Shell Blue swath the neckline of the figure in lightest damask silk toilled perfectly into a Rosette at the left shoulder and in a ribboned bow with fringe detailing. The dress descends through a full length skirt to the floor and trim cuffs at the wrists add an edge of defined style. The flow is embodied in this collection. It's cool and serene. A Light Teal dress with flowing open lengths of fabric forms an almost circular hem, such is the generous use of fabric but note how the dress descends to a much greater sized fabric without showing a bigger seam. A broad silk bow ties around the bodice like a Christmas gift wrap amply shielding the neckline from Winter chills and with a trailing ribbon passing over the shoulder to create a train. Perfect elegance. To the right a Teal Green dress is also cut asymmetrically at the neckline with one long sleeve descending to a finished tailored cuff and the silk strands of a ribbon disappearing over the shoulder. Nipped in the waist a break in the line is formed naturally with the softness of the fabric descending across the waist in a fold. To the far right a beautiful silk satin White gown draped like a gown across the figure shows images of orchid like flowers from the seasonal palette. Whisper thin it uses light netting in a cut-away section to increase the feel of movement and space. Silk falls behind the wearer in a cape-like train from the shoulders to floor breathing every inch of elegance.
A pretty Rose colour dress uses the formal lines of the 1930's and 1940's to offer a straight silhouette cloaking the figure. An interesting linear border around the shoulders presents a juxtaposition as the fabric is curved into waves around the collar line. It's almost like a variation of the flower form with the head and shoulders emerging. The perfect long layers of the dress fabric move with mesmerising smoothness across the figure as the wearer walks. Another Rose look uses an outer shift layer to play with volume and enhance the silhoutte with an extra dimension. A close fitting dress composed of embroidered Blush coloured lace descends the figure while and outer gauzy layer of silk with subtle volume enhancing pleats sits over it like a loose veil. The details of the embroidery is partly revealed, partly hidden and it's a clever way to add an extra layer to warm through the cooler months and look beautiful.
To the right intricate lace in soft Ivory cloaks the figure in a detail gown with an elaborate feel. An escalloped bodice leads and outfit that descends across the figure with a small pleat at the front allowing extra freedom to move. Softly ruched tulle fringes a dropped hem descending to a train behind the wearer. To the right a profusion of Blush silk tulle delicately embroidered with sequinned shimmering detail wraps the figure in a two tiered skirt with two florishes of gathered fabric creating a broad fan at the bodice. The look is fixed to the figure by a board satin waist band forming a high crest below the decollete and the piece, light as a feather fits the modern fairytale image of the classic broad formal wear evening dress. Behind the wearer the soft folds of the tiers make a small train and add a faintly theatrical 'Belle Epoch' feel to the look.
In essence this suite of looks comprises almost solely evening wear pieces and shows Alexis' focus on creating the perfect looks to support women when they need a sensational piece to wear. Drawing on the tiered layers of the ball gown and a hint perhaps of the carnival clown costume of the past, the look above to the left shows tiered layers of tulle descending from Light Silver at the shoulders in degrede through the skirt lengths to Egg Yolk Yellow. It's perhaps a metaphor for the colour that comes into the world after the coldest days of winter or the lights that light up the frosty days of winter but I may be reading too much here! It's a beautiful dress to muse over and the bejewelled waist band sculpted close to the body flatters the figure and makes a feature of the volume. Subtly warming on the figure it's a beautiful piece for a ball, gala or in front of the camera.
To the right a metallic lustre shines again in the collection with a beautiful shirt dress amplified to Haute Couture dimensions. With an embroidered waist band, expansive open collar and thick border the look speaks of elegance with a plucky nod to the utilitarian. To the right a beautiful bridal dream to close the collection in one of Alexis' key styles. The figure is cloaked in White lace in a body stocking form while a enormous White silk bow crosses the figure at the bodice to perfection forming loops that rise out of an emphatic full length skirt. Cleverly styled to create the bows of the bodice from the skirt itself, this look is chic elegance at it's supreme and the touch of magic that clients hope to find when choosing a designer for a piece of Haute Couture.