Haute Couture AW 2019-20 Part 2
There was much more to come during Haute Couture week with some markedly different interpretations of classic style heritage that the respective brands look to develop and modulate over time.
He wants to write a love story and this designer born in Rome and educated at Central Saint Martins after an art degree in Italy has been telling us beautiful love stories in the medium of Haute Couture since 2011.
There was romance aplenty this season in the form of floral shapes, soft pastel details, draped ruching and soft peplum pleats. The opening look of the collection saw a model turned into a profusion of petals with a dress created from flower heads ranging from the bodice to the floor. The soft baby Rose flower heads encircling the wearer where complimented by a small ribbon tie at the crown that also featured two Peach-Cream flowers set on a Black ribbon. It's a romantic ode to beauty and aptly set the tone for Valli's offering. This is one designer that is often noted for producing trains in the composition of his dresses and the second look above is a superb example of how a simple understated adition to a dress in the train can make a statement without appearing in any way excessive. A minimal White dress with round neckline collar is fringed with Orchid-like petals through a dip hemline from the raised front to the flowing lengths.
A dress characteristic of the Valli spirit of romantic voluminous couture unfurls fabric across four sequences descending. A bandeau bodice dropped at the back sits above a bow-tied waist flourishing into a puffball upper skirt around the hips. Tiny pin-tuck gathers increase volume in the diaphanous skirt in two consecutive lengths with the second forming an out-sized hem and train behind the wearer. The head of the model is crowned with a soft giant rose in the shade of Apricot. A soft solour clash that's really a jaunty off-set. The colours may be soft and light for a classic autumn palette but the feel to the dress is of a substantial gown to wear in the winter season. To the right the four phase dress becomes a three phase dress with a small bodice and gathered shoulder fabric descending to a puff-ball outer skirt reaching the mid-thigh and the long lengths of the outer skirt reaching to the ground with a small parting to allow the fabric to fall a little behind the wearer in a train. The dress in lilac is crowned with a Mint Green band that's framed with dotted silk lace often used in veils. It's charming and pretty and makes a playful off-set to the Lilac.
A profusion of rosette gathers span the length of a skirt from above the waist to floor length. It creates a swirling volume to the dress and a contrast to the close fitting bodice tied off with a bow. A Rose of light and deep Pink petals crowns the head of the wearer the sweet romantic touch of beauty custom to Valli is breathed into the piece like life itself. This signature print of falling Pink petals on a White silk appears again several times through the collection as a key theme. The longline three tiered dress in white elaborates on the theme of the Lilac dress in the upper range. This piece is caped at the shoulder spilling ruched satin tulle across the shoulders to the wrists above a higher drop puffball skirt and long gracious trailing lengths. A bow at the neckline and waist break the lines of the fabric to prevent them looking perhaps etheral and the romance of the garment is crowned once again by a large Mint gathered flower rising from the models hairline.
To the right another dress in a signature light floral print cuts a classic Valli style with a mini-dress accentuated to high glamour proportions with a long train running behind the wearer. Flowing to bridal lengths, it's fringed with a pretty hem of it's own echoing the hemline of the mini-dress and the ruff dress collar and above elbow cuffs. It's a look reminiscent of the pretty joy of Spring and early Summer but as Valli notes, why not embrace these colours all year round and fill out autumn with colour and enjoyment? It's a stunning piece for the Red Carpet. To the right a cocktail dress is set to wow at parties. With it's off the shoulder style, simple bodice and voluminous skirt emulating in millefeuille layers, the ruffled appearance of flower petals. Neat and chic, it would brighten up an autumn or Christmas season party and happily live on in the wardrobe into warmer days.
An adaptation of the three tiered Lilac dress in the opening passage of this collection appears in White with a broader bodice that like it's predecessor, also channels hints of the Classical Greco-Roman era. Even the gathers appear to fall through the length of the figure in a linear alignment that is light as a feather to sweep to one side. A Rosette above the high waisted reverse is echoed in the larger flower placed centrally above the forehead and bordered by feathers, it appears to be Halo-like. This piece, like several much of the collection could be worn as a Bridal option and sweeps with majestic beauty. A Scarlet floor length dress contrasts style and shape with two large rosettes enveloping the upper body from neckline to below the waist. Long flowing lengths of fabric cut in circular style and then gathered in ruches around the waist provides an ample skirt that breathes elegance and freedom.
To the right above a Sugar Pink dress is composed of small tulle roses sewn closely together that with the broad ties of a bow folding over the tip of the fabric to create a bow-tied bodice shape of sorts. This is a sweet mini-dress that will make a serious party entrance and could be adapted slightly by lengthening to create a beautiful bridal option. If a sweet could be a dress in itself, perhaps this would be it? To the far right an elegant piece is formed from two opposing design styles. A straight-cut White tunic dress with some embellishments is combined with a voluminous train incorporating some elements of the late Victorian and Edwardian era bustle in volume enhanced tucks. A broad hem gathered to create a second lower tier of the dress descends into a soft marshmellow Pink train behind the wearer as she walks. It's another Red Carpet impact dress yet with all the softness of the Pink and White of sugar-soft dreams.
A stronger colour contrast appears in Mint and Magenta with a cape serving as an outer dress in long fluid lines in contrast to the under dress appearing of gathered flower heads in Magenta. The blend of opposing colour and texture creates a contrast-harmony and will make a beautiful entrance to a gala or Red Carpet event. In the centre a huge statement piece is quintissential Valli with it's broad expanse of tulle created with flowers gathered and streaming down the surface. It's a dress that would make another striking entrance at an Autumn or Winter gala or film premiere event and the soft puffs of Pink again conjure Sugar Plum Fairy thoughts. Banded by a Black ribbon at the waist, the bodice is composed of feather-like long petals encircling the figure. The dress itself it very light to wear, as with the masterful stroke of haute couture the know-how is used to create a structure that will sit effortlessly on the client. To the right a Cream-White mini-dress is embroidered with applique resembling the leaves of a plant in flower in a light Fern Green with the floral rosette clusters appearing in White and Black at the collar and the wrists. There's a hint of the 1960's in the mini-dress cut and this is a classic look that will still appeal many years from now. As with all couture you can probably request this to be tailored a little longer in length towards the knees or possibly full-length for a more modest composition.
The strength of Black enters the collection making a clear statement in the pattern of the long cilindrical shape that Valli used earlier in the collection. This time the bodice is richly embellished crossing the shoulders and set at the left shoulder with a large Pink rose created in tulle wrapped in Black silk almost like a bouquet. It's a perfect Black-tie outfit for New Year's around the world or for special formal events. It's another Valli classic that will look spectacular in front of the cameras. In the centre another burst of tulle in a dress of mid-19th century proportions appears in a froth of fantasy around the wearer. An off the shoulder neckline also captures the hidden/reveal dichotomy of the Victorian dress code. To the right a carpet of roses appears printed onto silk wiht Magenta blending with soft Scarlett. A mini-dress is created wrapped around the figure with a broad bow tied at the back, slightly echoing the effusive exhuberance of the 1980's with large volumes of fabric gathered below the sholder mid-point descending to a train in the style of vintage 18th century fashion. It takes the best of the high fashion of the past and blends it with something new to create the magic twinkle of style.
A dress alomst riffing on the elongated Ballerina dress, descends to the ground with a outer skirt featuring a dipped hemline. Another bodice created from a festoon of feathers wraps around the figure as in an earlier look and a Black ribbon tie across the crown presents a romantic touch. The tumbling layers of tule reaching the ground in the under layer of the garment has the fairytale feel of the cinematic ball gown about it. Centre above the reverse angle of an earlier dress shows the full flowing fabric of the cape-train that floats beautifully behind the wearer as she walks. A Magenta mini-dress pops with colour into the autumnal gloom. Rosettes wrapped around the figure cinched with a ribbon at the waist is contrasted with the broad flowing lengths of silk that form a dual train that the client can also wrap around themselves as a stole. The latter could look really lovely in front of the cameras.
Monochrome is always an elegant and popular option for formal wear and a simple bodice crafted with of clusters of Black roses above a voluminous White tulle millefeuille skirt is an easy classic to wear for an ocassion. Expertly tailored and comfortable it's a piece that will attract a camera lens and gain column inches celebrity clients as well as helping to create memorable events for private clients. The ability of separates to potentially mix and match amongst some outfits in Valli's collection is another useful facet of their charm. Centre above a mini-dress in one of the signature prints of the collection features balloon sleeves reminiscent of the bows of a tied ribbon, whilst behind the wearer, fabric descends from between the shoulders to an Imperial length of train. With neat folds created allowing enhanced volume, it's a solidly elegant statement. Soft Lilac reappeared in a dress bursting with romantic verve as a froth of tulle circles the individuals shoulders and the waist, leading downwards to a sheer skirt and another froth of gathered fabric in a dual tiered hem. Valli for several years has taken this fabric, formerly used as under garment skirting sixty or seventy years ago and transforms it into an integral part of the composition of the piece.
To me the 18th century seems to call loudly in the Duck Egg Blue dress above in one of the most serene fashion statements that you could wish to see. I believe that this is a reverse of the first look four friezes upwards showing the capacity of the gown jacket to make a spectacular impression in the room that it enters. As the collection moves towards the finale, a very Light Fern coloured dress again explores the use of multiple layers of tulle that encapsulates Valli's Haute Couture wonderland. To the right, a Cream-White dress worthy of an Opera stage or grand winter ball setting is set with a Peach-Pink flower corsage in-built into the right shoulder of the garment and a cascading dramatic dip of the hem from mini-length at the front, to trailing lengths at the reverse. Cut to traditional Bridal proportions, this garment is regal yet light and 'floating' in place within the offering.
There are 'show stopping' ball gowns and then there are aisle and Red Carpet dominating ones and the look to the left above is certainly one of those. Composed in Baby Blue five tiers descend from a ruffle neckline through four descending lengths of a dress skirt. After the first three of these, the garment reaches the floor and the fourth is sheer indulgence. Each tier, as in the other dresses to come from the collection, is in itsel, created with several thicknesses of fabric. Adding volume on top of volume. Centre above a Mint single shoulder dress is almost 'all skirt' as the skirt drop appears to begin at the bodice line as the dress descends through layers appearing to slope off eachother at odd angles. It's playful, yet strong and not bashful at hiding it's technical perfection. The final look shown is an Apricot dream composed in perhaps eight or more layers around the figure of the model. This is a piece for Bridal or the Red Carpet, I feel, or could possibly be adapted to be worn for private gala's perhaps missing the bottom tier of fabric if you so chose, for ease of movement journeying to and at the venue. Valli dreams big this season and with him, so should all of we.
Dior's latest offering from Maria Grazia Chiuri opened with a twist. Haute Couture very often uses words like 'classic' and 'timeless' so the debut look from Dior of a model wearing a T-shirt branded 'are clothes modern?' created something of a double juxtaposition. My response would be 'nay' as to that after seeing illustrations of ancient fashion from around the world. So on with the show and a beautiful, if rather melonchollic, show from Dior.
Much of the collection remained in a Charcoal Grey/Black with the classic Dior suit haunting many of the looks in the opening passage of the collection and a few later onwards. A jacket and long skirt with belt at the high waist are reminiscent to my eyes of traditional Japanese Shogun clothes. The jacket and skirt of the warrior. A narrow line coat dress like a tapered version of the classic 'Bar' from Dior is only briefly broken by the thin wisps of a dentelle woven lace blouse beneath. An echo of the nineteen twenties emerges, interestingly as this winter will see us enter the next twenties, in a dress with a flat bodice with woven lace covering it's surface in panels transforms into a craftlike hanging weave in the lengths of the skirt reaching to the knee length. It adds to the faintly gothic feel of the collection and the dress and jacket to the right above have a touch of the austere about them that is swiftly offset by the luxurient touch and feelof the fabrics used. I may be wrong in my assessment of the collection looking dour in Black/Grey as it is possible to order Haute Couture in altered forms and this, in essence is part of the ethos. Therefore it should be possible to create these looks in other colours and fabrics to suit your moods.
Dentelle embroidery appears to be a particular fascination in this collection, perhaps reflecting the detail of gown in the 'Belle Epoch' era. A dress almost appears more like a body suit from neckline to ankle with a corset and tulle skirt wrapped around the hips slightly parted at the front. A sheer lace bodice is created in panels above a skirt with broad applique features. A Black coat is tied across the waist at the left side. It brings the sweep of the Haute Couture dress into the cut and styling of outerwear garments. Wrapping the figure, it reveals only a hint of dentelle lace at the collar of the blouse. The Kaleidoscope of styles turns again with a full-length dress borederd by a neckline collar resembling Egyptian and pan-European Bronze Age metal work. The sheer lengths of the dress reveals a bodice and Black silk pants underneath.
An almost unique break into colour shows petrol inflused hues of metallics from Blueberry, through Pinks to Ice-Blue at the hemline fitted in the classic cicular cut of ball dresses of countless generations of women. It's a easy modern classic and I personally wish that Grazi Chiuri had done more with this colour blending theme through the collection as she moved to more expressions through the solid Black. A single shoulder sheer dress begins at the shoulder in dentelle lace and descends through a fabric change at the waist to a thick weave resembling a thick Victorian era shawl complete with long fringed tassels swishing from the hem. A loose cut jacket and shirt play with the theme of the Dior House classic female suit line whereas an above the knee dress tied with a waist belt defining also riffs on the classic blazer in it's single breasted close. The Japanese obe appears again as a broader expression around the upper waist of a model holding in her silk shirt. An above ankle skirt is framed by thick box pleats allowing extra room for movement whilst enabling the cut of the skirt to retain a long-line look to the silhouette.
A beautiful evening dress hits a high note of Haute Couture expertise with a lace veil that appears part of the composition of many looks in the collection, also appearing to form part of the dress. The fabric twists across the shoulder suggesting a single shoulder strap with the lengths falling across the dress to create an outer shift. Fine dentelle embroidery across the lace surface adds to the allure of acres of Black silk forming a petit bodice and full broad skirt. A dropped shoulder jacket is created without buttons and designed in a dual layer of sheer chemise and fine light crepe wool forming a chic simple top. A skirt featuring a simple wrap over look allows for movement whilst maintaining line.
Centre above a dress appears shoulderless thanks to the magic of dentelle lace draped across the shoulders and upper arms of the wearer. The same dentelle runs through the length of the dress from bodice to midi skirt length. It's line echos the shape of the classic era fo the launch of the Maison by Monsieur Dior and overtly channels the 'New Look' that he launched following the second world war. It's a dream of a dress to wear. A long line coat typifies the simplicity of Dior through the second decade of the the new century with any austere feel of the garment off-set by hints of a delicate lace dress and criss-cross centurian like sandels underneath. A small hat with veil carried in many looks through the seasonal offering adds to the quiet air of 'film noir' and mystery. To the right another dress that lets in a peep of colour in burnished Rose makes a play on the theme of a dropped shoulder opposing a single over the shoulder sash. Another full-length dress with volume offers glamour and a bit of warmth for the winter season attending gala's and Red Carpet events on cold nights.
The broad-skrited style of the classic full length dress worn across centuries is beautifully eleaborated in the first look of this frieze with an outer shift layer of applique feathers woven into floral shapes. With a barely there but discernable veil this look has hints of the funeral about it. The Black silk band carrying a Golden pendant at the neckline carries echoes of the Victorian tokens of mourning for loved ones. It's a beautiful composition and as with the following looks, much attention is paid to the clear defined line of the bodice corset. A kne length semi-sheer dress uses fluid dentelle across the neckline and down the arms over nude lace to create the impression of stems growing across the skin like Ivy growing across statues. The knee-length skirt appears almost grass-like with fluttering shoots also set as applique onto stockings.
The feathery tendrills reach full force glamour in a dress tot he right above with raven-like character. The models dark make-up, worn through the collection, almost seemed punk style when combined with the studded necklace and lace veil wrapped around the shoulder and bodice. It's possibly one of the eeriest things that I've ever seen on the catwalk To the far right another veiled lady opens with the shimmer and sparkle of stars worked into her dress lengths. A bodice visible through the dresses semi-sheer structure adds a definite contrast to the etheral floating form of the shift dress.
The gothic drama continues in the essence of feeling the presence of Black coming out over and again down the catwalk. It's important to remember however that these dresses will generally appear individually at events and may possibly be requested in other colours. Sheer outer layers of tulle harmonise with sweetheart necklines and hints of floral embroidery. To the right a burnished crepe sweeps across the figure from left shoulder to full dress length. An extra sweep of fabric is folded outwards over the hips above full length skirting. In a composed Haute Couture statement it hearalds a brief return to colour in the collection, also composed of a lustrous fabric beginning at the neckline in Blush descending to Blue-Grey at the lengths of the skirt. All three of these looks are accented with veils and worn with jewellery that carries romanesque hints about it.
A shimmering Platinum goddess dress is gathered into a myriad of tiny folds with the lustrous lengths of fabric of the off the shoulder dress simply defined by a chord tie around the waist. It's an easy elegant statement that would be very comfortable through long evenings. Draping is also used to effect in a taffeta-esque wrap around piece again nodding to the classical past with it's single shoulder design. Shimmering pin point stars like the tiny point sthat you see in the night sky are visible in this and the next dress featuring a deep plunge neckline descending the waist. Striping everything back to the most simple a Black velvet dress hugs the body and drapes fabric in a way also reminiscent of the garments of classical antiquity and romantic revivial in the 18th and 19th centuries. Universally adaptable, it's a poetic statement. To the right a impact minidress is swathed in a sheer veil of tulle fabric dotted once again with crystals. It brings the twinkle of the night sky down to earth and onto the catwalk and potentially Red Carpet. This seasons collection from Grazia Chiuri was an interesting departure into a somewhat darker story but the House of Dior, so literally illustrated by the final look of the collection, a model veils and wearing stretch fish-net boots as her peers, dressed in a form of the Maison itself to the length of the mini-dress. The House moves forward, the House moves on as it mustalways after the lifetime of it's founder.
Ralph & Russo
The Australian duo Ralph & Russo have built an Haute Couture atelier from scratch to serve the needs of a large number of women around the world who look for a new spin on the classic codes of Parisian Haute Couture glamour. As many brands became more experimental in recent years the pair spotted a gap in the market perhaps but nonetheless have remained faithful to a vision that would be recognisable to many of their predecessors in the business.
But that doesn't meant that collections feel in anyway stuck or bored. Far from it, Tamara and Micheal seem to have found a way to channel classic emblems in a way that appears fresh. In a slight reversal of the conventions of Haute Couture the collection opens with Bridal White. and the shimmer of gem stones. A blouse sewn with an outer layer of pearls running like a jewelled waterfall down the front and back of the piece. They seem like an extension of the layered pearl collar necklace and tiara-like headband worn by the model. This drop of jewels is tempered with White silk trousers that bring the outfit into a more suit-like day or evening form. This is theme of fusing jewellery and fashion with superb applique is a House theme and continues through the collection. A jacket dress is set with gemstones and pearls amidst the geometric floral bordering of the collar, central opening, hem and sleeves. Flowers are created by eliptical lozenges to hint at petals in a square of four and a thin band of crystals above the wasit defines the bodice/skirt notional break in the garment. It's an Ice Princess jacket.
The trouser suit is examined in two different ways. White satin silk composes the crispest chic ensemble of pristine quality. The frst look features a jacket closed with a large crystal insignia at the left shoulders and chians of crystal hanging between it an another jewel at the right hip in an echo of miliatry officer braids and the female chatelaine chains of former centuries. The jacket itself is cut softly in perfect harmony around the body of the wearer. Slim line trousers cut above the ankle walk in front of a train descending from the jacket. This spin on convention will appeal to clients undoubtledly for impact effect but there will probably be an option to request the suit in simple jacket and trouser form. A wide leg trouser suit and jacket worn open reveals two silver crystal necklaces. The first set round the neck is crafted with wave-like shells and the second with line strings of gems stones much like an echo of braiding that appeared in the previous look. Both looks feature pointed Silver metalic stilettos and the wider leg cut of the trousers hints at a slightly more relaxed style with just as much glamour.
Shimmer and shimmy potential are offered in the next pair of dresses with 1920's style tassel dresses showing hints of the previous century chic as we head into the new 20's. The composition of the first dress is stunning in it's simplicity and the like reflected from the crystals will make the wearer shine like a diamond herself. Pulled in an apex descending from a thick Black ribbon halter next it's a timeless dress that clients would love a century apart. To the far right feathers band a dress sewn with crystals to create a movement and extra dimension of fabric on the figure. Both outfits are topped with crystal diadem-like headbands to add a princess-like touch.
A dip into the Ralph & Russo archive was possible insoiration for the dress above that plays with classic themes from the collections of seasons past. The dramatic cut-away side opening of the dress in an outer sheer White silk falling to a train is a House classic, whilst beneath a shimmering jewelled sheer dress is split at the right thigh that creates a dipped hemline. It's a goddess dress for Aphrodite's everywhere. The jacket dress returns in a strong Baby Blue cut to the mid-though with applique floral details and an echo of the classic miliatary jacket button lines sewn down the centre and around the collar in closely set florals. The perfect symmetry of this piece emphasises the discipline and perfection that Haute Couture is renown for. A feather fantasy in a light Sky Blue sweeps around the figure with a dramatic cut-away split revealing well toned legs and dropping to an asymmetrical skirt. A single shoulder ruffled with plumes of feathers and tied at the waist with a Blue silk bow encapsulated the sense of the model being wrapped.
To the right the feel of simplicity continues with a Silver-White single shoulder silk dress appearing to be cut from a single sheet of fabric. Tied above one shoulder in a generous ribbon, the angular neckline is sewn with tighly jewels then larger more spaced apart gem stones across the chest. Again you have the feel of jewellery merging with fashion into one. It's a composition that looks breathtakingly simple but requires technical skill and sensitivity to create it. To the right an Ice Blue shift dress is sewn with beautiful dentells and applque jewels to creates a frosted garden across the fabric. A light blue band around the neck, the waist and elbow length sleeves defines the dress segments and again creates a look of chic clarity.
A diaphanous semi-sheer goddess gown floats literally around the model as she walks down the catwalk. In a gentle contrast flowers boarder the shoulder in an inversion of the halter neckline. A sweetheart neckline with fabric draped on the bias across the bodice is held at the waistline by a simple chord band before dropping to the perpendicular in the lengths of the fabric. The gathered material including nude under dress floats freely around the legs as the wearer walks and this look strikes me as a colourful Bridal possibility as well as a Black-tie or White-tie option. Set for Autumn and Winter, I feel that it's another look that could live on into the Spring and Summer wardrobe too. To the right a Grey tweed suit works the classic nineteen-sixites mini-dress lines that the House often lays with and creates an elegant classic off-seetign the traditional formal connotations of this elegant wardrobe staple. With traces of Greys, Fern and Teal rippling in the boucles through the fabric it hints at the muted autumnal palette as we move towards Winter and icey landscapes. A precise vertical line of buttons and two higher and two lower pockets faintly echoing the Chanel style reference the Parisienne classic with British heritage.
A floating Lilac dress again fuses jewellery and fabric to blend into a composite look. The collar and waist encircled define the upper and lower segments of the dress to create a look of conformity to the eye in a soft juxtaposition to the jewelled bands. It's another dazzler for the Red Carpet and a piece that will be memorable in front of camera. A nude bodice featuring long sleeves gives the impression of flowers growing across the decolette and arms of the model. It's a beautiful way to express symbiosis with nature in the form of the female figure. Hand painted silk or coloured silk sewn onto the fabric creates an image of living nature across the surface of the skin. The dress lengths are composed of gathers of fabric to create volume wth painted silk flowers falling through the lengths of the fabric with straifs of Aqua Blue tulle rippling water-like amongst them. To the far right a Silver spell is cast with a jumpsuit combined with a cape and streams of jewelled Silver applique tinged with the early Rosey hues of dawn light. It's an Ice Queen glamour suit to wear through the Winter season.
Blush Pink tones bring a warm note to the cold days of Autumn and Winter and a slinky silk dress wraps around the figure like a glove. Silk is gently falls through the lengths of the sleeves in gathered folds with the unquestionabe touch of elegance that the words 'Haute Couture' conjour in the minds of clients. A jewelled collar is one with the bodice in a halter neckline style with applique gems also matched by jewelled cuffs No need to go running to the safe or asking to borrow pieces with this garment. Everything is contained in one easy statement of delicate beauty. It looks regal to my eyes in a way that meets the 21st century face on. A Blush tweed suit again pays homage to this classic staple of the international wardrobe for work and play. Pretty peplum detail fringes the lower jacket to create a hem of beautiful flattering pleats above a skirt, handlily pocketed in front of the hips. It again carried that note of icey Winter chic. Short sleeves and an open cut neckline descending to just above the waist meant hat you won't become overly warm in heated rooms when dining or attending meetings.
Centre above light pastels, channelling the colours of the dawn in the Winter sky, move from Blues to Lilac, Peach and Pink in a dress of seemingly infinate layers. The sweetheart neckline is lost amongst a festoon of fabric brushing the decolette and the hemline dipped from a mini skirt rise at the front, to a ground sweeping train behind, fills out into a glamorous broad dress. A dress with a dropped waist and fine pleated skirt brings echos of the Tennis court to Haute Couture as a Tennis dress look is evoked in a soft Rose creation. The neckline wraps around the figure to encompass a soft scarf-like stole falling behind one shoulder and the skirt opens in a small split at the quarter left side of the dress in alignment with a row of crystal buttons running the length of the upper dress. To the right an Apricot shoulderless dress evokes the vintage fashion item, the fan, in the plated design of the bodice literally fanning out from a root at the abdomin across the chest of the wearer. The glass plates cleverly reflect the light and scenes in the room that the wearer walks into and makes an allagory of society and fashion in a statement of itself. The base of the 'fan' draws in fabric of the dress that falls from it in a skirt length in Art Deco style allowing the garment to softly fall from there around the client. It's a truly beautiful piece and a great piece of inspiration from Tamara and the atelier.
A soft float of feathery tulle wraps around the model like wisps of autumnal fog and smoke with a faint Blush hue. Loose rosettes of fabric are gathered round the shouder and across the waist through to the lengths of the skirt with dentelle embroidery of florals wraping close to the skin. The effect is something like creating a fairy goddess from the forests to walk amongst the gathering at a party or autumn Gala. Its another look that has certain Red Carpet appeal. Bolder notes of colour come into play with two sister dresses featuring similar cut-away jacquard designs in a Saffron base with White floral decor and cut-aways and a White mini-dress with identical Red floral patterning and cut-away design. At both mini and floor length these looks stun with their own unique individualism and the pearl-set headband worn with the Saffron dress is a special piece of craftsmanship in itself that could easily be worn with other pieces.
An evening dress in Blush looks Red Carpet ready with a plunge neckline heading to the waist and meeting with a large Black ribbon bow. The fabric reflects like with a liquidy lustrous shimmer similar to light reflecting on water. It belies the lightness of the fabric and volume gently emphasised through the sleeve lengths and billowed out at the cuffs creates a strong impression of movement. To the right a Black full-length dress features the House classic side split to the upper thigh with an embellished single shoulder and sleeve at the diagonal. It shows that the single shoulder look has been one of the most enduring in evening wear across this past decade after first being played with in number (I gather) in the nineteen eighties. A sheer shift layer of silk is embellished with dentelle and floral hints individually crafted with the delicate hands of the atelier. Based in London the Raph & Russo atelier is renown for its skill and hiring large numbers of Haute Couture artisans who already have many years of experience in crafting the elements that go into completing Haute Couture garments for their clients.
A Black tweed suit glitters with the sparkle of crystal sequins through the lengths of it's jacket and trouser combination. Black silk lapels and pocket covers fringe the tweed with a contrast and hints of Black lace in piping at the hem of the jacket and trouser leg soften any possibility of the look becoming severe or austere. A sheer Black shift dress is dotted with out-sized sequin flowers across the surface with a rosette gather of tulle at the waist and feathered layers of tulle fringing the lengths of the dress flowing through to a train. The fan motif returns above with a classic Black cocktail mini-dress partly sheilding it's sweetheart neckline with a jewelled fan. With a swish of folded material across the hips, it's an elegant head-turning piece for the party season.
The shimmer of liquid Gold ripples across the surface of fabric in a single sheet of cinematic glamour. A single-shoulder garment tied with a Black flower motif at the right shoulder in opposition to waves of fabric gathered in a cinched twist at the left hip. The play with light as this dress moves is unmistakably captivating and the essence of the high glamour that Ralph & Russo are known for. To the right a semi-sheer lattice work dress is framed with circles set in squares as giant sequins bounce the light back from this more daring look. To the right a semi-sheer mini-dress features a slanted neckline bursting with feathers around the face of the wearer. It's dotted lace shift creates an extra emphasis of a flurry of glamour in the soft balloon lengths of the sleeves.
A printed silk dress in fabric strewn with flowers is tied with two bows at the shoulder and right hand waist. It defines the shape around the figure with a sweetheart neckline partly reaching up to the left shoulder height. A mini-dress wraps around the upper legs with a bountiful amount of fabric and in a similar vein to other looks in the collection; two lengths of fabric form a double train behind the wearer as she walks flying free like streamers. A classic Red Carpet cut away dress features sheer silks in clash/contrasting colours of Scarlet and Magenta, tied at the right shoulder and left hip, it appears as though these two fabrics where simply draped around the figure with two ties. Of course we know that a lot more than that goes into the composition of a piece but the visual trick that greets the eye is simply beautiful. As with all the looks in the collection, low-rise stiletto heels are created to seemlessly match a colour from the dress.
To the right a light Rose fabric is blended with a bold Scarlet in another colour contrast statement. A jewelled bodice is party visible aside the single shoulder with fabric swirled and waved across the figures natural curves. The same jewelled detail appears at arcs above the left hip providing a twinkle and shimmer above the signature Ralph and Russo dramatic thigh split. Furthest right a Scarlet dress in many ruched layers of tulle feathers out across the surface. Perhaps it's the Redness but this reminds me of classic traditional Spanish dress as an underlying influence for this Haute Couture masterpiece.
The two-tone colour contrast look also makes an appearance in a dress that I feel could also be a potential bridal option. Again a single shoulder rises at the side of a jewelled crystal studded bodice that has echos through the upper lengths of the dress skirt. Graduated folds around the hips become fine pleats as Black fades through Grey into White and spills out across skirt lengths. To the right another Bridal or Red Carpet possibility features a tissues bodice sewn with semi-precious stones descending to voluminous skirt lengths of tulle. The happy simple contrast in these two elements and the simple folded layers of sheer tulle around the shoulders help to create a sweetly romantic image. To the right a Carinal Red dress features multiple waves of tightly sewn tulle rosettes creating a dress that seems part fabric, part flower. It could perhaps be an unconventional bridal dress for some clients and initself would be a memorable choice to wear through the Christmas season. To the right, the classic finale Bridal gown with glamourous train and an astonishing amount hand sewn flowers across the fabric. When Ralph & Russo first began to show in Paris, they became known for showing gowns in the finale that required four or six peole to help turn at the end of the catwalk, such was the qaulity and delicacy of the fabric that had been so carefully embroidered. With a crown of White Roses and large bowed robbons descending to a train behind her, she looks like a snow Queen.
Sergeenko themed this collection on the fabled ancient city of Samarkand in central Asia. She tapped the inspired surroundings of the region of her youth after growing up in the Soviet era in far eastern Kazakhstan close to the Russian and Mongolian border. The silk road and it's routes between cultures and continents call out in a strong voice and they have a 1001 and one stories to tell. There is something of a melting pot influence in the contrasts within some of the collections looks. Orange, White and Grey beads reminiscent of ancient Chinese textiles are matched to the loose flowing Rose silk of the most majestic flowing tissue-thin trousers. Furthest right above a light Lilac cape wrpas over a 'mantua' style dress coloured in degrede from lilac through to sky Blue. It looks like it's escaped from Europe in the 17th or 18th century and is making a reverse journey back along the Silk Road to the place where the silk of it's composition originated from.
Centre above three quite different dresses hint at the Belle Epoch splendour that made it's way into Central Asia through the expansion of the Russian Empire in the nineteenth century. A Black crystal sewn dress reaching the floor is tailored in the lines of the late 19th and early 20th century. The style is revisted without a bustle at the back to give a clearer definition of figure inserting gathers at the front of the gown across the abdomin. A sheer diamond shape front panel of the dress is embroidered with tassels of silk echoing draw string ties at the wrist. A Yellow Golden corset including the heritage side sashes to build up volume underneath the dress. It's matched to pantaloons cut with generous amounts of fabric in true vintage era style and in today's age these undergarments of the past could be worn in front of the camera today should your tastes allow. A pristine White mini-dress and lace trimmed cape offer a possible bridal option for those looking for something different and possibly could be lengthened upon request. I think the gatherings of the fabric are very beautiful and highlight endless possibilities of romance created by the humble drape.
Another captivating mini-dress is composed in Claret with hints of the bodice structure underneath. A contrast to the streamlined nature of this piece is found in the outer long jacket that channels traditional textiles of people living across central Asia. A woven textile purse accentuates that craft originas enveloping this look in tradition. Around the neck, the model wears a necklace of a double layer of jewels with a a third chain dropped lower to the decollete. A soft Black silk trouser suit takes it's style cues from several traditional Chinese and central Asian heritage garments. Gentle volume is created in the sleeves of a high waisted jacket with trousers also cut in traditional style to allow freedom of movement. Small floral details embroidered onto the jacket are amplified in the lengths of the trousers and grow larger as they descend the figure.
A gown jacket in Imperial Yellow channels the extraordinary skill and craft that was used in creating clothes for the Imperial Household and family clan that lived around the Emperor and Empresses. The coat lined with soft feathers at the opening lengths and cuffs also conceals a full-length Haute Couture dress in Blush with Yellow piped floral embroidery. Delicate flowers embroidered in soft pastel colours across the surface hint at eventual spring beyond the heavy snows of Chinese Winter. To the right a Claret colour dress and coat are proofed against the rain and elements of nineteenth century heritage style are incorporated in the 'boning' of the corset of the dress. Looking soft and liquidy this outfit is guarenteed to see out snow and rain in style.
Energy and the sense of energy are hard to capture but the Lilac dress above shines with a luminosity of fabled jewels. Textiles and textile production where one of the key reasons behind the power of the silk road and the colour and life that Sergeenko injects into this collection demostrate the captivating vibrancy that flowed from East to West over several centuries. A Rose swirlling at the right hip hints at the ancient growth of these flowers in the Near East and China for scent and, I believe, medicinal purposes. I know that central Asia has a rich tapestry of cultural heritage and I wish I could do justice to this by describing more cultural influences across this collection in more detail. Nevertheless I'll do my best. A fold across jacket embellished with floral applique details again points to the fine craftsmanship that the region is known for. The bodering looks quite like traditional Tajikistani braiding with the folding looking like a classic Chinese jacket shape.
The Amber of a brilliant sunrise is captured in the next garment with geometric prints reminiscent of several regional national costume styles worked into a bodice and finely folded gathers draped on the bias angle across the hips. Beneath a full skirt in rippling warm Amber-Umber colour evokes to me the bales of fine fabric that travellers would be bringing with them to trade in the west. A beautiful cocktail dress that you could take to a variety of formal parties. A neon Green sheer dress makes an unusual entrance and hints at the modern era of luminescent colour. The garment reveals the structure in detail fine detail with a vertical series of bands essentially building the frame and a curve allowed for the shape of the female figure. An Olive coloured garment echos the rural lanscape of the scrublands and valleys of central Asia. A bias cut evening dress is cloaked in a utilitarian but still recognisably Haute Couture rain coat. Completed with jewelled elements at the dress neckline and a hint of the burnished Gold seem of the coat, the look speaks to travel, adventure and the luxurient fabrics and jewels of the east.
An Aqua Blue dress is jewelled from the shoulders, bodice and through the short skirt with handkerchief hemline. Sewn with heart symbols in the lengths, it resembles traditinal Arabian clothes I believe and the pantaloon trousers in Gold printed silk beneath also have a fairytale feel about them. The model accessorises her look with a draw-string pouch bag embroidered with flowers and hearts. A warm quilted jacket sits high at the waist above a finely corsetted waist featuring the light bone detail that was exhibited above. It's a chic definition of the waist and sits atop a loose flowing skirt. The same fabric used through the composition appears to be Cream coloured with Golden flowers printed on the surface. Another sweetheart pretty clutch purse hangs from the models right hand, crafted in soft fabrics, it looks part artisan, part homespun with love and care.
Centre above a Rose Pink long coat dress blends the features of the evening gown with the winter jacket. eathers in a dual tier around the neck add warmth and volume whilst the tripple tier of skirts at the lengths of the garment from knee to foot add volume and a pretty sweet flair. A White satin silk evening dress to the right is cut close to the figure with a folded drape neckline and a flare of fabric cut on the left side of the garment. Small pictures resembling playing cards appear sewn in to the lengths perhaps hinting at the persuits and games packed for travel to keep people occupied through their journey. To the right a sheer Black shift is overlayed by a hot Pink veil sewn with animal designs and hearts. It's a daring and simple expression of feeling and love.
Fabric resembling Indian print set on a Fern Green background is craffted into a daring beautiful thigh split dress. A large bow under the right shoulder in luminescent fabric conceals a facet to create extra volume in the garment. A jewelled segment to the left of the garment covers the left side of the chest introducing the idea in this collection, of fashion and jewellery combining. A charming Apricot fabric used in a tier of the skirt of the coat above is created into a beautiful full length dress complete with gown jacket. Bias cut skirts fall in diagonal from left to right across the body. The soft fabric is printed with Gold and with or without the outer coat would make a wonderful dress for the autumn party season. A White tunic vest one-piece with skirt reaching below the waist nods to the style of make dress in several central Asian cultures. The beautiful fine lace work softens away any contemporary vibes of masculinity and Black trousers and a Magenta satin slippers complete chic, yet characterful looks. A ripple of liquid Gold emerged down the catwalk in the next dress. A single sheet of beautiful fabric that wraps around the wearer in a quietly daring style featuring one arms and shoulder sleeved whilst the other sees a length of fabric knotted at the shoulder and at the wrist for definition.
It's not easy to sum up all the influences in this collection in one sweep but suffice to say that there is a cultural kaleidoscope shifting different influences through the collection. Above a print with traditional illustrations appears across the jacket and another sheer Black silk dress sits underneath printed with detail reminiscent of Indian textiles. Centre above another Indian silk in Fern reappears dotted with colourful flowers emulating the life that can be found in the valleys and the plains on the journey to Samarkand. A Claret under skirt and trousers add a couple of extra layers of farbic for warmth. Lastly a bold composition features a Golden nude lattice bodice sitting like a chemise over a Black exposed corset finely detailed with embroidery work. A skirt composed of plumes encircles the legs, almost entirely and offers and elegant alternative to traditional fabric. In a whirlwind of influences set against the nomadic and setteld cultures of the central asian steppe Sergeenko offered a warm welcome to the lands where her story began.
Giorgio Armani is one of the undisputed Master's of fashion weilding great influence as well as holding great respect in the hearts and eyes of several generations of followers. His Haute Couture collections are amongst the largest sent out, testament to the large membership of the Armani Prive Club around the globe who are eager to make orders for the coming season.
The classic Armani trouser suit is something of a mainstay of the designers collections. Opening his offering this season true to form a perfectly tailored White jacket is woven from wool with a subtle zig zagged design and Black velvet trousers. A box clutch at the right hand is set with polka dots, that fashion hint that returns to classic after a lengthy orbit of a couple of decades. It's a classic composed piece like it's neighbour, a light Dove Grey woven tweed jacket cut in single breasted style with a jaunty handkerchief at the left breast pocket. This pair of looks translates easily for the day or evening and both the individual jackets and trousers are beauitful pieces to treasure in their own right.
To the centre above two suit offerings look more atuned to eveningwear and also showing how it is possible to create a beautiful contrast in fabrics but still compose a beautiful unified suit. A Rose jacket is cut with a central zipline disguised by rays of Silver framing gently out from the collar neckline to the jacket hem at the waist. Matched to trousers featuring a dual layer of Silver overlaid with a loose shift of White dotted Black silk. It's neighbour in contrast features a Black velvet jacket bordered with a White silk lapel exposed and Silver silk trousers featuring large coinsized Black dots. The collection moves more into experimentation with a sheer mesh blouse, lengths of sheer Black silk folded to create a skirt and a long gown jacket. The jacket is ornamented with Silver-White and minute chevrons. To the right a loose cut blazer wraps the figure above another dual layered skirt. There is a hint of traditional Arabian clothing here with a long silk skirt coordintaing to the jacket sitting underneath another sheer Black silk outer skirt with thick Black base band. Lively reinterpretations of favourite classics.
Black, that classic cut of elegance, forms a single colour statement in a tailored trouser suit with spectacular single breasted jacket. A small corsage at the left lapel of the jacket adds a hint of colour to the outfit and a chic Black clutch purse with chain sets the wearer up for a business meeting, lunch or an evenings entertainment. An enveloping Black velvet coat worn over trousers in the same colour is accented with piping at the edge of the fabric. The double breasted jacket style gives a sense of uniformity and disciplined line. In a slightly lighter fabric the coat dress to the right is double faceted with Black Satin on the outside backed by soft Cream on the inside spilling over a single lapel that seemingly wraps around the neckline of the wearer. A single button also at the left waist holds the jacket closed with a comfortable 'give' that shows hints of the soft Pink evening dress peeking through.
Large round dots of varying sizes pop across the surface of a light Lilac silk blouse. Rather than fastened with a button, this piece simply wraps around the shoulders under the collar with the fabric crossing open at the waist. Comfortably cut Black trousers complete a simple monochrome look topped off by a floral Black head piece and a straight box clutch. This piece heralds the exploration of metallics in light pastel colours that dominates much of the seasonal offering from Armani. To the right a trim Black blazer is fastened at the waist with a gentle parting of the lower jacket angled over the hips. A light shimmer of Blush Pink moves around the legs as the wearer walks thanks to dual layered culotte trousers. As with the previous collection above by another designer, I sense a nod towards the traditional clothes of Arabia in the dress. Furthest to the right a jacket and ankle length skirt in light Mint crepe and Baby Blue silk hint at the colour play fun to come with soft contrasts of shades. One again the waist is defined by a single button at the centre of the figure above the hips with pockets gently resting on the figures curve. The skirt beneath beautifully captures the liquidy sense of fabric becoming water-like on the woman's figure.
A Mint jacket cut in a similar style to pieces above is matched to broad culotte trousers created in two layers of silk and highlighted with clusters of pin-prick sized dots on the outer sheer surface. There's a feel of 'mix and match' about the collection with jackets, skirts and trousers seemingly quite interchangeable in the clients wardrobe. So, hopefully this will be a confection that will please clients to the n'th degree. While many looks seem conventional there is an element of experimentation and the next ensemble to the right features a blouse, a dual layer shift skirt over a Blush base and to complete, an innovative jacket featuring ribbon-like streams of soft metallic pastels printed across the surface studded with crystals to emulate the polka dots of earlier perhaps.
Whether it's a frosty ice-like turn or a watery theme the cool colours are captivating. A bold sheer blouse with fishscale-like reflective plates spread across the surface descends to an almost invisible sheer outer dress over a pair of silk trousers printed with floral hints. It's another conceptual look that resonates high style. To the right three classic cut trouser suits each take two differnt colours in combination from the icey palette to create memorable looks. Lilac silk culottes are matched to a Mint jacket fastened in an elipse with a ribbon band silver border. The simple arc compliments the natural curves of the figure whilst to it's right a Blush Pink jacket from earlier in the collection reappears with Silver silk culottes. A third colourway of these popular trousers appears to the right with a Silver boucle jacket woven in a metallic answer to the classic tweed.
The pastel colour pops come thick and fast with look after look chanelling the sweet sherbert hues. A print jacket with eliptical spaced lapels if tied at the waist by a sugar-sweet Pink bow wrapping around a sheer floor length light tulle that feels like a ballet dress that grew as long as it wished to to become a ball gown. A Silver boucle tweed jacket is twinned with Baby Blue silk culottes and a beautiful pouch-like clutch purse also appears to feature woven detail in a soft cradle like shape. This collection runs the gamut from pared down classic to the quirky more experimental pieces that will also interes many, if not the same clients, as they view and browse the looks. Centre above a nude blouse is decorated with stripes of Lilac fabric folded to resemble large flowers growing across the surface of the garment. A Lilac jacket surrounding it is shaped almost on the lines of the 18th century men's jacket and bordered from collar to hem in one seamless sweep with fine beading. It's another fresh take on elegance that Armani seems to be able to bring out with ease.
To the right, curved shell-like waves of Gold and Silver twinkle across the surface of an open jacket whilst the wafer thin bodice is tiered in five or six cascading layers of fabric fringed in soft tulle. Floor length culottes in Mint complete another relaxed elegant tableu that will be an easy option to own as a stand-alone, or as I've hinted could be swapped in for mix and match with other pieces from the collection. A Blush jacket with giant Silver sequins echos earlier pieces in tweed and Lilac satin silk culottes make another happy design spectacular. The simple long line folded clutch purse goes naturally as with any of it's fellow looks. To the right the sequencing of bands of three of the colours picked as the collection themes, Iced Blue, Lilac-Pink and Mint repeat through the lengths of a coat dress gradually increasing in size as they descend the feet of the model. Fine sheer braided culottes in Iced Blue complete the look ready for an evening out at the Opera or on the Red Carpet.
The ripple of three colours in tieres desceding through graduated size continues in a tulle dress that resembles a rainbow through the lengths of it's skirt. A Mint plume of feathers at the left shoulder and a Lilac one above the left hip. A Lilac-Pink double silk bow peeps out from underneath the plumes holding attenion of the bodice itself barely visible but formed of repeated sequances of themed colours. Thin bands of gathered tulle form a complete look of jacket and culotte trousers. It to my eyes carries hints of the Grimaldi clown about it but it's 100% fashion forward. Wave patterns swish around the jacket and floor length skirt in contrast to a sheer nude bodice sewn with crystals. It almost looks like it could be a suit of a very casual type, yet glam' enough for the evening. To the right a double silk Mint stole wraps around the shoulders whilst a complimentary evening dress matches a figure hugging under dress with a voluminous shift outer layer giving a double dose of magic. Furthest along a a smiliarly stlyed dress in a double layer form is styled to evoke the 1930's and early 1940's cinematic era of glamour. Gathered tulle at the shoulders creates the impression of feathers adding tiny wings to the client as she walks.
Mint continues to reign supreme in the frieze above demonstrating that this, sometimes overlooked tone can create a large number of options for dresses to wear for formal and filmed occassions and that it can suit many figures. The traditional European country dress worn across centuries with it's tiers of skirt farbic gathered in pin-tucks to accentuate volume now firmly has it's place on the Haute Couture catwalk. Above to the left a light chemise top sits above such a skirt flowing with elegance and beauty. A broad weave netted veil drops to become a cape around the shoulders and descends to a thick hem emulating the lengths of the skirt. It's a fairy Queen dress just like many that Armani conjours late in the collection. Centre left a shoulderless shift dress features a tripple layered skirt of silk and a double layer of tulle, the first long line and spotted and the second more voluminous and flowing around the model. A Grey ribbon tied belt around the waist is the only deviation from the colour scheme and adds to the multi-textile composition of the garment.
Another shoulderless dress in precisley the same colour shows how themes can be modulated to create something very different. The three tires of the dress skirt here are softly hooped to give them an extra dimension of volume. Soft applique shapes also enhance the notes of texture. To the right another play on the traditional European folk dress made Haute captures the feel of an enveloping dress. Fitting as close as glove to the figure before descending to a full skirt it's chemise composed of hooped circles runs from neckline to waist adding another subtle textile contrast.
Working the folk dress skirt into three descending layers with modulating colour, a simple open chain bodice top makes a delicate harmony with an outer shift layer of the skirt in netted silk. Even though a Winter colleciton, they would make beautiful pieces for the sunshine months of the year. Another dress with a jewelled Lilac bodice descending from a sheer tulle decollete is bouned by a belt at the waist with a sheer tulle shift in folk dress tiers descending over a straight lined skirt also in tiered form. It's a beautiful piece to whirl around a ball room in. To the right a Silver dress fitted at the bodice and banded by rows of crystals at the bust line and above the waist signals the synthesis of style and jewellery into one garment. A curved neckline and soft pleats at the top of the dress skirt descends to soft circular volume in the skirt. To the right a streamlined cocktail or Black-tie look in soft Lilac-Rose features a decolette banded with satin above a sleek dress set with crystal jewels. It's an international go-anywhere look, that like many of it's peers here is sure to much in demand.
Lilac moves into Blush in the above set of dresses with eveningwear glamour firmly in focus. Longline shift dresses in several permutations gives clients a further option to extend the look of evening gamour. A sleeveless dress with rosebud fasten at the decollette centre doubes a plain silk dress with an outer loose shift of dotted lace. In simple harmony, a neighbouring piece is composed of a long-line lattice weave of silk bounded outside by a voluminous shift later encompassing a train. This look, like several above, would easily make a charming bridal option. To the centre a cut-away plunge neckline forms the only break in a treamline silhouette. Gathered at the waist ever so slightly the curves within the design are emphasised by feather-like surface gathers across the farbic. Concentric diamonds wrap around the figure in a similar note of reassured elegance to the right. A cresent moon neckline is banded by tiny pleats of tulle before forming a shift layer descending to the floor. A soft evening dress cut in timeless fit and flare style features another example of the of the open weave or chain mail cape that accompanies many pieces in the collection. The shimmer of the metallic weave when it catches the light adds to the hint of fairytale glamour.
The trouser suit returns again as the colection moves towards a climactic finish and the palette moves darker to Black and shades of close to it. Crystal studded jackets twinkle like little stars around hte figure of the model or client wearing them. One jacket is closed whilst another is open almost to the waist in a plunge neckline. Delicate butterflys flutter at the left shoulders in a delicate insignia with both looks featuring Black loose cut trousers that look super-comfy for formal events and engagements. A third trouser suit features a minimalist blouse consisting of a broad bank of Silver silk wrapped around the neckline and extending to the waist. A tapered Black velvet jacket cut to open in an envelope fold angle at the waist. Black comfort-cut trousers again complete the attire with a purse bag making a play on the mid 20th century clasp-fasten bags of the past. A coat dress sewn with a shower of stars runs through the length is an emphatic single statement of style whilst an off the shoulder dress chanelling the clasic full ball gowns of European and American history is another potiential option for statemet Red Carpet glamour and party season impact.
A full length Black velvet dress is seemed with SIlver banding to divide graduated circles of farbic flowing through the length. It's a pure piece of Red Carpet heaven as is it's fellow set of looks that could see through the winter season of parties and perhaps appear at a pre-spring Masque or gala. Jewel-set twinkles across the surface of the dress centre above bring the shimmer of heaven to earth around the body of the client. It's a dress askign for an award itself during awards season. To the right another sophisticated take on the triered layers of the folk dress. A circular necklace of Black beads fringed with White drop stones adds a creative edge to the composition with a small Black clutch in hand.
The last two looks to close the collection are an alternative option to bridal making a statement both of colour but also tempered a little with Black shift netted layers. At the left shoulder a model's garment is accented with plumes of feathers and resembling faux fur with a large Black ribbon tied at the opposite waste in subtle juxtapose. Large snowdrop sized dots in one dress become tiny Black full stop sized spots on another dresses shift. A Black bandeau bodice and thick Black waist abnd above the skirt break the line of the figure and reveal the natural curve of the form. It's a carefree statement just liked the imagined carefree lives of the women of olde world European communities. Today however the woman or client is in the driving seat and I believe this reference to the past acknowledges the transformation in the lives of women and the decisions that they can make.