Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Giambattista Valli's Haute Couture

Giambattista Valli is no longer guest member on the couture calendar! The Paris-based designer, who made his debut on the Couture runways for the first time last season, was granted the official haute couture appellation early (typically designers have to wait five years to be eligible) by French fashion's governing body, the Chambre Syndicale.

The << Commission de Classement Couture Création >> in its December 16th, 2011 meeting has awarded the Haute Couture appellation to Giambattista Valli. The designer has been previously showing his collection as invited member in the haute couture schedule.

Enjoy the Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Fashion Show at the end of this post!

LoL, Andrea

"The most beautiful thing about the couture is the devotion", said Giambattista Valli after his debut at Paris Haute Couture Show. That devotion, to time-honored craft and technique was evident in every piece in the chic and understated collection that Valli presented a the early-nineteenth-century arcade where he has recently opened his boutique, a stone's throw from the Faubourg Saint-Honoré. By turning the length oom  the black-and-white tiled gallery into his runway, and setting rows of ballroom chairs on either side, Valli effectively gave each of his guests a front-row seat to admire the refined detailing of the clothes. And what a front row it was: The age-irrelevant Valli Girls are the best-dressed It Girls around, from Lee Radziwill and generatios of Brandolinis and Dellals, to Daphne Guinness, Princess Clotilde, and Elisa Sednaoui.

The show opened with a white tunice shirt of the type worn by mannequins in an old-fashioned haute couture cabine in between fittings, pulled down like a skirt and worn with a black turtleneck embroidered with a trompe L'oeil necklace of real pearls (mimicking Valli's own signature rope), a gesture that the designer intended to symbolize that this couturewas a "work in progress". And Valli didn't explore any radical new silhouettes here - instead, he remained firmly in his comfort zone, staying true to the early-1960's couture shapes that he loves, and paid subtle homage to Rome's haute couture Dolce Vita of that period , with odes to the stiff architecture of Roberto Capucci, (with whom he once worked), an the romantic embellishments of VALENTINO, in beading of pink or white coral branches and white porcelain flower heads. VaVa's spirit was also present in the animalier prints, and the very finely pleated hiffons (even in a strident lipstick red) that are a specialty of that house. Rhose fragile chiffons were cinched with Lalanne-esque metal belts created by Valli's partner Luigi Scialanga. "I wanted them so suggest the arms of the man around the waist of the girl," explained Valli, "sauvage, wild, strong, against the fragility of the clothes."

The ice-blue chiffon goddess dress and cape that Princess Charlotte wore at the ball to celebrate her uncle's wedding in Monaco two nights before (so evocative of her grandmother Grace Kelly's Edith-Head designed gowns in 1955's To Catch a Thief) was a preview of one that Valli presented on the runway in brilliant red, and the frothing tulle ball-gowns in his finale evoked his recent wedding dress for Charlotte Delhal, and showed that he can not only claim the most coveted clients on the planet, but that he can dress them with timeless elegance and panache too.

Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photo Credit/Source: VOGUE
Photography by Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway

More To Love ...

Spring/Summer 2012 Collection

Thursday, 8 December 2011

CHANEL 'Paris-Bombay' Fall 2012 - Focus on Details

Karl Lagerfeld has never been to India. "It's much more inspiring not to go to places than to go," he said today after a Chanel presentation that spectacularly evoked the sights, smells, and sounds of the last days of the Raj. OK, Michel Gaubert's sitar-free soundtrack might have been a stretch (unless the Raj was rocking to David Lynch's new album), but the towering tiers of fruits, sweets, and flowers that filled the center of the room definitely had a sense of palatial excess. They were circled by a toy train bearing decanters of…what was it that maharajas drank? scotch?…which rang true as a decadent detail, conveying the notion of a privileged few playing while empires crumbled. Sound familiar?

Enjoy the CHANEL 'Paris-Bombay` Métiers D'Art Fashion show & Maison Lesage/Maison Desrues artisanal craftsmanship videos at the end of this post! 

Lagerfeld resisted such topical insinuations, but he did concede that fashion historically tends to come into its excessively creative own during difficult economic times. A perfect moment for him, in other words. And this collection, an annual salute to the work of the craftspeople who make Chanel happen, including the recently passed François Lesage (hence the name, Métiers d'Art), was definitely a feat of creative excess, from the jaw-dropping set, which turned a curved space under the dome of the Grand Palais into a corner of Rajasthan, to the clotted silver embroideries, the gilded laces, the lustrous silks that determined the character of the clothes.

It's easy to imagine a canny designer making the decision to aim such shine and glitter at an emergent market feeling its fashion oats (I'm talking about India, BTW), but Lagerfeld's post-show declaration that bling was dated made it clear that he had something else on his mind. The theme "Paris-Bombay" was a reminder that Europe's fashion industry has increasingly turned to India to produce extravagantly handworked pieces as it has become prohibitively expensive to make them at home. Lagerfeld's fiendish plan was to flip the equation, so that everything that looked intricately Indian was actually made by Chanel's ateliers in Paris. That was some kind of tour de force.

All that aside, Paris and Bombay blended beautifully in pearl-swagged tweeds, in a raw silk tunic over leggings (they were actually sinuously bootlike, so we should probably call them beggings or loots), in sheer paisleys, or side-draped asymmetry in ivory silk. The elegance of a lightly peplumed jacket and matching skirt in ivory silk had absolutely nothing to do with geography. It was simply French chic. Not everything worked—there was a queen-of-the-fairies moment that felt like a malfunction of Florence's machine—but the sheer prodigious extravagance of the dream world that Lagerfeld pours onto his catwalk collection after collection allows for the flaw—the merest flaw—once in a while. 

Videos: Courtesy of CHANEL
Photo Credit/Source: VOGUE
Photography by Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway

Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories 

Enjoy my previous CHANEL post - 

'CHANEL 'Paris-Bombay' Pre-Fall 2012'

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