'Wunderkammer' inspirations: Curiosity cabinets, for the uninitiated, are those decorative glass boxes filled with woodland wonders from taxidermy insects to flowers and minerals. Already last July when couturiers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli found the idea of the Wunderkammer particularly appealing for VALENTINO Fall 2013 Haute Couture presentation.
"In a cabinet of curiosities, the pieces are very unique, very one-of-a-kind," Piccioli said. "We've tried to make something that is not only special, but also surprising, unexpected."
Georgina Chapman had one as a child. So her and Marchesa cofounder Keren Craig’s spring collection a showcase, as ever, of elaborate evening and red-carpet looks had an air of natural wonder to it.
“It was this idea of curiosity cases, full of birds and butterflies,” said Georgina Chapman before the Marchesa show, “an amalgamation of different things.”
A gold lace skirt, slim and below the knee, was adorned with 3-D florals made of ribbons hand-painted blue, and an ivory chiffon cocktail dress had lace butterflies fluttering across ruffled tiers. Models wore artfully straggly feathers in their hair and faded faux tattoos of butterflies on their shoulders, arms, and backs. There was a definite eclecticism which was underscored of fashion's favourite inkman Scott Campbell painted on the models for the occasion. There were some obvious boudoir influences as well, with lingerie detailing on some of the more slip-like numbers and wispy lace cardigans thrown over bralets, worn with big organza and tulle skirts. “We wanted to explore different things,” Chapman continued. “It’s more eclectic than ever.”
Perhaps more wonderous, though, was Craig and Chapman’s near elimination of strict, structured corsetry. The designers wanted everything to feel easy (relatively speaking) and so they did away with any obvious scaffolding, forsaking constricting bodices save for a few ribbons tied around the waist and under the bust for looser silhouettes. Fabrics gently slipped along the body as opposed to clinging for dear life. Craig and Chapman went so laid-back as to even create their version of a T-shirt dress: a gorgeous, white Irish lace look with short sleeves, a long skirt, and ribbon tie closure at the back of the neck.
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Photo credit/Source: VOGUE
Runway: Photography by Fabio Iona / InDigitalimages.com
Detail: Photography by Stefano Masse / InDigitalImages.com
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'While dreaming up her Spring prints and silhouettes, Herrera referenced kinetic art, specifically the fifties and sixties work of Venezuelan artists Carlos Cruz-Diez and Jesús Rafael Soto. She translated the movement's graphic lines into geo-prints, which appeared in chocolate, citrus, and plum on skirts and gowns as well as on their organza overlays.'