Monday 7 July 2014

Paris Haute Couture | Atelier VERSACE Fall 2014 Couture

The Atelier Versace show is the first of the Paris haute couture season, showing Donatella Versace’s clothes which will be hand-made, to measure, for individual customers and delivered to them to wear in the fall. “Hot couture!” she purred, as she appraised the extraordinary coming together of a double duchess ball gown skirt and black Lurex corseted bodysuit complete with a gilt metal choker that was about to take to her runway.

The thing about the one and only DV is this: Whether you like her style or not, or even if you can conceive of who will pay for it or not, you cannot help but be impressed by her total conviction and the virtuoso technical feats that go into realizing the results. Who else, for instance, has ever asked an atelier to work out how to make a narrow, navy, strapless bustier dress that separates below the waist into a trouser leg on one side and miniscule shorts on the other? The genius is that such a feat, which combines tailoring with draping skills (two different traditions), can be conjured into existence at all and without a wrinkle or pucker to be seen.

Versace added that she was interested in “talking about tailoring” and the development of structural talents of the house she has inherited and that ‘fifties couture’ inspired her to carve the curved shoulder lines of the jackets. It’s likely, too, that the grand silhouettes in the Charles James retrospective at the Met had an influence on the voluminous skirts of the finale pieces, but, then again, the results, with their sliced angles, cutaway zones, and boned superstructures, bore more similarity to the 1980s heyday of Thierry Mugler.

‪There’s little point in applying geek-ish historical comparisons when Donatella Versace is designing. Neither she nor her late brother Gianni Versace were ever concerned with anything other than inventing extreme effects for a clientele which lives large and in the present. This season, the upshot involves skin and sparkle and cloth invisibility molded to contours as smoothly as swimwear, and full thigh-to-ankle exposure, one leg at a time. It’s a sensibility that comes more out of the universe of music and performance than the past. And now that there are plenty of daring women at the top of those trees, it’s no vast stretch of the imagination to think who might be competing to wear this sort of thing.

Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photo Credits/Source:The House of VERSACE
Photography by Yannis Vlamos / Indigitalimages

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Still, by the standards of this house, the fall collection was a relatively more relaxed affair, with plenty of day-appropriate trophy jackets and short coats shaggy burgundy shearling, teal fringed leather, an intricate, diagonally pieced black-and-blue fur starring on the runway.


"A juxtaposition of glamour and mystery, with cinched-in poise meeting the fluidity and provocation of Grace Jones. Different ways with draping: sculpted and controlled to highlight the lines of sleek tailoring, or liberated and sensual for fluid silk jersey dresses."

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