Couture roundup: The best of Fall 2017 Couture

Couture, to some, may seem like an excessive waste of fabric and embellishments. But to some, to the true lovers of fashion, couture is more than just an expensive piece of clothing. It’s a living organism capable of transforming itself. Coiling around the body of the wearer, transforming them from ordinary human to extraordinary living artwork. This season, Paris once again sprung to life with the beauty of haute couture. Taking ordinary clothes and turning them into living fantasies.

Viktor & Rolf

Photo: Alessandro Garofalo

Speaking of fantasy. No one does it quite like couture duo Viktor & Rolf. For their Fall 2017 collection, Viktor & Rolf created a bobble head dream world based on diversity, individuality, and the ability to change oneself into something new without sacrificing who you were in the beginning. Bobble headed models opened the show, showcasing their diverse heads in every skin tone. The diverse cartoon cast paired perfectly with the swishy reworked bomber jackets that made up everything except the pants and shoes of each look. The concept itself of showcasing diversity in a lighthearted and creative way was already a strong concept in and of itself, but what came next was truly the icing on the cake. After their first round about the runway, the models then shed their cartoon heads and walked the runway in the same outfits during their prior walk. However, with their beautifully unique and diverse face showing, their outfits had to match each girl’s beauty. Which lead to the outfits being opened up and unfolded. Releasing beautiful gowns, ruffles, and bows. A perfect example of growth and change without the compromise of oneself.

A.F. Vandervorst

Photo: Kim Weston Arnold

A.F. Vandervorst is a brand many would associate with contemporary rock and roll clothing. The edgy silhouettes, the affinity for all black, the Vandervorst line embodies the current evolution of what it means to be a modern headbanger in terms of fashion. Yet surprisingly, the Vandervorst’ team created a collection steeped in eclecticism and colour for their first couture outing this week. The collection was based heavily on the notion that anything can be made into something beautiful through the processes of repurposing and reusing the material. This was evident through the creative use of plastic like materials, mix and match fabrics, and clothing worn in non-conventional ways. Giving couture a modern and relevant edge geared specifically for the young elites of the world that may be looking to the world of haute couture for options tailor-made to them.

Iris Van Herpen

Photo: Yannis Vlamos

The queen of movement celebrated her 10 year anniversary as a designer with a stunning collection based heavily on aquatic life living in the world’s oceans. Various jellies took the form of dresses. Billowing out behind the models as they walked passed four musicians submerged in tanks of water. The collection gave it’s audience exactly what they expected from an Iris show. Movement, shape, texture, and a three dimensional nature that looks alive. What’s most striking about Iris’ show this season was her affinity for all things sheer. Now Van Herpen is no stranger to sheer and nude illusions, but this season proved that her skill with fabric illusion is incomparable. To create so much depth with the sheerest of fabrics is no small feat, even for the most seasoned of designers.

Giambattista Valli

Photos: Yannis Vlamos

Giambattista Valli has quickly risen to become the alpha and omega of the couture world. Every season, the Italian designer sets out to create cohesive and expressive collections that stay true to the world of couture while still remaining relevant and extremely fresh in terms of design. For his fall 2017 collection, Valli gave his collection a nod to old world extravagance. With floral embroidery and his famous voluminous tulle taking centre stage once again, in a way that feels new every time. The most striking of his creations this season were of course, his tulle ball gowns. However, a string of beautiful column dresses seemed like well though out stylistic break from Valli’s signature Valli-isms. Proving the designer is capable of covering a braid spectrum of design when he’s ready and willing.

Ulyana Sergeenko

Photos: Marcus Tondo

She really does give it to you every time! Millionaire socialite turned grand couturier powerhouse Ulyana Sergeenko once again proved that her expertise as a couture customer taught her well as a couture designer. Sergeenko’s affinity for 1940’s and 50’s silhouettes is a refreshing throwback to the hayday of Galliano couture at Dior. But it’s the raw sexual female dominance she presents in her shows that really set her apart from the couture pack. In all fairness, if Sergeenko set her own namesake brand aside for a little while, she would have no problem taking over a brand like Dior or Lanvin. The couture house codes are already running in her veins.

Iconic Moments in Fashion: Viktor & Rolf Haute Couture ss 2016

Have you ever imagined what a child’s imagination would look like if it came to life? What if a child’s imaginary friend sprung from their head and began to dance around the room? That was the beauty of Viktor & Rolf’s spring 2016 couture show. Childhood memories came out to dance and play among the very adult world of fashion. Unfortunately, in today’s fashion world, we rarely get to see whimsy and childhood charm walk the runway. Designers have created brands and taken them from the realm of imagination into the realm of industry, creating an engine hell-bent on pumping the world with constant doses of trends, fast fashion, and see-now-buy-now collections whose sole purpose is profit, not wonder.

Photo: Alessandro Garofalo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luckily for fashion lovers around the world, the haute couture house of Viktor & Rolf has for years been associated with design that reaches beyond traditional fashion. While some houses’, like Chanel’s or Dior’s, primary focus was to modernize tradition, Viktor & Rolf are renowned for reinventing traditional haute couture values rather than modernizing of something that has been held dearly.

Photo: Alessandro Garofalo

Viktor & Rolf have created a brand that delves into some of Europe’s most important design niches. On one hand, V&R embraces deconstruction; they embrace the art of taking a garment apart and putting it back together in new and exciting ways. On the other hand, the brand is also deeply rooted in detail and high fashion prestige. This intense marriage of raw design and refined beauty encompassed their spring 2016 couture show. It was a dance between the cut and paste imagination of a child and the rigidness and simplicity of adult life.

Photo: Alessandro Garofalo

When we first see the collection, the clothing presented seem simple enough. A utilitarian shirtdress with a few paste on appliqués in white. A secret sprinkled here and there. Soon after, the dresses become more elaborate and more abstract. Audiences are left watching as the imagination of a child takes a simple idea and allows it to grow and blossom into something far more magical than just a cut out of an eye on a dress.

Photo: Alessandro Garofalo

As the collection progresses, the dreams of a child’s unchained mind come face to face with the stern rules of adult life. But the clash of the two isn’t what makes this collection so memorable. It’s the sheer dominance nostalgia and childhood imagination have over our adult lives. Even though the collection still adheres to its strict couture guidelines, the childhood dream world that began as a simple eye on a stark white dress grew into something more extravagant — something far more important than just fashion. The idea that Viktor & Rolf wanted to get had more to do with the flame of wonder that is ignited in childhood never truly going out than trying to parade models around in towering polo shirt totem poles for the sake of “fashion.” For both Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, creating fashion for the sake of fashion doesn’t seem to be the name of the game. Bringing dreams to life by taking inspiration from the world around them has always been the motive and lesson at V&R couture. And it’s a lesson in creativity all future designers should be listening too.

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Brides Rejoice! Bridal Fashion Week is finally here!

The world of bridalwear is a gem within the fashion industry itself. While the rest of the fashion world is worried about rapid firing clients and buyers with trends like a machine gun, bridal designers have been tasked with an even harder job, keeping traditions, luxury, and detail alive; which is no simple feat. If the collection is too avant-garde, no bride will buy it. But if the collection is too simple, no bride will care to wear it. This leaves bridal designers in a tough place, on one hand, they have to offer something new and exciting, while on the other, they have to make sure it’s still wedding appropriate. Recently, two of the world’s most important and influential cities in regards to bridal fashion, New York and Barcelona, have hosted their yearly bridal fashion weeks, to the screaming cheers of would-be brides around the world. So without further ado, here are the most fashion forward and exciting bridal gowns of the week!

New York Bridal Fashion Week

VERA WANG

Vera Wang is undeniably the reigning queen of the wedding dress. It seems that every season Ms Wang releases a distinct collection of the most cutting edge and elegant wedding gowns available for purchase. This season, Vera Wang created a collection that manages to incorporate modern streetwear trends (who would have thought?) into traditional wedding gowns. The most stunning of these is a simple white gown worn off the shoulder with the most delicate of shoulder applique. The sleeves seem to be elongated a la Vetements and the rear slit cut just high enough to give the dress just the right amount of sexiness.

 

VIKTOR & ROLF

For years, Viktor & Rolf have been best known for their outstanding haute couture collections. However, V&R have been able to place their stamp on the bridal world as well. For their bridal 2018 collection, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren created a collection of soft and sumptuous gowns that hark back to more traditional bridal styles. In their best look of the collection, Viktor & Rolf presented a soft ballgown that ties at the waist with an elegant and oversized bow. Giving a beautifully traditional style a very modern twist.

 

OSCAR DE LA RENTA

I don’t think there is anyone in the world who hasn’t been touched by Sex and the City in one way or another. So it comes as no surprise that one of the most iconic brands featured on the show has made a dress that pays tribute to Carrie Bradshaw. This fun and flirty tribute to one of Carrie’s most iconic looks blends modern simplicity with a bit of punk edge. Giving the perfect wedding dress for a rock and roll fashion extravaganza.

 

Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week

SOPHIE ET VOILA

Sophie Et Voila‘s bridal collection mixes hints of Spanish flamenco and traditional wedding garb. For the best look of the collection, Sophie Et Voila created a stunning gown that puts a pair of exaggerated flamenco dance sleeves and puts them on full display; giving the dress simplicity and extravagance all in one.

 

MATILDE CANO

Sometimes summer weddings call for the perfect summer gown. Now, not everyone will gravitate towards a short dress, but the options really are endless when it comes to wedding Mini dresses. At Matilde Cano, eyelet lace, crystal embroidery, and ruffle sleeves took centre stage. This mini dress encompasses cool girl springtime chic, but that doesn’t mean it’s far too casual for an event as special as a wedding. On the contrary, Matilde’s dress presents a fun and exciting take on bridal wear without sacrificing an ounce of elegance and glamour.

 

CARLA RUIZ

Now bridal couture could never be complete without an elegantly shocking pair of pants. Most brides would run from the idea of wearing pants down the aisle, but there’s something so empowering and iconoclastic about wearing pants such an important and integral day. At Carla Ruiz, pants reigned supreme. With this particular look being the collection’s show stopping piece. The simple white pant features the most delicate textured pattern woven into the pant, giving the look depth and detail. While the sheer lace blouse and skirt give the look architectural structure and soft elegance. This look is perfect for the bride that wants to have an unforgettable moment walking down the aisle, and what better way to do that than with an avant-garde pantsuit-wedding gown combo.

 

Fall Couture Week 2016

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Valentino Fall Couture 2016 | Photo: Alessandro Garofalo / Indigital.tv

A beautiful tension existed at last week’s Fall Couture Week between the pillar fashion houses and the invading rebels. Fendi, Valentino and Chanel presented outstanding collections that distinctly acted as reminders of their legendary statuses. Chanel used the show to focus the attention on the house’s famous atelier staff and their petit mains. Fendi staged a larger-than-life performance at the Trevi Fountain in Rome–in celebration of the house’s 90th anniversary– in which the models walked on water and the house closed off the entire square for the occasion. Valentino hosted an emotional show, as rumours of one half of the Creative Director duo, Maria Grazia Chiuri, would be moving to Dior circled the room. The dramatic effect of honouring Shakespeare’s life through Elizabethan-inspired gowns added to the heightened emotions.

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The Atmosphere at Chanel Fall Couture 2016 | Photo: Alessandro Garofalo / Indigital.tv

On the rebellios side, Vetements and, holding their place as the original boundary pushers, Viktor & Rolf gave Couture Week a dose of skilled casualness. Vetements presented their Spring 2017 collection during Couture Week as a means of changing the demands of the fashion industry schedule. Showing at the Galeries Lafayettethe shopping centre of Paris, fashion’s most alluring brand unveiled a collection consisting of collaboration pieces with 18 iconic brands.  Viktor & Rolf likewise unveiled a collection based firmly in this tension of old and new. Using vintage denim jeans, military jackets, and hoodies the duo skillfully combined these tatty pieces with over-the-top tulle and embroidered embellishments. Couture upcycling.

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Vetements (L) and Viktor & Rolf (R) | Photos: Imaxtree / Marcus Tondo / Indigital.tv

Also pushing boundaries was Iris Van Herpen, who presented another technological wonder of a collection this year. She used silicone blown glass and gorgeous straight-line pleating that created a curved affect in her gowns. Mixing ancient mathematics with new technology, Iris contributed her version of the tension to the Couture storm.

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Iris Van Herpen | Photo: Kim Weston Arnold / Indigital.tv

This Couture Week was thus the most literal embodiment of the constant dichotomous pull in the fashion industry: old and new. From that though, comes the most brilliant creations.