I never hold my breath during couture season as I used to when I was a kid. I think that the notion of haute couture might disappear unless it re-establishes a wider sphere of influence. But they are still important moments and Riccardo Tisci’s Fall 2009 collection was one of them. The dialogue veered energetically between chic, tailored and precise European clothes, haunting science fiction apparitions and the stars of the show: fascinating and beautiful Middle Eastern looks. Although bewilderingly varied, this show definitely operated its magic on me, contributing forcefully and memorably to couture 2009 (and it could do with some of Tisci's modern-day touch, the rest of the shows were achingly dull). The clothes were visually intriguing, impeccably executed and exceptional. Blending consistently different stylistic aspects including heavy draping, hoods, veils, gold embroidery, high-necked evening gowns, coats, harem pants, silk crepe, cashmere, nude chiffon and velvet fabrics, all climaxing with the cutting-edge and theatrically powerful jewellery consisting of burqas, gold face masks, spikes, studs, chains and other armor elements. This really was traditional couture combined with new and somewhat provocative arrangements. Not only was the thematic exploration of culture stunning and thought provoking, the show also provided skillfully made and refreshing clothes.
Christian Lacroix, whose couture house went bankrupt, showed up at the Givenchy show. I feel sad thinking that this may have been his last collection. Although his brightly coloured exuberant clothes, always infused with a hint of South Eastern France, are not exactly my kind of thing I’m sure that his passion will be missed in the world of couture.
All photos courtesy of Style and Jack & Jil