I am feeling very underwhelmed at the moment. Fashion has always excited me but this couture week, it has not. When I’ve been looking at the collections online very few things have jumped out at me as being beautiful or interesting. I haven’t once seen something and thought it was incredible and actually important. And I don’t know why that is.
Couture week has been the same as always. The same designers have showed and the same models have walked. The only thing that has changed is my emotion, or should I say lack of?
Often at Atelier Versace I see a woman who I want to be but this collection I didn’t adore or feel inspired by. There were a few looks that I thought “that would look good on [insert celebrity name here]” but overall I didn’t care.
Regarding Christian Dior, I scrolled through the images in less than 2 minutes and quickly dismissed them. I don’t think I appreciate Raf enough. Give me time. Ulyana Sergeenko, a designer who I always champion, didn’t stage a show but just a presentation. However, I think it worked for her but it wasn’t my favourite collection she has ever presented. It was very Russian in its DNA which I think is hugely important for her as I think many take her to be the ambassador of the Russian fashion industry. As for Galliano’s return, I feel like enough has been said about it already and I have little substantial things to say about it so I’ll just leave it.
Now I can’t pretend that I was unimpressed by everything. I did like Elie Saab and I think that he is one of the few designers who can be counted on to produce consistently beautiful collections. They are never groundbreaking or revolutionary but they are always beautiful and sometimes that is all that matters. I think sometimes we forget that fashion is literally just fashion. It is not politics, we are not saving the world, it is just clothes. Whilst it is brilliant when fashion can change the world or at least have some influence on society, it is ok if it doesn’t. This couture collection in particular was stunning. The tulip prints made simple dresses into something more exciting. I’m a fan.
I also have a lot of love for Jean Paul Gaultier. Last year when he announced he was quitting Ready-to-Wear, I was relieved. I planned to write about it and the too-full-too-hectic fashion week schedules but I never got around to it. I think it was a bold move of Gaultier and a move that I wish more designers would take. Maybe not quitting ready-to-wear exactly but perhaps cutting down the amount of looks in a collection or changing the amount of collections they do per year. I think it must be increasingly tough for designers who have to produce four ready-to-wear collections per year and then design two couture collections on top of that. I think this was the right move for Gaultier to make because this is perhaps my favourite collection of his in a few years. Last summer I went to see an exhibition of his work in London and it was the best exhibition I have ever been to. It was so well done and it was brilliant to see his designs in the flesh. Ever since then, I have appreciated everything that he has done that little bit more.
Finally, my favourite collection of the week and the only one that made me genuinely happy when I seen it was Armani Prive. I love Armani and I love Italian fashion. They go hand in hand. Armani’s greatest design is his suit which is really his trademark. It may not be as famous as Saint Laurent’s “Le Smoking” but it is hugely important and is what the brand because famous for back in the 80s. In this collection there was a huge Asian influence that translated into obi belts and painted bamboo prints. It was stunning. The green belted jacket (photo above) is my single favourite item from the collection. Armani is everything I look for in a designer and this did not disappoint.
Couture is meant to be the magical, fairytale section of fashion but I didn’t feel taken away this time around. I really hope that my enthusiasm returns by fashion month. The show-schedules will likely be absolutely packed and the amount of designers showing will likely be far too many. That said, I love fashion month. Seeing the new ideas and designs is exciting but also a little bit overwhelming. We are at a phase where fashion is moving far too fast and although I am glad that there are always new things available, I also feel like it is a bit too much. How are people meant to keep coming up with fresh ideas so many times a year? Pre-fall collections are still coming out yet fashion week starts in about 2 weeks. The pace is a little bit scary. However, there are always shows I look forward to and enjoy season after season; hopefully that pattern can continue.