"My Fair Lady" S/S2013 Paris Couture Week Highlights

February 06, 2013 11:12 AM

With fast-fashion retailers mimicking designers’ collections weeks after they’re shown on the runway, and the intense pressure put on designers to now deliver a minimum of four collections a year, the fashion merry-go-round is spinning quite rapidly these days.  This makes it quite difficult to remember how the art and craftsmanship of clothing and the subsequent cultural notions of fashion began.  Take a step back and think.  Long before ingenious technological advances and our growing individualistic and perspectival culture, there was just custom-made, hand-sewn clothing.

Yes, now we have ready-to-wear fashion shows that preview the newest, latest, trends and styles, but Haute Couture still has it’s own unique beckoning light. Whereas ready-to-wear designers literally see their wares trickled down through boutiques and department stores, Haute Couture is fashion’s own Art Basel persay; a showcase honoring the art and craft behind the fashion, utilizing traditions of yore while also capitalizing on technology only accessible in the historical moment of “now.” This season in Paris, Couture and Haute Couture impressed on us the history behind fashion as we see it today. 

For Maison Martin Marigela and Alexis Mabille (Snapple fact: they are official members of Haute Couture), they are rising stars in the world of Haute Couture which has been dominated by names we’ve known for half a century or more: Chanel, Dior, & Valentino. Margiela’s collection seemed focused on an Eastern inspired interpretation of Alice in Wonderland, with shapes reminiscent of the Mad Hatters mind in dress-up mode.  Feathers were the key embellishment, intricately incorporated by hand into looks with lace and labors of love. Maison Martin Marigela, on the complete opposite side of fashion, is known for its individualistic recycling concept. We shall call this collection hobo chic. Our take from this line is all about balance, the perfect medium of stoicism and cynicism. Oversized coats, (a house trope and always a big hit) flowing forms, it is embodiment of the Parisian woman's way of not trying to hard:  a complete effect of throwing on whatever you can in a hurry combined with chic conceptual “consciousness”. Alexis Mabille had a different interpretation of the sophisticated: you’d think Marie Antoinette spent her entire fortune on this line alone. Pink is the new pleasure, and his collection makes you feel like a wanton material girl. The only adverb appropriate for this collection: Royalty.  Sultriness sprinkled with sin, his collection captured the inner look of any princess. Lace frills and rich strong forms of sweetness --he consistently showcased a new form of Couture. Black tie eveningwear anyone? These habiliments are statement pieces meant for the red carpet and regal banquets.

One the other hand (no pun intended, as these collections are solely made by them) Iris Van Herpen, Yiqing Yin, and Rad Hourani  (as invited guests to Paris couture week by la chambre syndicale de la haute couture, their couture collections can not lead with the modifier “haute”) had different concepts in mind. Iris Van Herpen focused on one thing, stepping outside the box –she is the couturier associated with some of Lady Gaga’s and Daphne Guiness’s most noteworthy and publicly polarizing get-ups.  Van Herpen’s collection built itself like the evolution of an exotic plant. Starting from the roots and growing into a blossoming figure, every woman’s inner goddess is bleeding from development into female independence, as was seen with the intensity and grandeur she built upon with each model’s entrance. Sporting spikes, rivets and cutouts, she shocked us like the Electric feel.

Yiqing Yin had a unique collection as well. It seems that death preoccupied her latest outing, but she used a defibrillator to bring her clothes back to life. Multiple looks in smoky greys, jet blacks, and silver focused on one goal, delivering Yin’s eery message: Are you afraid of the dark? Her play on textures (Sherpa, Pony Hair and tassels) left her clothes alive in the eternal world of the cerebral. One’s cultural references could say Yin's recent outing was definitely Tim Burton inspired.  But this was no nightmare; it was an awakening!

Lastly Rad Hourani popped on our radar because we adore his concept of unisex couture dressing.  Using only a monochromatic color scheme of black and white, Cruella Deville would have loved to skin these models. Hourani’s slim cigarette trousers, fitted jackets, and cropped blouses were simple and understated but felt quite refreshing, especially on the few men we saw on all the couture catwalks. Sometimes, less is more.  Congratulations Rad Hourani, this more is exactly what we need!

At the end of the day fashion is who you are, and how you own it, both Couture and Haute Couture no less. You could say that couture clothes give their wearer a higher edge of empowerment due to their delicately intricate and personalized construction.  These couture designers don’t just make “fashion;" they make historical commodities: timeless cultural artifacts. 

 

 

WRITTEN BY: MADISON POPPER 

 

 

related posts

MICKEY WEARING BALENCIAGA BY NICHOLAS GHESQUIERE

BARNEY'S ELECTRIC HOLIDAY SPREADS PIXIE DUST, FASHION DREAMS DO COME TRUE!

Fashion can be one of the most intrinsic forms of living out our fantasies: the simplicity of throwing on a leather studded perfecto can make us feel like we’re mosh-pitting at CBGB’s, or perhaps...

November 29, 2012 10:54 AM  |  Fashion

PROENZA SCHOULER A/W2012 AVATARS ENCHANT DOLPHINS

Nostalgia in fashion is often associated with a wafting miasma, but there’s no denying that designers of late have been longing for a reoccurrence of 90’s era simplicity, nonchalance, and even 16-...

November 21, 2012 12:34 PM  |  Fashion

TWELV ISSUE #2 LAUNCH PARTY

This past Wednesday, TWELV and over 1,700 of our closest friends celebrated the launch of our Second Issue, “Transformation,” at Public Assembly in Brooklyn.

November 16, 2012 5:49 PM  |  Fashion

Viktor & Rolf Innovate The Baby Carriage

Designer collaborations are a dime a dozen these days, but this recent collaboration between Viktor & Rolf and Bugaboo (a luxury baby carriage brand) is particularly noteworthy as it allowed...

November 16, 2012 2:34 PM  |  Fashion

DIGITAL ARTIST GEOFFREY LILLEMON EMOTES BERNHARD WILLHELM S/S2013

BernHard Willhelm has always been on the cutting edge of quirky high-fashion.  From endless post-modern references in his work, his collections are cheeky, playful, fun, and definitely not for the...

November 06, 2012 4:52 PM  |  Fashion

DIOR HOMME'S SALUTE TO "PRE-SPRING" STYLING

Pre-spring, or as they’re often called, resort collections, allow designers to present small focused collections with classic pieces to keep the retail shelves stocked, while providing fresh...

November 01, 2012 12:09 PM  |  Fashion
SOMARTA SS'13

"SHEER FANTASIES" TOKYO FASHION WEEK HIGHLIGHTS (PART 3)

The final two days of Tokyo Fashion Week were jam-packed with collections filled with sheer femininity and surrealism, reminding us that fashion is a realm for us to envision and realize our own...

October 22, 2012 6:53 PM  |  Fashion
BATMAN

SUPERHEROS: SUBLIME SARTORIAL SELECTIONS

Superheroes appeared all over the catwalks for the AW’12 season.  Perhaps the incessant banter of the impending doomsday this December (according to the Ancient Mayans) motivated designers to...

October 19, 2012 1:14 PM  |  Fashion
ANREALAGE SS'13

"NEON GEOMETRY" TOKYO FASHION WEEK HIGHLIGHTS (PART 2)

Anrealage designer Kunihiko Morinaga presented an exceptionally focused and dramatic collection drawing inspiration from structural art deco forms.

October 18, 2012 4:41 PM  |  Fashion
Alexander McQueen

PINK PINK PINK

It’s safe to say that we are now well into the fall season.

October 18, 2012 3:28 PM  |  Fashion

Comme des Garçons Revives "SIX" Magazine for iPad

Back in 1988, Rei Kawakubo and the Comme des Garçons brand printed a biannual, SIX, to reference the sixth sense.

October 17, 2012 2:00 PM  |  Fashion
FACETASM SS'13

"Peasant Grunge" - Tokyo Fashion Week Highlights (Part 1)

Tokyo has secured its place as the fifth stop on Fashion Week’s global tour.

October 16, 2012 4:00 PM  |  Fashion

Inevitable: Chanel No. 5 & Brad Pitt

Since its creation back in 1921, a long line of femme fatales such as Catherine Deneuve, Lauren Hutton, and Nicole Kidman have leant their visage to Chanel’s iconic perfume, No. 5.

October 16, 2012 12:53 PM  |  Fashion

The Skinny on Slimane's New Menswear

It seems that Hedi Slimane just couldn’t resist a foray back into menswear.  The SS’13 lookbook for a new men’s collection, Saint Laurent Skinny, recently emerged on the revamped YSL website.  The...

October 16, 2012 10:30 AM  |  Fashion

Carine's Big Deal

With the fashion world rapidly embracing fashion as a truly global enterprise, it seems no surprise that Harper’s Bazaar (owned by Hearst media) would create a new position: Global Fashion...

October 12, 2012 6:51 PM  |  Fashion

Saint Laurent Paris S/S2013

"No Smoking,” Karl Lagerfeld recently joked in one of his spontaneous sketches.

October 08, 2012 12:52 PM  |  Fashion

Watch Prada's "Real Fantasy" AW'12

Melding antiquity with the intergalactic, this season the Prada man and woman live in a “world” all of their own.

October 05, 2012 7:34 PM  |  Fashion
Julianna Moore wearing Christian Dior Couture by Raf Simons

Fashion Favorites from the Emmys

No, nothing exciting happened at the Emmy's. So don't ask. But there were a handful of standout performances in the fashion department.

September 26, 2012 12:13 AM  |  Fashion

Dior Homme re-launches it’s Flagship in Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue Shopping District

With immaculately tailored pieces, androgynous style, and a rebellious sophistication, Dior Homme has continuously been an inspiration to Twelv Magazine.  Dior Homme’s ability to mix influences...

September 20, 2012 5:07 PM  |  Fashion

The Sign Language of Chanel Lacquer

You can thank Ruth Hogben for your current addiction to fashion video.  The artist has shot for Lady Gaga, Gareth Pugh, and Louis Vuitton.

September 20, 2012 4:28 PM  |  Fashion

Gerlan + Minnie Mouse S/S2013

Gerlan and Minnie Mouse introduce the GERL POWER movement this Thursday during New York Fashion Week.

September 08, 2012 12:40 AM  |  Fashion

Farewell Anna

The ever-eclectic, fashion icon and editor of Vogue Italia Anna Piaggi died on August 7th in her Milan home. 

August 13, 2012 5:07 PM  |  Fashion
RAD HOURANI

RAD UNISEX COUTURE

Rad Hourani, the new Couturier on the scene from Montreal, Canada, now based in Paris, France since his debut in 2007, recently presented Couture's first "...

August 07, 2012 12:15 PM  |  Fashion

Vintage BUM-CAKE

BUM-CAKE, launched one year ago by Christiana Greene, is a vintage collection of hand-selected pieces from around the world.

August 03, 2012 1:30 PM  |  Fashion
Photography Chek Wu.  Shirts, glove Waldrip

NOUVEAU PR × IMG it Girl MARINE HEINE

Exclusive Fashion Story "NOUVEAU PR × IMG it Girl MARINE HEINE" is now available!

Check inside for the Special Editorial

  

July 20, 2012 3:38 PM  |  Fashion

Fashion Story "We Own the Universe"

Julia Lang is the 25 year old blogger behind www.geeksndfashion.com.

July 20, 2012 3:01 PM  |  Fashion

TWELV digital issue

TWELV is now sold digitally for $0.99, 12% goes to charity!

July 07, 2012 4:12 PM  |  Fashion

The Prada Men - Fall/Winter menswear 2012

The much-hyped Prada Fall/Winter 2012 menswear collection gives us so many reasons to get excited.

July 06, 2012 10:10 PM  |  Fashion

Dsquared's stylish classroom rebellion

Classroom rebellion never looked so good as it does it Dsquared’s new F/W 2012 campaign.

July 06, 2012 9:51 PM  |  Fashion

TWELV on sale in JAPAN 6/27

TWELV on Sale in JAPAN on 6/27!

日本語翻訳付で6/27水 トゥウェルブマガジン日本上陸!

July 06, 2012 5:18 PM  |  Fashion

Meisel's F/W Prada Campaign is "A Virtual Labyrinth of Fantasy and Reality"

Prada’s Fall/Winter campaign is set to the backdrop of a geometric, futuristic, and somewhat freaky fantasy photographed in New York by the one-and-only, Steven Meisel.

June 30, 2012 1:10 PM  |  Fashion

Rogan Gregory Tells Wilbert What to Wear

I’m not afraid to admit that I was one of those people who just didn’t get kids.

June 30, 2012 12:05 PM  |  Fashion

Prada Parallel

The collaborative design effort with graphic designer and artist, Vahram Muratyan, highlights Prada 2012 spring/summer men’s and women’s accessories on unisex t-shirts.

June 30, 2012 10:54 AM  |  Fashion

Giorgio Armani Designs Uniforms for Olympic Team

Italian fashion empire, Giorgio Armani, will design the uniforms for the Italian Olympic Team for the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

June 30, 2012 10:52 AM  |  Fashion
twelv magazine

MIU MIU METALLIC DELUXE

On July 27 2012 Miu Miu present a special accessory collection made exclusively for selected stores in London.

June 30, 2012 10:00 AM  |  Fashion

Pages

SITE BY: monocomplex©Marbles & Marbles International Inc. Drupal Development by: DivDiv, NYC
▲ back to top ▲