Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Strapless COUTURE, Watteau backs, Simple Sublime...and then there's Versace:

Audrey Hepburn Meet Paris Hilton: (left to right) Christian Dior Couture Spring 2013, Atelier Versace Spring 2013

Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2013 Fashion Week began yesterday in Paris. For those of you who need a quick "re-freshening" on Haute Couture:
*Only certain design houses/designers are allowed to be members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture--and be allowed to use the word "Couture" in their title and/or advertising--and of course, be allowed to show Couture Collections in Paris.
*There are only a handful of brands/designers doing Haute Couture (which translates into "high sewing", "high dressmaking", "high fashion"), including Dior, Valentino, Giambattista Valli, Elie Saab, and so on.
*Almost every seam on a Couture garment is HAND-DONE. Yes, even a simple side seam of a pant! Couture garments can take hundreds--if not thousands of hours to complete.

 Christian Dior and his models

*Couture are custom made/made-to-order clothing (as opposes to off-the-rack), beginning with the client choosing the design via the fashion show look books, an appointment is made, consultation, follows, a muslin/toile of the ordered garment is made, 3-5 fittings follow, and then a final fitting and/or delivery of the garment.
*A Couture jacket can cost about $30,000, $45,000+  for a cocktail dress and $100,000+ for a gown.

*There are only an estimated 2,000 clients in the entire world who are considered regular customers of Couture. These clients used to be very wealthy American socialites (usually from Texas or NYC)--as well as Euro royalty. Now, most of these clients hail from Russia, the Gulf States, Middle East, China, and Brazil--the so-called "emerging nations" with the most multimillionaires./billionaires.

*In terms of the "bottom line" and business, Couture makes only a small profit; it can cost around $1 million to mount a runway show (making the clothes, hiring the models, location, flying in A-list celebs to sit in the front row). The Couture Collections are used as a marketing tool, to sell auxiliary items of the brand--such as perfumes, sunglasses, accessories.

*Finally, actresses get to borrow Haute Couture for big red carpet events--such as the Oscars, Golden Globes, etc. They usually will wear the runway/showroom sample (so therefore, they must fit into the runway size 2) because it is too costly to create a separate dress specifically for them but there are exceptions. The Couture gowns are then returned to the designer so it can be part of their Archives.

Now, let's discuss this season's Couture, beginning with Dior and Atelier Versace:

Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2013:

Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2013

Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2013

Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2013

 Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2013

Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2013

Dior Creative Director/ Designer Raf Simons

The Look: Flowers, Garden Party dresses, luxe separates. Watteau backs. Audrey Hepburn-esque models with glittering lipstick.  Strapless dresses, bustiers. Lots of delicately embellished work, sequins, flower crystals. Light-as-air silk gazar, organza cocktail dresses. Asymmetrical shapes. Razor-sharp jackets, slim cropped trousers. Pockets, pockets and more pockets...in dresses and gowns. Those SUBLIME final gowns!

Click below for Full Runway Video of Dior Couture Spring 2013:

Atelier Versace Spring/Summer 2013:

Atelier Versace Spring/Summer 2013

Atelier Versace Spring/Summer 2013

 Atelier Versace Spring/Summer 2013

Atelier Versace Spring/Summer 2013

The Look: Black, gold, bubblegum neon pink, highlighter yellow. Power Bi*** suits. High-low gowns Greco-Roman dresses showing legs galore! Strategic cut-outs. 24-karat gold pinstripes (yes, I said 24-Karat GOLD!) on a black suit worn by 90s Supermodel Kristen McMenamy; fox fur epaulets on a fab sheath worn by model Joan Smalls. Silk Cady with leather tubing accented column gowns made for Sex-Siren red carpet. All of it, very "Party Girl Goes to Dubai!"

Click Below to watch highlights of Atelier Versace Spring/Summer 2013 Runway Show:


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