The Couture Report

From dazzling Dior to chic Chanel, this is the best of the couture catwalk.

Armani Prive
photography by Etienne Tordoir/Catwalkpictures.com

Armani Prive  This collection resembles the wardrobe of a 1940s Hollywood starlet. In fact, these pieces made me wonder why the young actresses of today do not snap up as much couture as possible! The perfectly tailored pinstriped suit with t-strap heels and deliciously bulky fur exuded class, as did the slinky cream charmeuse gown with a tangle of pearls that were slightly off-kilter yet pulled together. The cream of this crop was the little jacket composed of different fabrics and textures, with a little peplum paired with an accordion-pleated skirt-the new uniform for the lady who lunches.

Valentino
photography by Etienne Tordoir/Catwalkpictures.com

Valentino  Valentino knows women, and this collection was made for the society darling. The white dress with large, black pouf sleeves felt refreshing and so very Dallas. The lace dress with the gold obi sash was so ladylike and begs to be worn to a funky art opening. The black satin coat would be equally divine for a night at the opera or worn over jeans, and the gold and ruby sparkled evening gown with matching fur-trimmed shrug would be my go-to gown for every ball. A girl can dream.

Christian Dior
photography by Etienne Tordoir/Catwalkpictures.com

Christian Dior  Wonder and amazement is the appropriate response to this outlandish collection. John Galliano staged his show in a Renaissance garden, during which the sky constantly changed colors as strange and lovely gowns strutted down a cobblestone path. There were hints of Joan of Arc and Botticelli, and the chain mail and glittering pailettes were complemented by stunning silhouettes. The only wearable items were jewel-tone suits with fantastic gold embroidery. From beginning to end, the collection was a jaw-dropper.

Jean Paul Gaultier
photography by Etienne Tordoir/Catwalkpictures.com

Jean Paul Gaultier  Each piece of Gaultier’s fall/winter collection had an underlying sexiness about it. Like the velvet long-sleeve gown with a high neck that oozed sultriness, thanks to a hip-high slit of a soft, transparent material. The royal blue gown with knot-like configuration playing peek-a-boo over the chest was a little more overt, while the wedding gown with its swerving see-through panel was designed for a forward bride. Although silk harem pants and a rainbow bejeweled bomber weren’t the sexiest, a very confident woman could wear them-and that’s the sexiest part of all.

Chanel
photography by Etienne Tordoir/Catwalkpictures.com

Chanel  Karl Lagerfeld has re-created the jean, which could only mean one thing: the man’s a genius. In his collection, jeans were not the main piece; they were an accessory, such as skinny leggings, boots, or gauntlets for delicate wrists. The pieces were modern and feminine, thanks to updated silhouettes and new layering possibilities. Adorned suits and dresses had a rich, embellished look and an almost Native American feel, thanks to circular pendants. Alone or as ensembles, each piece was the definition of couture: special and unique.

Elie Saab
photography by Etienne Tordoir/Catwalkpictures.com

Elie Saab  Elie Saab has definitely moved away from his usual red-carpet sparkle to a more tasteful approach to design. The gowns of this collection were attention-grabbing but not traffic-stopping. The purple ombre on silk was a perfect fade in and out, while the crushed taffeta ball gown with crisscrossing on the bodice was delightful with its lovely ocean colors. A pinstriped silk in shades of royal blue was matched with a lightly embroidered and delicately constructed top. But Saab couldn’t resist adding a bit of bling to a couple of crystal gowns, all done in tasteful silhouettes.

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