The rarefied world of haute couture is, in itself, a lesson in dichotomy. On one hand, it is steeped in tradition and conformity–to be a haute couture house, a business must belong to the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, which is regulated by the French Department of Industry. On the other hand, haute couture remains the most innovative and inspired form of creative expression a fashion designer displays of his craft, his art.
Each garment shown in a haute couture collection is made by hand, from start to finish, exclusively for each customer. In the “golden age of fashion”–following WWII–over 15,000 women wore couture; today, according to The London Telegraph, there are only about 2,000 haute couture clients. More about couture and high fashion.
This past month, the major luxury fashion houses once again gifted the world with the beauty of bespoke, showing their Spring Summer 2015 collections on the runway in Paris. Perhaps being spring, there seemed to be a common thread throughout many a collection as quite a few of the designers decided to say it with flowers.
Chanel embodied a sense of sweetness and lightness in the cropped tops and floral embroidered skirts. Raf Simons at Christian Dior dipped into the archives of the esteemed house, and revived the silhouettes of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, adding his own twist of crystal beading, floral imprinted plastic raincoats, and full-skirted embellished ensembles. Giambattista Valli and Valentino also called upon the handiwork of Mother Nature, in their dark floral and tree motifs, while Giorgio Armani Prive exhibited a quieter sense of nature with a meditation on bamboo.
The exquisite, highly refined collections radiated a sense of beauty and grace most welcome in the highly unpredictable fashion world of today. ■