Elie Saab Couture Runway
The latest Autumn/Winter Haute Couture collections were presented on the Paris runways last week. So what exactly is haute couture? Meaning “high dressmaking” in French, what makes couture so unique from other types of clothing is that is completely hand-sewn. In other words, no sewing machines are used in making these one-of-a-kind garments. The fabrics are often luxurious, with intricate detailing making the piece ultimately extremely expensive, if not, priceless. The chambre syndicale de la haute couture, which is based in Paris, annually creates a list of those fashion houses which can label themselves haute courter, meaning the list is very exclusive. With that being said, below are some of the collections of the season and some of my favorite looks.
Ralph & Russo
Tamara Russo and Michael Russo are the Australian duo behind this opulent line. Founded in 2007, the house has quickly become a fan favorite amongst celebs, including Angelina Jolie. The Autumn 2014 haute couture collection clearly reflected the house’s well-known penchant for sophisticated glam. The collection was inspired by Massimo Listri; a famous Italian photographer who is world-renowned for his vivid interior photography. The line included all the house staples of ball gowns with intricate beading, rich satin evening gowns, and dramatic capes in varying shades of blue, red, and lilac.
Saab became a household name after Halle Berry wore his sexy design while accepting her Academy Award in 2002. Since then, the Beirut-born designer has skyrocketed to fashion superstar. Every fashionista has strolled down the red carpet wearing one the designer’s glitzy evening gowns. While Saab has tried to move towards daywear in his ready-to-wear line, his bread and butter is no doubt evening wear. Knowing this, the courtier put on a show stopper of evening gowns and cocktails dresses that will be sure to be seen on the red carpets of upcoming award shows.
Like Elie Saab, Murad was raised in Beirut and followed his heart to the City of Lights to study fashion design. Also like Saab, Murad is known for evening gowns that are dripping in gorgeous beads and glitzy sequins. Murad’s designs ooze sex appeal and is no surprise that singer/actress Jennifer Lopez commissioned the designer to create looks for her latest tour. When Blake Lively is not slinking around in Gucci gowns (she is the face of the Italian house’s perfumes), she can be seen wearing Murad’s designs on the red carpet. Another hot blonde, Kate Hudson, has been seen wearing the designer’s intricately beaded looks. Much of the designer’s latest couture collection was monochromatic focusing on black and white; however, there was no lack of sizzle with a smattering of thigh-high slit red, blue, and aqua gowns.
This French design house, helmed by Belgian designer Raf Simons, has become eponymous with Parisian sophistication. On hand to celebrate the latest couture collection were Dior’s ambassadors, Charlize Theron (with boyfriend Sean Penn…yeah, I don’t understand that coupling either), Marion Cotillard, and Jennifer Lawrence. Hermonie, err, Emma Watson was also present and there is much rumbling that she may become the next face of the fashion house. The Fall 2014 Couture collection was a reflection of various decades and centuries noting how one time period influenced the subsequent period. Looks ranged from the 18th century, 1920s, and 1950s. While the various eras would make it seem that the collection would be a hodgepodge, the line was gorgeously streamlined.
Worn by the likes of Julianne Hough, Olivia Munn, and Connie Britton, Lebanese courtier, Georges Hobeika has made quite the name for himself since opening his Atelier in 1995 and presenting his first Paris fashion show in 2001. Laser cut petals cascading down dresses, mommy-and-me matching outfits, and ball gowns inspired by Claude Monet made up Hobeika’s latest couture collection and reflected the designer’s expert eye for detail.
Georgio Armani’s lastest couture collection was subtly Japanese-influenced with origami graphics and kimino sleeves with the entire collection consisting of red, white, and black. Armani has been well-known for not only his evening wear but his daywear which he so wonderfully weaved together. Models were wrapped in tulle headdresses that at times took away from the craftsmanship of the outfit itself. With Kate Hudson, Chloe Grace Moretz, and singer Pink (did not know she was an Armani fan), this collection will sure be seen on the red carpets soon.
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, the Italian duo who took over the reigns of the fashion house after Valentino Garavani retired (Alessandra Facchinetti had very brief reign as creative director after Garavani’s retirement) have made a name for themselves with their beautifully embroidered and whimsical designs. The pre-Raphaelite inspiration lent itself to draped toga-inspired gowns, models strutting in gladiator sandals, and pieces that were worthy to be hung in the most prestigious museums. Expect lithe actresses like Kiera Knightly and Kate Bosworth to revel in this latest collection.
What Karl Lagerfeld wants Karl Lagerfeld gets. For his latest couture collection, the creative director of Chanel for 30+ years, wanted to re-create one of Le Corbusier’s architectural designs for his runway. With fireplaces on the runway and otherwise minimalist surroundings, Lagerfeld focused his collection on baroque designs, coats and dresses over long fitted shorts, and models with spikey punk-inspired hair. Many garments had jewel accents while others were completely covered in sequins which will sure to catch some starlets’ eyes. All-in-all it was other decadent Chanel Couture show.
The latest Atelier Versace collection by Dontella Versace had all its usual elements. Skin, sex appeal, and figure hugging ensembles. I’m sure guest of honor, Jennifer Lopez, found many looks perfect for any upcoming red carpet appearances. The 50s-inspired collection with bustier-fitted gowns took a very modern-twist with column gowns that had one pant leg. While this might sound odd, those outfits were probably the strongest looks of the collection. The unique creations will surely be the most memorable of the garments on the runway. The seductive collection also showcased ball gowns amped up in sex appeal and the popularity of fringe seems like it is here to stay.
Since debuting his eponymous label in 2007, French designer Stéphane Rolland has made a name for himself amongst the Hollywood set. With the likes of Kim Kardashian, singer Cheryl Cole, Paula Patton, and Spanish actress Paz Vega expertly wearing his sculptured designs on the red carpet. For this collection, Rolland opted out of a runway show, instead presenting his theatrical looks on mannequins. The collection was paired with a movie about a man trying to find beauty throughout Paris while morning the loss of his love who happens to be wearing Rolland’s couture creations.
The Italian-born French designer went quite literal with his interpretation of Alhambra Gardens, his inspiration behind his latest couture collection. Fit-and-flare dresses were covered in rose petals, chiffon gowns with cascading purple flowers, and jaw-dropping frothy confections closed out the show. The laissez-faire attitude towards this collection (denim for couture? Models dressed for a chic brunch date with gal pals?) proved to be refreshing and lovely. Don’t be surprised to see Valli followers, Diane Kruger and Jessica Biel, to be galavanting in this latest creations.
What were you favorite looks? Who do you hope to see wearing these designers? Well, that’s all, lovelies! Samrah Featured image courtesy of http://www.mydaily.co.uk/ Ralph & Russo photos courtesy of http://www.ralphandrusso.com/ Georges Hobeika photos courtesy of http://www.georgeshobeika.com/ Stéphane Rolland photos courtesy of http://www.wwd.com/ Armani Privé, Atelier Versace, Chanel, Elie Saab, Giambattista Valli, Valentino, Zuhair Murad photos courtesy of http://www.style.com/