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The enchanted carousel of sewing

November 17 2017

Alexis Mabille

Haute couture is a universe in itself, where the know-how reigns, a world of all the superlatives and all the excesses. Last July, fashion designers' collections paraded in Paris. A season in a few paintings. - Isabelle Cerboneschi


Last July, Paris was invaded by a fauna that we do not usually find there, or at least not so concentrated. Attracted by the golds and brilliancy, by the flashes of the photographers and the reflections of the lamé dresses, by the attraction of the crystals transforming the fabrics into starry nights, a whole tribe had gagged in the palaces of the city: the customers haute couture, princesses and artists united under the banner of fashion houses.

And with her the observers, the models, the muses, the journalists, the industrialists, the stylists, the influencers, the students of the fashion schools, all a court attracted like butterflies around the candlesticks of the ice gallery which embellishes all the reflections.

Haute couture is the laboratory where fashion designers can experiment with envy, with only limits imposed by their imagination or the identity of the different houses of which they are the guardians of the style. They can ask everything to the embroiderers, to the plumassiers, knowing that they are addressed to the artisans of the impossible. The "high" is a reservoir, a source of inspiration for upcoming ready-to-wear collections.

High fashion is haute couture! What makes it so special is the know-how, the work, the time spent, the embroidery, everything. (...) Some countries manufacture cars and France has haute couture and the best know-howsays Karl Lagerfeld in the parade interview.

Paris, during the haute couture, is in metamorphosis. It is a city where one dares, where one sings the beauty even if the sky is gray. We create dresses to the extent of the dreams of those who will wear them. Always great, dreams. We felt this season the desire to fight with the gloom.



CHANEL (click to read)

It was not possible to bring the entire Eiffel Tower under the dome of the Grand Palais. So Chanel made a reconstruction that ended in a cloud, like a point on an i. A point tinting the gray sky, color of the first passages of the fall-winter 2017-2018 fashion show. We could see silhouettes both familiar and new, the tweed jacket, turned into a coat with balloon sleeves.

The silhouette is the key word, explains Karl Lagerfeld in the parade interview. Sometimes we add a lot of frills because it's easy. But the seam must have an absolutely perfect structure.

Karl Lagerfeld chose to sing Paris, where haute couture was born, with the desire to reinvent the look of Parisian Gabrielle Chanel, but in a modern way. Moreover, at the end of the parade, the couturier received the order of the medal Grand Vermeil of the City of Paris, which comes to reward people who participated in the influence of the French capital around the world.

What looks like fur borders are colorful feathers and assembled so as to deceive the look. Geometric patterns inspired by Robert Delaunay's paintings were embroidered on the evening dresses. The famous boater who made the first glory of Gabrielle Chanel was almost everywhere. Dresses in black or white silk mikado imposed both rigor and lightness. A dreamed Paris.

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER (click to read)

Courchevel, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Klosters, all the guests were sitting in sections named after ski resorts anthology. The theme of the parade would be winter and the sweetest, the most beautiful, the most precious way to face him.

Jean-Paul Gaultier has the art of sprinkling the eternal snows of glam, magnifying the golden-colored jacket and the high-waisted spindle worn under a satin jacket with silver highlights. The twisted ski sweater is transformed into a mini evening dress and the tuxedo in sari-style dress.

The girls had hair dotted with gold dust and wore Indian jewelry. It was Bollywood dancing up there on the mountain.

GIAMBATTISTA VALLI (click to read)

The haute couture collection of Giambattista Valli is a sweet metaphor, a tribute to the woman in her most poetic and lyrical style. An ode to the garden woman, place of all outbreaks and metamorphoses. Each dress of the parade was dotted with embroidered flowers, the chiffon dresses wore solid colors of delicate petals. It's beautiful a spring in the middle of winter.

ALEXIS MABILLE (click to read)

This season Alexis Mabille gave up the parade preferring the principle of presentation. He was probably right to see the time that guests spent in front of each silhouette. Haute couture is held in details that are not seen at first glance, nor at the second. In a structure, hours of assembly (and disassembly), hidden embroidery as in this jacket resembling a bouquet of golden roses.

A presentation allows you to watch the pieces in detail. There are hundreds of hours of work on this jacket, if you count the flowers making, and the fact that the underside is entirely glittery so that we can see reflections between the petals, Alexis Mabille confided. This is also the madness of haute couture: these tiny details, but that change everything.

ZUHAIR MURAD (click to read)

The parade of Zuhair Murad was an ode to delicacy, trompe l'oeil, illusion. The first black and white looks soon gave way to pastel-hued dresses from mauve to blue through the flesh color. On certain models, one could no longer discern the boundaries of the dress: where did the body begin, where did lace or tulle end? The body was playing hide and seek. A precious game.

ANTONIO GRIMALDI (click to read)

It was his second parade in the official calendar of haute couture and Antonio Grimaldi enchanted us with his precious gowns in velvet with multiple reflections, his embroidery hidden under the arms, on the seams, as if he was drawing the dress with splinters of light. I like the embroidery to emphasize the cut, precisely: make it visible. I am patroness, I can draw, make the boss and cut a dress, I love it. For me, the cut, the material, the embroidery, everything must harmonize. We must feel the dressexplained Antonio Grimaldi right after the show.

The brilliances were as attenuated. The theme this season was the mirrors. The story behind this collection is that of a woman, so beautiful that when she looks at herself, the mirror can not bear its reflection and explodes. And all the little pieces are embedded in the dresshe said, laughing. In fact, when we look at ourselves in the mirror, it is the only moment where we can see ourselves from the inside as well.