Couture AW14

Wednesday, 09 July 2014
Schiaparelli showed its second Haute Couture collection under its new creative director Marco Zanini. Zanini didn't shy from eccentricity and creativity, showing whimsical animal motifs, shocking pink, lavish embroideries and a touch of surrealism in silhouette. The hats were made in collaboration with Stephen Jones. A conical party hat complete with streamer trimmings was a stand out piece.

Set in the Grand Palais, Karl Lagerfeld chose the stark geometry of Le Corbusier's Paris apartment as inspiration for this latest set for Chanel. Everything from the tweed suit, A-line to the knee, worn with tweed cycling shorts and flat ribboned sandals to a laminated lace top and feathered gowns with arm warmers displayed the artisanal capability of Chanel’s atelier.

Raf Simons always has a knack of making the past feel modern and this couture collection for Dior was no different. Simons found inspiration in historical costume references from the 18th century from ornate court attire to the suits of astronauts today.

Simons in his show notes stated: “I was interested in the process of finding something extremely modern, through something very historical; particularly through a juxtaposition of different themes. The historical inspiration is not the justification of the collection, it isn’t its entire meaning. What I was attracted to was an idea of architectural construction – that is a very Dior attitude – and how the foundations of one era are based on another, how the future is based on the past; that is what I found fascinating.”

Only Donatella Versace at Atelier Versace could take a powdery pink silk-duchesse satin ball gown and make it sexy with a giant slit up the middle, fully revealing the black Swarovski crystal bodysuit it was strapped and buckled to. "I am Versace," the designer said before the show, explaining the piece's brazen cut and construction. "I have to show it to the world."

Images: Couture AW14