There’s the Hermes Birkin, the Bentley and the dreamy Haute Couture dresses. They belong to a selected group of ultimately exclusive products which are entitled to a selected, lucky group and that become cult pieces.
A Haute Couture dress is a work of art which was designed by one of the most acclaimed contemporary geniuses, a piece that is destined for the most famous and elegant women, who understand the power and importance of a couture piece.
The Haute Couture circle is a private, close world, constructed around the needs of an incredibly wealthy clientele who counts only some hundreds people in the entire world. In an age of fashion democracy, where fashion lovers and connoisseurs are chasing endless trends and trying to cope with an increasing numbers of shows, and where bloggers broadcast presentations directly with their tablet or smartphone to an audience of millions, the Haute Couture world defies the rules, going against mass trends and retaining its aura of exclusivity.
Haute Couture remains a conservative, select, invitation- only world, and Paris Haute Couture is the most fabulous event in the calendar of the lucky ones. However, not only the established names as Chanel, Dior or the Russian Ulyana Sergeenko, enchanted the public, but also the relatively new comers, who are equally brilliant like: Dutch fashion designer Ilja, Syrian born Rami Al Ali, French Julien Fournié and Angelina Jolie’s favorites Ralph & Russo.
For the second season, Ilja was officially listed as a “member invitee” by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, presenting the Spring Summer 2016 Collection in a dreamy setting at Palais Vivienne. The baroque architecture was further enhancing the sculptural design of the Ilja pieces. The designers’ signature style was present even in this collection, however, in a contemporary, a bit edgy- a bit cool interpretation. Even the selection of the multi-ethnic models, showcased Ilja’s desire to attract a new generation of couture lovers to the label.
Ilja’s ASSIMILA Collection was structured around shapes, and it had at its core “the skin” and its flexibility to be remodeled and shaped according to the environment. Handcrafted waves have been transformed by the Dutch designer into tops and jackets, while the dresses have perfectly embraced the body, looking like a second skin. Sophisticated silk crepes and organza offered a fluidity to the garments which made them look almost ethereal while those sculpted jackets created the perfect juxtaposition for the fluidity of the asymmetrical dresses.
Two years ago, when I was visiting Dubai, I’ve discovered the work of couturist Rami Al Ali, and since then he is my personal designer darling. The Spring Summer 2016 Collection took place at Le Maurice, Salon Pompadour in the company of an elite circle.
Inspired by the decorative Moorish artistry while enhancing the historic accents, the designer manages to create a balanced contrast of unreal beauty. The color palette is fresh without stealing a bit from the design’s richness, with shades of coral, royal blue and aristocratic gold.
Even on this occasion, volume is the quintessence of his designs, with layers of satin and brocade merged together, in order to create a larger-than-life aesthetic, rich in drama and opulence. The floor length gowns are masterpieces crafted for princesses and socialites who love an effortless glamorous look which states luxury in capital letters.
Julien Fournie, included ready-to-wear elements in the haute couture collection, creating this way a dreamy Spring Summer collection which is perfect for socialites and muses who enjoy a lavishing lifestyle. After seeing his designs, all I could dream of was sandy white beaches and the sound of the ocean, while embarking on a love cruise around the world.
The models walked on the catwalk in cocktail dresses embellished with large tropical flowers prints, where the exotic shades of a tropical paradise, become the focus point for each of his designs. A draped jacket in the papaya shade, floor length dresses in pink shades, black tops enriched with green philodendron leaves, oranges, blue and basically each shade of the tropical rainforest.
The silhouette is always form fitting, even when we talk about those gaucho pants worn with a fluid blouse, the 3D prints concentrate the attention on them while everything else gets lost in a tropical paradisiac imaginary.
Ralph & Russo is the quintessence feminine brand. Their visual expression creates a delicate, always feminine creature, who is the Queen of decadent elegance. The Spring Summer 2016 Collection is no exception to this rule, being crafted for modern fairies who live a dreamlike existence. Ribbons of organza and clouds of gazar, airy bell sleeves, lavish volumes, all these exaggerated dimensions are in contrast with the delicate, slender waist, which is even more visible due to those inflated volumes.
Each design is a couture masterpiece itself, crafted in an elaborated design where surfaces are bejeweled with embellishments, which seem perfectly selected in order to construct an image of ultimate delicacy and femininity. The hand painted flowers in sapphire, organza petal applique glistens with crystal drops and that delicate Chantilly lace, every detail is perfectly incorporated so that the piece becomes the embodiment of delicate femininity.
By: Adina Laura Achim