Valentino Spring 2014 Couture–If anyone has cornered the market on demure couture it would be Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli. The pair’s spring-summer 2014 effort for haute couture was inspired by the opera. The influence can be seen in a dreamy outing of tulle, almost ballerina-like dresses and embroidered floor-length gowns in diaphanous silver and white. One of the collection’s standout looks was a heavily embellished white gown worn by Caroline Brasch Nielsen with winged sleeves and a high collar.
Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2014 Couture–French designer Jean Paul Gaultier had butterflies on the brain for his spring 2014 haute couture collection. From literal interpretations decorated across sheer tops to the more subtle like winged dresses, (such as the one modeled by burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese) it was a celebration of the beautiful creature. Gaultier did not stick exclusively to the theme. A decorated denim vest and curve-hugging pencil skit look worn by Joan Smalls, or a show girl, flapper chic dress adorned with glittering chains also hit the catwalk.
Elie Saab Spring 2014 Couture–For Elie Saab’s spring-summer 2014 haute couture collection, the designer found himself inspired by the work of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. The 19th century Dutch painter is known for the way in which he features flowers and textures. Similarly, Saab conjured a detailed-orientated spring outing with a focus on the botanical featuring everything from blooming roses to lovely lilacs in hue and decoration. Embellishment came in the form of appliquéd crystals ran over organza and tulle fabrics. The silhouette is suitably feminine, honing on the waist with empire lines and flowing drapery.
Armani Prive Spring 2014–While last couture season Armani focused on nude, the spring-summer 2014 Armani Privé collection looks toward deep blues and navies for guidance. A loose-fitting silhouette produced billowing skirts as well as silky pants for the presentation. The designs feature a range of influences, but most apparent are the North African touches including long headscarves, short and tailored jackets as well as vests with rich embroideries. Focusing on the red carpet, evening gowns embrace a slinky silhouette teamed with top to bottom crystal decorations.
Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2014–For Chanel’s spring-summer 2014 haute couture show, creative director Karl Lagerfeld presented a sporty version of evening wear complete with athletic accessories including knee and arm pads, fanny packs as well as silver sneakers. Despite the more casual influence, the runway presentation was not short on glamorous style. Embroidered tweed, sculpted corsets and lace chiffon in diaphanous silver and pearly shades were the focus of spring haute couture. Some of the winning looks perfect for red carpet season included lean, column style gowns in glimmering light blue, pink or silver hues.
Giambatista Valli Spring 2014 Haute Couture–The spring-summer 2014 haute couture collection from Italian designer Giambattista Valli delivers unapologetic femininity with an outing of florals, pastels and embroidery. The first section features short dresses and skirts with a focus on the hips including structural, bow-like finishes and origami folds. The color palette embraces dreamy pastels, rich jewel tones and ivory hues. Evening wear spotlights long gowns made with tiered skirts. Many of Valli’s designs were accented by crystal embroideries over silk or floral prints.
Dior Spring 2014 Haute Couture–Raf Simons delivered his own vision of ladylike elegance for Dior Haute Couture’s spring-summer 2014 collection. The new collection offers a strict color palette of bright white, soft pastels and midnight navy or black. For spring, the Dior woman also embraces prints with an array of spots featured on floor-length gowns as well as more textured effects including circular cutouts or 3d embellishments. Simons excelled when it came to more minimal pieces such as a dress featuring a short, A-line skirt and demure neckline modeled by Diana Moldovan.
Atelier Versace Spring 2014–Donatella Versace looked to eighties icon Grace Jones for Atelier Versace’s spring-summer 2014 collection. The runway show marked the first day of haute couture presentations in Paris. The outing showcased Jones’ iconic hooded looks as jumpsuits and sexy, body conscious gowns. Of course, the Versace woman’s inner glamazon was revealed with rich jewel tones and slinky metallic fabrics. A standout of the collection included a diaphanous silver gown worn by Kati Nescher with one arm in a mix of sheer and elegant draping.
Valentino Fall Haute Couture – Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli look towards the stars for the fashion house’s fall 2013 haute couture collection. Clad in ornate embroidery and luxe fabrics, the Valentino woman wears patterns reminiscent of the cosmos with abstract motifs reminding us of the sun, moon and stars. The romanticism of neo-Baroque lace or jacquards gives way to more earthy pieces such as menswear-inspired wool in camel, dark grey or black tones. These simple notes make the fur-trims and crystal beaded swirl patterns all that much more dreamy for the autumn couture season.
Jean Paul Gaultier Fall Couture – Feeling in a feline mood, French designer Jean Paul Gaultier sent out a collection of big cat inspired looks for his fall 2013 haute couture collection. Known for his sense of camp, Gaultier did not shy away from color nor print with his latest couture outing. Models strutted the catwalk in body-hugging silhouettes covered in spotted fur patterns and leopard print stockings.
Gaultier also found inspiration in the clowns of cinema, citing references such as “The Clowns” by Italian director Federico Fellini as well as David Bowie’s “Ashes to Ashes” music video. The circus influence can be seen in bright, circular patterns found on dresses, cone-shaped hats and over-exaggerated trouser proportions. Still, it’s not all fun and games; Gaultier’s attention to craftsmanship is evident by the impeccable embroidery and shapes presented.