Once again fashion’s elite gathered in Paris this week for the debut of Spring 2013 Couture. As always, each handcrafted confection was more beautiful than the last, making it extremely difficult to choose just one collection we loved. Luckily, narrowing it down to five was somewhat easier. Here is our roundup of Paris Fashion Week faves.
Where to begin with our beloved Valentino? While there has never been a collection we’ve disliked, this particular one, brought to life by successor Maria Grazia Chiuri and her design partner Pierpaolo Picciolo, is simply exquisite. Inspired by a romantic secret garden dream world, the collection features flowered embroidery, embellished lace and remarkable piping in the sophisticated and lady like silhouettes that define the designer. We’ll be fantasizing about this collection well into spring and surely longer.
2. Armani Privé
In the latest Armani collection we saw the definition of the wordly woman come to life. “An echo of different cultures” streamlined into one luxe and super chic look featuring high shine fabrics, voluminous skirts, geometric patterns and meticulously tailored pants. Load up on the accessories and top it with a fez hat and you're ready to take on the globe.
3. Giambattista Valli
For his fourth couture show in Paris, Giambattista Valli debuted a “flora and fauna” themed collection, starting off in black and white structured animal print and ending in flower adorned pastels. Classic hourglass silhouettes were finished with feathers, embellished floral patterns, oversized ruffles, mesh and tulle. As if the collection wasn’t stunning enough, looks were complete with on-theme tiaras, necklaces and belts created by jeweller Luigi Scialanga.
4. Elie Saab
An “ode to delicateness” was the name of the game for the Elie Saab Spring Collection and with gowns so light and airy they practically floated, the inspiration was clear. The collection features Saab’s ornate beadwork juxtaposed with seductive sheer necklines, sleeves and skirts. Mostly monochromatic in muted colours (and some red), we also saw a few fabulous print-like pieces adorned with scrolling black beading and multicolour florals. We don’t know exactly how heavy fabrics and threads were made to appear weightless, but we really don’t need to when the outcome reaches this level of perfection.
5. Christian Dior
The intoxicating promise of spring danced in our heads as the latest Dior collection bloomed right before our eyes. Bright colour combinations, 3D flower buds, silks as blue as the sky — it was all literally about the season, evoking the very idea of spring, as envisioned by Raf Simons. Classic Dior silhouettes were mixed with newer asymmetrical cuts and interesting layering, showcasing the masterful craftsmanship that couture is all about. Did we mention the red crystal lips on the models? Bravo Dior, bravo!