Giles – If you think of Giles Deacon and his fashion, first thing on your mind is his “fire burnt” gown or Kristen McMenamy in a white dress with extremely big shoulders – in other words, his most fantastic and surreal creations, which are on haute couture level. This season, forget about Giles’ ready-to-wear, as the designer decided not to show during the last London Fashion Week. Instead, he went to Paris for couture week to prove that he’s incredibly good in his love for “big, special pieces for the show“. Because, why not? Life’s too short to do something that bores us.
For his first couture collection, Deacon went eclectic, allowing his imagination take over the control. Voluminous ball dress in hand-painted, palm leaves print; purple mini-dress covered with three-dimensional petals; yellow, jacquard cape-like gown with embellishments. Should I list more? Oh, yes – the stand-out piece, so a regal velvet neckpiece in an Elizabethan style, which is of course detachable. As the queen wearing Giles wishes. There’s also the imperial ‘Faberge’ print gown, all covered in a variety of egg illustrations. Yum. That’s a wardrobe for a modern-day monarch – it’s not over-the-top kitsch, but adequately fancy. It’s visible that Deacon loves seeing his biggest love – couture – become a reality!
Maison Margiela – I’m again on fence with John Galliano. To me, everything he does at Maison Margiela is haphazard, without any order. It’s not ecleticism. It’s a play with random textiles and textures. But this doesn’t mean that John’s chaos doesn’t have its own appeal – it does, intimately. Wherever you look, autumn-winter 2016 collection focuses on the tiniest detail. The bright yellow, ‘artisanal’ cocoon coat was worn with an embroidered drape at the back, while the dramatic veil on models’ head reminded me of a perfect day-with-the-bees option. There was an adventurous, bared-shoulder dress; a plastic construction layered on a red mini-dress; a show-stopping muslin gown with a red lace boy embroidered on. The attitude of the collection was quite revolutionary, and as the show-notes suggested, French revolution period is the main reference. Anna Cleveland, who wore a Napoleon-esque hat, looked like she was ready for the fight. Still, I doubt wellies and a tweed skirt with feather applications are best choice for a “military” gear.
Valentino – You surely know that this Valentino show is the last one designed by the duo of Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri. At least, only one half of this pair stays; the latter, Maria Grazia, leaves for Dior. Which is quite unexpected, noting all these great collections (even if there were some ups and downs) and even greater couture presentations they did together. But on the contrary, Dior is really in a need for a designer with a strong vision after Raf Simons’ depature. Chiuri’s feminine point of view will surely match the ‘new look’, while her dresses are going to boost the sales (a new designer is always a gust of fresh air for a brand with heritage). Moreover, with her big step forward, she’s making history – she will become the first female creative director of Christian Dior’s maison.
Time will show what’s coming for Maria – for now, never mind, let’s take a look at Valentino’s latest outing. An old chapter should be ended with a bit of drama, and this Elizabethan wardrobe of puffed sleeves and clerical robes matches the slightly melancholic mood. The collection was presented on the occasion the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, so no wonder why there was a lot of Renaissance Italy feel in these theatrical clothes, origining from Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice. Richly embroidered and oozing with romance (as hot red as the closing, aristocratic gowns), the designer duo proved once again that they are (or rather were) the masters of elegance. However, ignoring the fact it’s the last collection designed with help of Maria Grazia, I guess it would be simply considered as another beautiful, enchanting, and so on… Valentino couture. I confess – I hoped for something more.