There’s something wonderfully naïve in Gucci‘s latest autumn-winter 2017 campaign. It’s like a child’s dream comes true, but in a positive sense. Alessandro Michele never ceases to escape the reality through his opulent clothing and unconventional attitude towards fashion, while his campaigns always have a magical, fantastic feeling about them. And I tell you, this one is just out of this world. Inspired by vintage science fiction films like Creature from the Black Lagoon or Forbidden Planet, it doesn’t only present Italianesque floral gowns and disco suits. It’s also about the idea of ultimately diverse cast of characters portrayed by model aliens, who casually fight dinosaurs, meet gigantic cats and teleport each other to another galaxies.
The haute couture week in Paris couldn’t end in a better way. In accordance with his manner of doing ‘everything at your own pace’ and after a six-year long break, Azzedine Alaïa‘s couture collection was like the sweetest, priciest dessert in the menu of a gourmet chef. Naomi Campbell, Alaïa’s ultimate muse, opened and closed the show wearing a delightful fur coat and incredibly pleated velvet gown respectively. The models were transformed into modern-day Nefertiti queens, thank to Julien d’Ys magical coiffeur skills. Also, what got everyone talking wasn’t a far-fetched venue or another celebrity in the f-row – most of all, the focus was on the garments. From a python coat in red and a hand-crafted leather maxi-skirt to floral motifs on a jacket and high-boots covered in leopard print, Azzedine’s rare fashion universe is as exquisite as it was when he started out few decades ago. Marvellous!
Whenever a priest wearing a soutane crosses the street, you can’t help but look at the way his garment flows and shapes in motion. Pierpaolo Piccioli, the creative director of Valentino, had a vision for his couture collection: to grasp the sense of holiness and striking simplicity behind canonical robes he observes everyday on the streets of Rome, and convey it in the most haute way. Floor-sweeping capes had a ceremonial aura about them, just like sharply cut coats. If you think ‘Vatican’, you think ‘ornamental’ – Piccioli’s take on sacred is a lot more modern, but equally celestial.
Valentino’s collection might be the couture season’s most intriguing line-up, and if you’re still not convinced, note the one-of-a-kind metal bags with enamel mosaic details made by Harumi Klossowska De Rola especially for this occasion. Each of the bags’ shape reassembles an animal’s head – put together, they symbolize the seven deadly sins. How ironic, thinking about the sources of fortunes of some of Valentino’s richest clients…
A beautiful, Russian tale was told at Ulyana Sergeenko‘s autumn-winter 2017 haute couture show. The brand is known for its ultra-focus on traditional, slowly dying craftsmanship coming straight from Russia – take the Yelets and Vologda lace techniques, which make Sergeenko’s lady-like dresses look truly one-of-a-kind. The collection orbited around two themes. One was especially intimate for the designer herself – it was a photo of Ulyana Sergeenko’s grandmother taken 64 years ago in eastern Kazakhstan, wearing a black dress with white-collar. Ulyana dedicated the collection to her beloved grandmothers – Sonya, Nina and Zina – making her lucky clients feel the love embedded in these intricate embroideries. The other, darker side of this collection was inspired by Old Holywood’s elegance and Soviet crime stories feauturing spies and gangsters – the all-black looks had something sexy badass about them (for a reason). Fancy, very femme fatale fur coats are here, too.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki (backdrop: a still from Renata Litvinova’s ‘Rita’s Last Fairy-Tale’).