Tag Archives: Christian Lacroix

Bring on the Couture!

The next few days will be entirely devoted to something I hold very close to my heart, couture.  This is the greatest art form in fashion, it is the medium in which fashion designers are their most creative and experimental.

First a definition to clear up a few misconceptions.

Haute Couture:  French for “high sewing” or “high dressmaking”.  It is custom fit clothing of the highest quality with the most expensive and luxurious fabrics and more often than not hand sewn, always with extreme attention to detail by the best and most experienced seamstresses.  The term is protected by law in Paris and defined by the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie de Paris. And only companies listed by this elite group are technically allowed to call their designs “haute couture”.

The end.  No Juicy Couture or Romeo and Juliet Couture.   Only four designers are not French, and others show their collections as “Guest Members”.  The members come and go, like Donatella Versace, Lanvin and Yves Saint Laurent no longer show couture collections but the houses once did.

There are also jewelry and accessories designers included in the group, but not too many.

The most famous current official members are:  Anne Valerie Hash, Chanel, Christian Dior, Christian Lacroix, Givenchy, and Jean Paul Gaultier.  And the four foreign members are, Elie Saab, Giorgio Armani, Maison Martin Margiela, and Valentino.

The shows began this week in Paris and I have compiled my favorite looks from the collections.  Some I found absolutely amazing (Dior and Givenchy) and others were underwhelming (Chanel) but each of them offered exquisite craftsmanship and beauty, which is rarely seen anymore with our fast-paced, over efficient, busy world.

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Au Revoir, Monsieur Gaultier!

Jean Paul Gaultier, also known as the “enfant terrible de la mode” and the creator of Madonna’s infamous cone bra, stepped down as head designer of Hermès a few days ago.

Jean Paul Gaultier

I was pretty upset when I found out about this.  While JPG isn’t my favorite designer, I do love him and the work he did for Hermès. It was a fabulous mix of his eccentricity and French classiness.  He was able to rein in his wildness and create amazing collections one after another.  I actually prefer his Hermès collections to his own namesake brands (yes, and the line he did for Target).

The last collection he will show for the brand is the Spring/Summer 2011, which will be shown in Paris in October.  I’m sure this will be a much coveted ticket, and of course, an amazing show.

The new designer who will be taking the helm of the 173 year old brand is Christian Lemaire.  He is currently the creative director of Lacoste and previously worked for Christian Lacroix before starting his own brand, and then moving on to Lacoste.

After reading up on Lemaire, I think that he might make an excellent replacement for Gaultier, who had been the head designer for six years.  Lemaire worked at Christian Lacroix, so he has the creativeness and couture aspect down, but he also spent nine years at Lacoste, so he will appeal to the preppy, classic side of Hermès as well.

I am excited to see his first show, which will be Fall Winter 2011/12, I hope he can live up to both the Hermès name and the crown passed down by Jean Paul Gaultier.

Below are some of the wonderful looks Gaultier created for Hermès over the years.

Lily Cole opening for Fall 2010

Coco Rocha for Fall 2010

Spring 2010

Spring 2010

Spring 2009

Spring 2008

Spring 2007

Fall 2010

Fall 2008

Fall 2006

Fall 2004

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