Risque Runway Report: Women’s Couture Fall 2011

The Art Of Couture: Christian Dior Fall Couture 2011

The heart of Haute Couture…

There were Galliano Dior shapes, Galliano Dior winks, even Galliano Dior audacity. What there was not: the Galliano Dior mastery that transported so much of his work, including some of his safest collections, to a land of rare beauty. To Gaytten and Venegas’ credit, they did not play safe, opting for visual overstatement on multiple levels: shape, color, pattern. Ironically, the grandest pieces — huge, elaborately wrought ballgowns — were the collection’s most beautiful, including one look in which Karlie Kloss made a beguiling Pierrot.

The Lady In Red: Alexandre Vauthier Fall Couture 2011 

Sizzling, smoking, steamy, fiery, flaming, fashion….

The red-centric lineup included high-split skirt suits and dresses sculpted in thick neoprene or knit fabric with matching fox coats. Other creations roared red carpet, however, like one incandescent beaded chiffon siren dress and drapey numbers with daringly short hemlines.

Animalistic Instincts: Azzedine Alaïa Fall Couture 2011

Take a trip down the rabbit hole…that’s if you aren’t ate by the crocodile first.

“It’s an epic event. If Proust were alive, he would be here,” proclaimed Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli before Azzedine Alaïa’s couture show on Thursday, the designer’s first runway outing in eight years. It attracted the likes of Sofia Coppola, Kanye West, Donatella Versace, Victoire de Castellane, French Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand and a smattering of bigwigs from retail, photography, design and government.

Employing a raft of top models, the designer paraded variations on the knitted marvels he presented during ready-to-wear: sinuous gowns or skirts with cascading flamenco frills. The show climaxed with drop-dead velvet gowns with sheer inserts, a fluffy burgundy ballet dress lashed with gold lacing and a stunning laser-cut velvet trapeze number, silver lamé flashing underneath. Versace was among the first to rush back and congratulate a man she called her “master.” “It was amazing. I’m so glad I’m here,” she said, casting a lustful glance at the table strewn with silver-studded footwear. “I wanna steal the boots actually, but I better not.”

Floral Exploratorium: Giorgio Armani Privé Fall Couture 2011

Floral scents with hints of Japanese inspired fashion…

Often, it did so beautifully, as Armani co-opted the high Japanese arts of folding and of floral painting. Starting with a structured, reed-thin silhouette, he opened with day looks defined from the difficult peaked shoulder he loves. These were mostly black diffused with elements of gorgeous partial prints snaking down one sleeve, defining a peplum or spliced across one side of a neckline. Along the way he introduced the motif of folding, as in a black cocktail dress with an asymmetric 3-D curve faced with a glorious pink floral swath.

It was for evening, however, that the collection reached its dramatic apex. These clothes, and presumably the women who will wear them, aren’t coy with their intentions; they demand to be noticed. They worked the power side of skinny with precision structure that incorporated extra flaps and folds of fabric without sacrificing their linear shapes. As for embellishment, wide, graphic borders contrasted the floral embroideries that looked as enchanting as they did expensive. Among the stunners: a black velvet gown with crystal fringing and the show closer, in vibrant melon sequins embroidered with flowers.

High Fashion Couture: Jean Paul Gaultier Fall Couture 2011

Classic couture…

Gaultier performed a pas de deux with his own fashion legacy, transforming trenchcoats into billowing evening dresses, Breton stripes into lace gowns ringed in mink and a strapless corset gown into a marvel of flamingo-pink ribbons — coiled at the hipbone, trailing free behind. The daywear, built on beefy men’s wear tweeds and pin-striped flannels, was terrific, including handsome Hepburn trousers, swingy capes and a camel reefer that morphed into a cape on one side.

My favorite element of  couture is that it’s strictly runway fashion. You will hardly ever see fashionistas strutting these pieces of art through the street, in everyday life. Unless, it’s Fashion’s Night Out, of course. Or the streets of the Haute Couture capitol of Paris, France. Not just because the abstract design of these collections but the price as well (often starting at $25,000 and up per ensemble:OUCH!). However, a girl can dream can’t she?


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Categories: Fashion

Author:Tamisha Monet

Fashion Editor ( Tamisha Monet calls Oakland home as a Bay Area native but resides in Houston. She's a staff writer for The Rouge Collection magazine, in their Beauty and Style department. She is the art contributor for the West Coast division of F.A.M.E. The Experience magazine. In the blogosphere, she’s worked with Vogue, Lexus, True Religion and more. She works as a Business Life Coach for various fashion and beauty start-ups through her company iStyle Fashion and Beauty Society.


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  1. Risque Runway Report: Women’s Couture Fall 2011 « Massive Hawtness - August 1, 2011

    […] To check out other COUTURE Fall FASHION check out my sister blog at […]

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