Paris Haute Couture AW15 Collections

By Chere Di Boscio

Sweatshops. Fast fashion. Seasonal trends. Cheap, petroleum based textiles. Factory made clothing. These are all antithesis to what Eluxe stands for, and are also the complete opposite of everything represented by haute couture.

It’s clear why couture week is one Parisian fashion event we never miss at Eluxe–it is a celebration of European artisanal traditions; clothing as an art form, and above all, slow fashion.

Here are our picks of the most fascinating works from the Paris haute couture AW15 collections.

Rami al Ali

A true original, al Ali uses colour like no other. Unafraid to pair plum purple with seagrass green or to boldly show a couture gown in lemon yellow, the Syrian born, Dubai based master continues to hone his presentation of a certain unfussy yet elegant femininity.

This season, he seemed inspired by the jungle–with shades of green and leafy silhouettes slightly reminiscent of the canvases of Gauguin–but as with past collections, al Ali also showed a taste for Art Deco cuts. These were especially seen on his mini-dresses, whose geometric forms could easily be imagined adorning the curves of a daring socialite leaving a flapper-era speakeasy.

Homecoming Dresses

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Georges Hobeika

The natural beauty of Claude Monet’s gardens provided the inspiration behind this breathtaking collection. Characterised by full hipped skirts, cropped jackets and of course, Impressionistic colours, Hobeika’s work this season had a touch of the 1950’s about it. Although many in the audience were enthralled by the addition of little girls walking down the runway, hand in hand with models, we’re not too sure about the introduction of kiddie couture.

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Maison Martin Margiela

This house certainly deserves its own page in Eluxe for its dedication to create couture from mainly reworked textiles and rescued relics.

Creative use of embroidery samples, vintage frocks and even upcycled objects not only reinterpret couture, but also make a statement on the consumptive nature of the fashion industry. Iconic fashion journalist Suzy Menkes said “the original Margiela concept of the ‘artisanal’, putting random and vintage pieces together, seems so right for now,” and we simply could not agree more.

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Elie Saab

There’s no doubt that Saab has become King of the fairytale dress. His sparkling, dainty dresses are the sorts of creations that girl’s dreams are made of – you can’t help but fall in love with them, simply because they are so exquisite, elaborate and tasteful.

Essentially romantic to the core, these meticulously beaded, hand-made gowns would sweep any woman off her feet and make her truly feel like a Queen for a day–be she on the red carpet, at her own wedding, or at a state event. Saab makes the kinds of dresses that are passed down from mother to daughter, whilst the former sighs about the unforgettable moments she passed while wearing that gown.

Whilst we loved every single look we saw, we were disturbed by the introduction of fur to the collection. Mr. Saab, your creations are perfect as they are–no need for this, we say!

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“Pagan goddesses, Imperial Rome, with a truth about beauty,” was apparently the inspiration for Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli’s latest collection. Personally, I felt it was more Medieval–apart from the flat, lace up sandals and a few Greek Goddess necklines, for me, the long-sleeved dresses, cross-wrapped ribbon belts and maxi length pillar dresses spoke more about princesses in the Middle Ages, especially the tapestry coats, the material for which could have come directly from a King’s wall.

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Ralph & Russo

What would Marie Antoinette wear today? Ralph & Russo divine that it would be voluminous gowns in duchess satin and silk gazar contrasting with fluid, floor-sweeping chiffons and silk crepe that accumulate into generous folds and shapes (the house’s speciality).

Apparently inspired by the photographs of Massimo Listri, these gowns, like his photos, celebrate the elegance of bygone eras; they paradoxically evoke a nostalgia for grandeur, but also resonate with modern clients, many of whom now include A listers such as Angelina Jolie and the Duchess of Cambridge.

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Chere Di Boscio
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