Unlike the diligent Alex Fury at SHOWstudio or the magnificent Mr Fluff Chance at The Emperor's Old Clothes, I don't have much to add in comment to the haute couture proceedings of last week, which began with a truly horrendous homage to Bassett's Allsorts sweets at Dior and ended with the unwilling bow of the sublime but stealthy couturier Azzedine Alaia, who has over the years just got on with his own savoir faire.

That phrase sticks with me whenever haute couture in Paris comes around.  Didier Grumbach, President of the F√©d√©ration Fran√ßaise de la Couture's once said "Couture is in fact not an industry, it is a savoir faire, a craft, and is a complement to ready-to-wear" and it is with this quote in mind that I look at Givenchy's latest collections of ten angel skins descended upon earth.  Thanks to the talented and generous Kasia Bobula, I've got a different perspective of the collection from the slightly robotic-standard lookbook images.  Her photography captures the quiet and contemplative nature of the collection.  With only ten silhouettes, you're really given the time to take in every detail, be dazzled and then commit to memory.  This was a showcase of haute couture savoir faire/know-how at its uppity toppity height. 

An exacting and almost topographic approach is taken with the Lesage embroidery building up beads and pearls that are sometimes covered with diaphanous tulle to reduce sheen, feathers and circles of organza into textures that have wildly different effects when viewed upclose and from afar.  The layering of various transparencies is effective in shades of white, which as a colour gives the different laces, organzas and tulles a chance to shine on their own merit. 

This is beauty for beauty's sake and for once Riccardo Tisci doesn't seem to be scared to embrace that notion without compromising his heightened dark quirks which he has honed into his ready to wear.  Admittedly there's something a bit untouchable about the whole collection with its lofty and celestial ambitions, which is the only slight downer but then again I find it refreshing once in a while to lavish "I'm not WORTHY" superlatives on to clothes.  I've already seen the inevitable cries of "These aren't clothes!  They're art!" that one expects as reactions to Givenchy's strategically downsized haute couture presentations.  Me thinks I prefer savoir faire and in the case of Givenchy, I'm glad that I'm being belittled in the presence of this amount of know-how.      

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All photography by Kasia Bobula

Comments (34)

  1. Arabelle says:

    This is probably my favorite post of yours in awhile. Eloquent and true.

  2. I am in love these dresses.
    buy dresses online

  3. Kate says:

    So in love with this collection…
    Kate
    http://www.thrillofthechaise.com

  4. Seriously beautiful dresses. So lovely. =)
    Need it? Want it? Crave it? Satisfy Your Cravings For Celebrity Style and Fashion

  5. Carrie says:

    Thanks for posting close-ups. This was one of my favorite couture collections this year and, although the long shots are beautiful, it’s the details that make these dresses so striking.

  6. how beautiful!! thanks for sharing this!

  7. els says:

    I could stare those creations for hours! I probably shouldn’t though xx
    http://elswears.blogspot.com/

  8. Amie says:

    The images are divine, I love them!
    much love xoxo
    amie
    http://www.creditcrunchchic.blogspot.com

  9. s says:

    Looooove ricardo tisci!!! loooove givenchy
    i’m FAAAAAAN ;D
    COUTURE STREET: Gaia WEISS égérie MAUBOUSSIN http://t.co/Obz31GI

  10. love these dresses. good choice.

  11. Luci Bom says:

    Great images and musings, love your blog.
    http://www.blog.sketch.uk.com

  12. I would love to wear one of these dresses as a kind of alternative wedding dress x

  13. Olga Walker says:

    Hi there
    Beautiful clothes…thanks for sharing the the close-up pictures. As one comment has said, it is lovely to see the details.
    Olga from httop://revedoa@blogspot.com

  14. Katherine says:

    This collection has to be one of the most amazing and detailed I’ve seen in awhile. Great post!
    http://fashionablyawkwardr.blogspot.com/

  15. oh my dior says:

    I love all the pictures I’m in love with your blog!
    http://www.ohmydior.org/

  16. maybe a bit much for a wedding…but like WEDDING.

  17. Carl says:

    Surely the point of couture is to be untouchable and unatainable? That is not a downside – that is what makes couture all the more appealing.

  18. Françoise Leger says:

    Dior’s collection may have been “truly horrendous”, but I’m afraid it wasn’t a homage to “Bassett’s Allsorts sweets”. Such a childishly immature reference in this context shows all your fashion ignorance and truly proves that ‘bloggers’ shouldn’t be invited to such events.

  19. susie_bubble says:

    Carl: Well I do think modern haute couture needs to be wearable on some level and these pieces certainly are – … I think I do commend the collection for its perfect unattainability but I don’t think absolute cold untouchability is necessarily a good thing…
    Fran√ßoise Leger: I wasn’t inferring that Bill Gattyen was ACTUALLY inspired by Bassett’s Allsorts – that’s just the immediate impression I personally got – I’m entitled to express that opinion if that’s what came to mind to ME. If I was properly reviewing the Dior HC collection, I’d have something more concrete to say about it – as it was a passing remark, I don’t think it’s ‘ignorant’. I didn’t attend Dior’s couture show so you can rest assured that us ‘bloggers’ won’t pollute your reading material with ‘fashion ignorance’. Hold up… wait up… you have a CHOICE! All the better for you!

  20. Carl says:

    Come on Françoise Рby Dior standards their latest collection was pretty awful, which is a view commonly shared around the fashion press. Lets see how the house succeeds without the big G.

  21. anna gleeson says:

    wow.
    i love that you so often post close-ups like some of these. as much as all the big moody photography that’s in magazines is beautiful and lovely i’m really more interested in seeing the clothes….

  22. VogueVillain says:

    Simply beautiful! I would definitely want to wear any of those dresses for my wedding :)

  23. Pearl says:

    Love the photos, the location really compliments the dresses.

  24. The photograph without any piece of clothing in it, was it just me or did that photograph gave a feeling of emptiness?

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