That element of sheer surprise indigenous to Couture Week is probably in part due to the decadent nature of what a couture collection signifies: the tangible chronicles of an artists unedited imagination. These chronicles can come to fruition because unlike in ready-to-wear land, saleability is just a fake ass word instituted for the sake of criticism and/or celebration.
Couture Week is also, however, the most epic let down for enthusiasts not unlike myself, because in the occasion that an Ulyana Sergeenko (slideshow-ed above) sprouts, speaks your language and proceeds to tease you with its utter brilliance, it hurts real hard when it finally slaps that “price upon request” tag directly over the substance you’re sure your dreams were made of. And I don’t know if you know this, people, but dreams don’t come with price tags.
Indulging in newer collections is a fantastic learning experience. I’d have never known how stimulated I am by a. Gone with the Wind-era styling, b. matadors at large, c. colonial Americanism, d. modern luxury and e. Little Red Riding Hood, if not for the intuitive connection I personally, unrequited-ly forged with Ulyana Sergeenko. Give me a bustier made of hemp and I will wear it. Show me the knickers Oliver Twist once wore and I will Facebook “like” them unironically.
You can always count on an interesting journey through time (that inevitably ends in a quick skip through childbirth and lands directly in the toddler-nesting stage) at Chanel. What seemingly happened prior to the child and his mommies was a short foray into lady-hood (see: tweed dresses at left,) that became a nod to both birds of paradise and rich Spanish culture until eventually, the Chanel couture woman was just like, “look, we either need a bubble bath or to sleep on enormous cotton clouds. Also, we’re gay.” (Overwhelming applause commences.)
Meanwhile and finally, at a combination of Margiela, Dior, and Valentino, there was Hanukkah tinsel (top left) and several more tropical nods to birds of prey. There was also, I might add, an actual tropical tree that may or may not double as a bustier depending on the size of your breasties. Valentino has more or less mastered the art of a casually couture up-do, (though it’s more like a medium-height-do) and in what it perhaps my favorite detail from all of couture: there was a fencer at Dior (see: bottom right).
Good for you, Raf.