More From Couture

The runways, the runways, the runways


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.

Moving forward.

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.

Related: Streets @ Couture

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  • Lina


    • Leandra Medine

      Good catch–thanks!

  • monkeyshines

    inspiring looks!


  • Malibu PR Gal

    Sadly, have been completely uninspired by couture recently… the imagination and the price tags are quite depressing… until I began to ponder if Stella McCartney channeled Kurt Cobain for spring 2013…
    Now THAT inspired me : ) GREAT POST as always!

  • Bonnie, Clyde + Marni

    Love the Valentino collection!!

  • patrizia

    La collezione della Sergeenko….bellissima!

  • lavieenliz

    I would wear these on a daily basis

  • LOVE! These couture shows were so inspiring and gorgeous.

  • Christina

    you are so right – dreams doesn’t come with a price tag. πŸ™‚

  • That fencer is pretty badass. Really loving the mesh covering face stuff.
    p.s i really like how i can click on the photos instead of keep scrolling down and seeing endless photos but maybe those should be sized a little smaller? it sucks to have to keep scrolling up and down in tiny increments to be able to see the whole picture. just a thought. πŸ™‚

  • Natasha

    This collection is intriguingly sexy! Although some of the dresses are a bit too much, I absolutely love some, I surprise myself! πŸ™‚

    Here’s a bag that would look amazing with those flower pattern dresses: Love the look!

  • Juna Kalo

    Gorgeous dresses! πŸ™‚

  • Jennifer

    I don’t really get couture… you can’t wear them. I guess it’s more for art and inspiration sake. And photoshoots lol

    • Caleb

      There is an entire haute couture market. You “don’t really get couture” because you’re not the target audience so it’s not aimed at you, beyond perhaps basic aesthetic appeal.

      • jr101

        Snob much? The entire haute couture market worldwide is more or less 3,000 women. The original OP is correct, at least mostly so. Haute couture is for inspiration, to show a point of view, what a particular designer can achieve. You can think of haute couture pieces as concept cars at an auto show. Couture is a loss leader. That handful of designers who are authorized by the French government lose money on their couture pieces. They are shown to get the designers point of view out to the fashion press. They actually make their money on the pret-a-porter, bridge or jeans lines, accessories, fragrances, et c.

  • Stephanie Lam

    Seriously was just having a conversation with my pal yesterday on how I would love to dress more editorial and more couture everyday!! Don’t think I’d be brave enough to though, or neither could I pull-off wearing birds of prey at a financial institution…*poof* there goes my dreams, floating away with Chanel cotton clouds!


    • Dress how ever you want. It is so liberating!

      • Leandra Medine

        That’s the spirit.

  • B.

    Valentino is literally what dreams are made of. *cue Lizzie McGuire Movie soundtrack*

  • re: southern plantation culture, yes! That black hat is straight Scarlett O’Hara at the Wilkes barbecue. I’d wear that and the outfits that go with it in a heartbeat.

  • I just love the lesbian brides at chanel and the valentino look on cara delevingne! xx

  • best haute couture comments ever.

    this is Raf’s expression when
    reading your words about the fencer. and, you know, the best image from
    the season as well

  • Nathan Niche

    Woah Leandra, those double layered sculptural diaper shorts (let’s just call them that for now) from Ulyana are really hot! I especially love the hip drapery on the last look with the red cape, couture du jour! You should check out my denim on denim on neon kidult look, which sort
    of looks like Peter Pan gave me a makeover… tell me what you think of
    it even if it only provokes you a bit πŸ˜‰

    xx The Provoker

  • I just think that art should be celebrated in any of it’s forms… And couture IS art. Full stop.

  • Wind-up bird

    I love perusing couture, it’s like a fairy tale without words. I hope the fencer means it is now socially acceptable to challenge people to duels; I took those fencing classes for a reason!

  • rhodawong

    chanel surprised me! didn’t expect anything like it!

  • Malena
  • Couture itself is amazing, the amount of time and effort that can go into a single look is astounding, for example I read that at Valentino the embellishment of an organza jacket/skirt combo took over 850 hours, and that the rolled crepe fabric used on a few of the looks caused one worker to develop carpal tunnel syndrome! Seems like such crazy lengths to go to for the sake of fashion, but this is truly art. Yes it’s not wearable, or affordable but by god it looks good.

  • I really really really wanted to get behind the couture collections this time around…but found them a bit flat. and predictable. I was actually most drawn to Christophe Josse’s collection (and I’d usually be right there on the Dior/Chanel bandwagon).


  • Ela
  • That last piece from Ulyana Sergeenko’s collection is what a modern red riding hood would wear … or should wear … same thing πŸ™‚

  • Cwandfashion

    I love your blog! Come find some inspirations on mine as well

  • FOK

    can this please just be a “Cara Delevingne Wearing Couture” piece please? Thanks.

  • DefensiveMidfielder

    dont get, like watching it, but I dont ge it – I guess im all about function



    jadore couture !



  • Adeshola Agboola

    Omfgosh!! This is freaking amazing, I personally like it. I Love the hill billy couture look, its kinda like a country girl that hit the big time and she now changing up her wardrobe and the last one with the red cape oh my wow!!!

    I’ve only started watching runway shows about a year ago and to be honest I think Chanel looks the same all the time, there is nothing new about it. Of course I’m not saying if some offered me a Chanel coat or bag or Chanel anything I wouldn’t take it, but I’m just saying. I still love their shows!!, but maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m unsure of what I’m saying. One thing is for sure I need more experience in watching runway shows.

    Margiela, Dior, and Valentino just staring at that collage brings me to the brink of tears!!
    Valentino dresses make me cry, they really do, I love the flowers and the way it hugs the body but looks super hot but classy… one day =_=

    I wish I was more of an ” enthusiasts” so I can understand what was wrong with the collection year.

  • Capucine Cagna

    Those pics are gorgeous

  • Haute Monstre

    Simply phenominal. Chanel never seizes to amaze me.

  • Captive Louise

    I wanna see a matador outfit on you eventually, with all the artillery you can find s’il vous plait!