Paris couturiers sure know how to wow the crowds. While some do it with obvious excess, others rely on exotic globe-trotting or simply on a sporty-chic approach. 

Rumor had it that members of the Qaddafi family would turn up in the front row of Elie Saab’s couture show on Wednesday. They didn’t make it — and they sure missed a lot: feather sprays, giant flowers and more glitter than the Eiffel Tower flashes once an hour after dark. Saab’s sweeping, high-wattage gowns and party frocks came bejeweled every which way, with chunky gems, beaded fringe and swirls of blinding crystals. And, if the riotous standing ovation he received is any indication, there is a customer for such razzle-dazzle. In fact, one can imagine these clothes appealing to some of the Hollywood B-listers who dress to wow the tabloid crowd. After all, with all Saab’s high-bling embellishment, when the paparazzi flash, his dresses flash right back.

Of course, while Saab concerned himself with Hollywood types, whether they hail from Libya, Los Angeles or elsewhere, Franck Sorbier went on safari with a colorful, upbeat collection of embroidered, full cocktail dresses with petticoats, peplum jackets, ruffled skirts and tribal beaded tops. Extending this theme to include jazz, he embroidered be-bop musicians on a jacket and staged the show to a live saxophonist riffing on “Night in Tunisia.” The collection was a step forward for this client-focused designer, since he took his fairy-tale world of ethereal confections in a new direction.

Dominique Sirop, on the other hand, swung to the sportier side of chic this season and, as a result, his clothes looked younger. In this calm-but-cool collection, jackets were pivotal, most in short, fitted shapes with strong shoulders. Sirop cut them in a variety of silks and wools, often cinching them with sturdy leather belts. They turned up paired with pencil skirts in crisp, sexy suits; in a white tuxedo with brown beading scattered along its sides, or worn over short, swingy, layered chiffon dresses. When Sirop moved into longer chiffon evening gowns, however, the looks lacked his surer, more casual hand. Meanwhile, the fun at the Jean Louis Scherrer show began and ended with a parade of partially constructed muslins that illustrated designer Stephane Rolland’s process. While the Scherrer runway is seldom free of overly complicated shapes and excessive gimmicks, showing these works-in-progress proved this designer does know something about extraordinary tailoring and beautiful clothes.

All along, Rolland pointed to the East with caftans, capes and elaborate embroideries. He made the most of his talents in a sleek white pantsuit, softened by a beautiful gold-embroidered lace cape, which fused his taste for the exotic with a rare degree of understatement.

To Read the Full Article

Tap into our Global Network

Of Industry Leaders and Designers

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus