Bejeweled draped dresses, airy silk organdy numbers and wildly dramatic accessories were among the notions in play.
Christian Dior: Guess whose celebrity fashion moment has come? None other than the Devil himself. First the book, then the movie, and on Wednesday afternoon, John Galliano's haute couture collection for Christian Dior. Galliano found inspiration in "Les Visiteurs du Soir," a 1942 film fantasy based on a medieval legend in which, peeved by excessive goodness on Earth, Old Scratch sends along two traveling minstrels to a garden to mean things up a bit. Suffice to say the plan works like an evil-eye charm — at least on the runway. Which is not to say his models looked like Hell; only that, for all their ornate, indulgent accoutrements, they looked unpretty and woefully sad.
Perhaps after his real-clothes-for-the-American-masses resort show in New York, Galliano wanted to re-embrace the high theatricality and nerve-twisting escapades of which he is master. And just like back in the day, his program notes offered motley references — Joan of Arc, Hollywood, punk, Salvador Dali and, most puzzling, Botticelli, who seemed curiously MIA. But unlike in the designer's early days, when every extravaganza brought a gorgeous visual feast, this time the effort felt pointlessly heavy-handed and angry.
Still, the collection was magnificent in its opulence. Couture has always been about overstatement, now more so than ever, when most clothing sales are of the color-me-practical pre-season ilk. Galliano pulled out all of the haute stops and then some, embroidering, bejeweling, hand-painting and feathering to stunning perfection. These flourishes decorated draped dresses that were almost lovely but for their fierce armor appendages, as well as ruched, bustled piles of runaway fabric masquerading as ballgowns, some bigger than a Smart Car. But no matter, since nothing presented will see the light of reality.
Among those taking it all in were Drew Barrymore, Liv Tyler, Mischa Barton and Mia Maestro. Then there was Cher, whose presence channeled Bob Mackie oh so pointedly. While Galliano owes a huge debt to the famed and maligned costumer, he might yet pick up a pointer or two about fashion showmanship. Number one, for example: Sometimes, it's nice to make the wearer look attractive and the viewer smile.Giorgio Armani Privé: Giorgio Armani floated into Paris on a cloud this season — a cloud of silk organdy, that is. His fleet of airy evening dresses made for an ethereal start to the couture season, and — minus Armani's freakish dragonfly hats — these are just the kind of subtly crafted, unabashedly feminine dresses his clients, and potential fans, crave. Armani eased up on the constructed look, giving his dresses an ever-so-prettily undone feeling. While this breezy attitude felt fresh, his approach was classical. In periwinkle blue, a sculpted plissé bodice tumbled along into an ultrasoft ballgown. An organdy number in pale pink came whorled with bold rosettes. Others were sprinkled with crystals. And for the individualists among his fans, Armani sent out a swirly printed column under a filmy veil of lace.
As light as the eveningwear was, however, by day the collection was weighty and overwrought — unless the target market is a bombshell arriviste new to Russian riches. Armani's Forties-era fascination inspired a slim silhouette with curvy jackets and wrapping tulip skirts. But too often the construction felt cumbersome, with stiff pleated lapels, spliced fabrics and high-standing collars. As for those behemoth collars, they are to the designer's couture collections what wacky pants are to his ready-to-wear. Oh, for an Armani show without them.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)