“I wanted it to be like arriving a party,” said Giles Deacon of his Couture Week debut. He presented his collection on mannequins dotted throughout a classic Parisian apartment facing the Jardin des Tuileries, and based it on the modern equivalent of Lady Ottoline Morrell, an extravagant patron of the Bloomsbury Group. It proved a perfect storyline for capturing couture’s essence: knockout, intensively hand-worked creations that nobody else has.

 

Responding to demand from a “nice private client business” that has blossomed over the past four years, particularly in Asia and America, Deacon put his ready-to-wear line on hold for his couture foray.

 

“This is about as day as we get,” said Deacon of a draped dress with exaggerated hips in white and indigo silk satin gazar, hand-dyed in his London studio using a shibori technique. A black velvet tailcoat with elaborate braid work and petals gathering at the cuffs was another fine example.

 

Deacon’s naturalist instincts came to the fore in a seaweed-print gown with metallic flower embroidery at the bust, and a tiered printed lace dress in a floral motif inspired by Deacon’s plant drawings.

 

The pulse quickened at the sight of a dusty-pink cocktail dress in layered rows of silk-satin petals with burned edges that were then fixed with pearls and dusted with marabou feathers. “We’ll sell one of those per region and can offer it maybe in a couple of other colorways,” Deacon said.

 

Grand evening gowns had their own special character. Deacon threw paint — “Jackson Pollock-style” — at a black-and-white silk duchess printed gown with ostrich feather embroideries, while a beautiful printed black bustle gown embellished with burnt roses nodded to one of his past collections.

 

Deacon said he’s fascinated by the idea of making his label “a couture brand for the 20th century, using craftsmanship, workmanship — and technology.” If this is couture’s future, bring it on.

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