Last week was a very stressful week for me, which did not permit me to post my short reviews of Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week, but it is never to late to talk about it. In fact, I find something much more interesting if you take the time to analyze it in a calm environment. Don't you think so?
Haute Couture is nothing but a dream. In case you're not familiar with what is haute couture, in a brief description, it is a work of art a human can achieve entirely by hand - no heavy equipment allowed - in a matter of days. Being these clothes are crafted by hand, prices for these beauties can go way beyond an ordinary mink jacket. And yes, they are made to fit like a glove for the customer who decides to purchase them. How special can that be to have a top or dress made just for you?
There were only around 18 shows in total that were presented during Paris Haute Couture Week, which at the beginning may sound like it wasn't too many to fulfill a week of womenswear fashion, but we're not talking about a ready-to-wear collection here. Imagine the team it takes to embroider a dress entirely by hand, to cut and sew an entire collection purely by hand. There was a time where I decided to cut and sew a simple top I was making by hand just to feel the couture vibe. For someone who is not so patient, you would guess how it went. I never finished the rest of the garment, but learned to appreciate even more every detail that goes into making such an haute couture collection.
Raf Simons could relate to my experience I had with couture. When most of us see other haute couture collections, we come to agree that these are only shows that are about evening wear and exaggeration, but in Mr. Simons' world everything is questioned.
His Fall 2013 Couture collection for Christian Dior took us to another level of haute couture. Why not make couture modern in a manner where even the younger generations will be able to fall in love with this art and keep it alive? Couture is fading, and if it's not shifted to another route it could extinct soon. What Mr. Simons showed during Paris Haute Couture was the perfect example of what we need for the couture world, and what other designers should begin emulating.
There was no drama or exaggeration in this collection. It was all the opposite of a supposed couture show. He took us around the world - Paris, North America, Asia, and Africa - in a very effortless yet luxurious couture standard. He kept embroidered dresses minimalistic that set him apart from other designers; they made the clothes much more appreciative. Overt were his bar jackets except in new technical fabrics that played an homage to the woman of Paris; a gray houndstooth number with white sequins was a favorite. He also imbued a sportswear theme to the new couture - in very relaxed silhouettes - that were captivating towards a younger audience. His African prints - mostly striped ones - and spiky textures were probably the only numbers that added somewhat of a drama, but in such a refined manner without overdoing it.
There were other couture shows that centered around too much embroidery that became a nausea, but there was nothing as fresh and lustrous as what Christian Dior presented. Even the tune to Kanye West's new song was invigorating. In general, we could say he elevated ready-to-wear to a very high standard of luxury one could notice the difference when wearing it; details are what are worth everything. The question here though is if couture could soon become the new trend amongst a wider audience Mr.Simons seems to be engaging us? Maybe dreaming more of having in our opinion, or better yet, having us seek for a special couture shop that could fulfill our needs, and open the doors to a wider couture field that would keep this special craftsmanship alive for many more years.
When you think that something has become a new trend, Mr. Simons is always two steps forward, looking back at his history of what you thought was "new." He has only presented seven collections in total for Christian Dior, but with so many new innovative techniques, it is no wonder why Raf Simons will always be a legendary reference to the designer who came out with that idea or design first.