13 July 2009

Christian Lacroix Haute Couture collection

The Paris Haute Couture shows last week delivered the wow factor as usual. Fashion weeks are the least flashy they've been for a long time, but the couture shows are still a source of unique inspiration and crazy outfits.

Most interestingly, however, was Christian Lacroix's collection: less theatrical, escapist and indulgent, more toned-down and wearable. I never thought I'd see the day Lacroix would show wearable. I love these three looks - blacks, smoky greys and deep blues, detailing and a muted palette suitable for the season and climate. Gone were his flamboyant frills, OTT brights and ridiculous ensembles. In my mind, Lacroix has always been inspiring: great for moodboards, not so great to wear. It's such a shame that this, most likely his last show, could potentially be the most saleable - despite the duller shades, there was still lots of beautiful adornment in the way of sequins, pleats, trims, bows, lace and shimmer and the collection really showed off his craftmanship without the spectacular, blinding glitz the couturier has championed.

Lacroix in his wilder days - the neon gypsies of SS09

Rumoured to be his last show (due to his troubled house going into administration last month) emotions were running high as he received a standing ovation when his intimate VIP show closed. Maybe Lacroix put this collection together in response to the economy and the sensible buyer's demands, or maybe he wanted his last show to be one of integrity - a sombre, funereal finale to an illustrous career of fanciful creations for the eccentric elites. So elite, it was never going to last. Advice for Christian: design things people could wear, then people might buy, then you will stay afloat.
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