January 26, 2006

haute couture s/s 2006, part 3.


jean-paul gaultier is always taking us to other countries with his collections, and this season is no exception. ancient greece is the inspiration for his couture show, with goddess dresses, micropleated skirts, gold rope belts, brocade skirts, cropped jackets and harem pants. the drama factor was quite high (with madonna in the front row), as the girls held cigarette holders and wore slinky golden sandals and jewels fit for a queen.

elie saab first became famous as the designer of halle berry’s gown when she won the oscar. since then, he’s been churning out red carpet ready dresses for marcia cross, catherine zeta-jones, and debra messing. his couture show was lots of dresses and gowns (and the occasional skirt suit or pants), but his problem is clearly editing. while most other couture designers limit themselves to 30-35 looks, saab showed 56. there were some definite hits: gorgeous sky blue tiered chiffon with an satin empire sash, lots of nude and lots of white: in lace, ruched silk, and beaded. but for the most part, it was all too much…too much ornamentation, too much frill, too much fabric.

riccardo tisci abandoned a traditional runway for the givenchy presentation, and instead did an installation, with the girls milling about, some wearing librarian-like glasses, others lounging. the color palette of black, white and red provided the perfect backdrop for the gowns in sculpted silk satin, belted lace, ostrich lashes. there were also suiting: fitted black jackets worn over white shirts with ruffled collars and sleeves, or see through chiffon with long cream skirts or palazzo pants.