Couture Strikes Back

Who says couture is dead? Trimmed down, certainly, but in fashion one can never be too svelte. And from this season’s offering, it looks like there’s plenty for the lithe and leggy. That is, if they can swing the down payment, for petit mans don’t come cheap.

As usual, we couldn’t resist Jean Paul Gaultier’s tongue-and-cheek approach to rich dressing, with the emphasis on the cheek, as in exposed derriere. But as always, the Gaultier magic managed to make the gauche seem au courant. This season it was all sexy punk sirens and night porters, with a garish eighties-ness that seemed fresh (maybe we need a break from the nineties redux).

After a couple of weird seasons, Karl Lagerfeld came back in knock-out form at Chanel with a heavy-hitting collection all about slinky shapes. Sleek column dresses with slightly twenties shapes seemed whipped out of froth and embroidered with fairy dust.

But our bang for your buck goes to Givenchy‘s Riccardo Tisci, who served up modern-day anime and samurai vixens. Keeping with his salon format, he presented the clothes in a gilded parlor room on an all Asian cast, with beautiful Japanese embroidered motifs and intricate origami folding (and of course those helmets!). It was like manga goes to heaven, and you know what? It looked as modern and relevant as one could hope for.

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