In life, there are things so indescribably beautiful, so sublime, they elicit a profoundly emotional response care of the limbic system. Who can walk into St. Peter's Basilica, gaze to the right upon The Pieta, at that supple appearing marble, Christ dead in the arms of Mary, and not feel as if there has been divine intervention in the works? Is there any more electrifyingly magnificent example of power admixed with poignancy and harmony than the Magic Fire Music in the last act of Die Walkure after Wotan has put Brunnhilde to sleep? What could be more touching than Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt? (Last seen at the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg). Whether its the ceiling and alter wall of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo, The Taj Mahal, or Der Ring des Nibelungen by Richard Wagner, there are works of art that almost defy logic in their towering scope, their ability to awe and demonstrate that Man has almost supernatural powers. This prelude brings me to Fall Haute Couture, 2014. No, its not tantamount to the Renaissance masters, but for lovers and connoisseurs of fashion, this is as rarified and spectacular as it gets. Hundreds of hours of detail work goes into some of these creations, which can climb into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Only a few design houses qualify by rules and regulations to show Haute Couture. This is where they can indulge their brand of genius without having to succumb to the banal pragmatism of the bean counters....
These were my favorite looks from the house of Dior, under the helm of Raf Simons who has been doing the house proud since 2012. Feminine but powerful and sexy, wearable and not over the top theatrical (not that I consider that a pejorative, but one might). Honestly, I think I'd give up a kidney for the blue jacket above. The juxtaposition of 18th century France and modern masculine overalls is magical whimsy!
Miles of tulle, buckets of gold buttons, beweled britches, feathers, fur, and Lesage...nuff said. I admit it, I drank the Lagerfeld koolaid years ago, and I think of him as The Master. Yeah, I know, not so original, but Zowie, WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO GET MARRIED in that white stroke of architectural genius? The Flying Nun meets Maid Marian.
The House of Valentino strikes again with diaphenous flights of fancy and romanesque dresses and toga. The look above is one of my favorites of the Haute Couture collections, for a female monk knight combo who doesn't need a sword or helmet to kick some ass!
Giambattista Valli...........S I G H. I cannot speak to his couture collection from an up close and personal perspective, obviously, not being one of the several thousand women in the world of SEVEN BILLION, that can afford Haute Couture. However, thanks to Saks Fifth avenue, who is the only vendor in San Francisco who carries his ready to wear collection, I have had the sweaty palmed pleasure of knowing just how talented this man is. The "ready to wear" collections always include a contingent of pieces that are about as close to couture as the man on the street will come. The duchesse satin, the beading detail, the three dimensional flowers made of multicolored pallettes....Impeccable workmanship, GORGEOUS fabrications you might not see anywhere else, feminine silhouettes, drop dead stunners that will leave everyone on the runway gasping for oxygen.
And what bit on Haute Couture would be complete without Elie Saab, who in my opinion fashioned THE most beautiful oscar gown evah, for Halle Berry in 2002:
Old world glamour, THE most stunning red carpet event gowns that have ever been made...............fur, angelic lace, hundreds of thousands of beads..........And to top it all off, a wedding gown for a princess!
A sojourn through couture is akin to a trip through a rotating fantasy land, a dreamworld for adults, that never has to end.
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