Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Over at Givenchy, designer Riccardo Tisci opted for a less extravagant affair, choosing to host an intimate presentation over a catwalk show this season. It gave attendees like myself a first time opportunity to view Haute Couture up close and personal. Held in rooms at Place Vendome with gilded walls and parquet floors, we were permitted to literally touch the gowns. I'm afraid words can't do them justice, but here's a statistic that might – one dress required up to 1000 hours of workmanship, with 28 different people working on it at every point along the way. There are very few women remaining in the world who can afford to get dresses of this kind tailor made, and their privacy concerns were another factor in the decision to move away from a catwalk show. Ladies who'll drop hundreds of thousands of euros on a single dress aren't necessarily the types who want their photographs splashed all over the gossip magazines.
Tisci's inspiration was the Latin American festival Day of the Dead, a holiday where those no longer with us are celebrated. It's a fiesta filled with gothic and Christian iconography – in particular skeletons and crosses. This transpired into 10 looks, all incorporating skeletons (literally, the bones that shape a gown), and jewelled, metallic or embroidered crosses. My favourite piece was a gold plated jacket that bore a strong resemblance to one the late Michael Jackson used to wear on stage. If ever there was a couture client worthy of remembrance (and channeling), he was it.
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