On Aura Tout Vu's paper invite was not the traditional, understated Haute Couture invitation. With its collage of guitar wielding girls, dragons and monster frogs, it bore a closer resemblance to a 16 year old girl's birthday party poster than a fashion show attendance request. Same went for the catwalk. Small, and nestled among trees in a corner of Palais Royal, its opening was another monster frog (with fangs), though this time constructed from transparent blow-up plastic. Haute Couture this was not. Krazy Kouture? Perhaps. It started with a blonde in a gown with – you guessed it – monsters perched on each shoulder (Lady Gaga was an inspiration). But the major theme was the deep blue sea. Think seaweed, blowfish handbags, scaly dresses and a gown dripping with gaudy black shellfish. Whether this new guard will overtake the old remains to be seen, but the label's muse is reportedly already a fan – Ms Gaga recently purchased several looks.
Over at another Couture start-up, Maison Rabih Kayrouz (established in 1997, it's an infant in comparison with most Couture houses), a discreet door hid a perfect grassy garden party filled with natural light and birdsong. Inside, I spotted my old friend Take Hirakawa, who told me that he's hard at work on his memoirs at present; a 25-years-in-the-making book filled with interviews, articles and essays from his career as one of Japan's foremost fashion journalists. Look out for it next year in Japanese or English.
With grass as the catwalk, the show featured vibrant colours, delicate skin and bare feet. Oranges, lime greens, sky blues and sunny yellows took shape in silk dresses with weightless external pleats and deep vee fronts and backs. The piece-de-resistance was a peachy shell coloured dress that floated over a cream bodysuit, reminding me of Botticelli's Birth of Venus.
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