Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week: Spring 2011

Givenchy

Givenchy Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Jiang Xiao Yi

Givenchy Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Jiang Xiao Yi

I couldn’t find much to love about Givenchy; I understand the appeal of ginormous hats, but there is a way to do over-the-top styling without taking attention away from the clothes. (See: Christian Dior, below.) If this were a collection of giant weird-ass hats, great. But isn’t this supposed to be about the clothes? (Or, in this case, the nipples?) In any case, this was my favorite look from Givenchy’s collection. The use of different kinds of feathers and fringe in white and yellow felt like couture Big Bird, but in a kind of great way.

Chanel

Chanel Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Suzie Bird

Similarly disappointing was Chanel’s collection. It was a lot of Chanel, but not a lot of haute couture. Nothing veered too far from the most basic of Chanel’s aesthetic. But this dress is beautiful. I love the softness of the pink satin juxtaposed with the tweed. Very 21st century Jackie O.

Valentino

Valentino Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Jacquelyn Jablonski

It’s all about colors that barely differ from your skin tone this season, at least for Valentino. I love the nakedness of this gorgeous lacy gown. Not the most wearable thing on the planet, but it’s certainly romantic and lovely. But if you’re looking for soft, romantic gowns that aren’t too unique but are incredibly beautiful, Elie Saab (see below) was the show to see.

Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Kristina Salinovic

Stunning. Every bit of this suit is stunning. The camel-and-black thing is very now, and the lacy embellishments are both romantic and badass. And the cigarette is a killer accessory.

Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Jac

Genius. Dramatic and stunning, and matching the leggings to the skirt lining was a masterful stroke of genius. I’d love to see some starlet rock the hell out of this on the red carpet.

Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2011 Couture

Because even haute couture needs a sense of humor.

Elie Saab

Elie Saab Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Kasia Struss

This is the perfect color pink, without a doubt. I’d be shocked if I didn’t see this and every other gown from this collection all over the red carpet this year. The shape of the skirt, the placement of that waist band and the loose-fitting top are perfect with this gauzy, floral gown.

Elie Saab Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Jac

Same color, but the floral embellishments are bigger and bolder, and it’s totally working for me. The sheer top with the embellished sleeves and neckline is just so incredibly beautiful.

Elie Saab Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Julia Saner

I can’t think of anything more subtly sexy than this long-sleeved, high-necked lace underlay, covered in the most lovely of pink adornments. I believe this dress has Dakota Fanning written all over it.

Elie Saab Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Lela Rose

A perfectly draped combination of lace and silk. The color is perfect – that over-saturated blood red looks great on everyone. The strips of lace in the skirt are just perfect.

Elie Saab Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Gertrud Hegelund

Well, the search is over. I’ve found my wedding gown.

Armani Privé

Armani Privé Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Bianca Balti

Armani left tradition behind and dared to go futuristic in this collection – and it paid off. I have no idea how they made fabric look like liquid metal, but the effect was unbelievably modern. Alien chic at its absolute best, and great styling to boot.

Armani Privé Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Alana Zimmer

An Academy Awards gown for the new millennium. Totally wearable and still incredibly unique. I love that metallic silver with the navy skirt.

Armani Privé Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Samantha Gradoville

In a word: FIERCE. The neckline and off-the-shoulder sleeves are delish. The pockets are to die for. The entire silhouette reminds me of an actual Oscar statue, and that color? You can’t not win an award when you show up in this color.

Christian Dior

Christian Dior Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Karmen Pedaru

By far the best collection of the season, and one of my favorite collections of all time. Christian Dior seriously brought it this season, with absolutely impeccable styling that included artful hats, wet red lips, lots of gloves, and hot-pink eyebrows. But the clothes themselves were the real stars, each piece so unique, so hand-crafted, that Christian Dior alone was worthy of the label haute couture.

Christian Dior Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Olga Sherer

The cowl neck on this coat-dress is gorgeous. As is the red, slowly fading into a reddish black. The contrast of the sleeves is terrific, and made even better by the one red glove and one black glove.

Christian Dior Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Laura Blokhina

Those shoulders are works of art, and that skirt moves with an ease and effortlessness that I’ve never seen before. Again, we see a color fading into darkness, and the effect is still lovely, especially against the stark whiteness of the skirt.

Christian Dior Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Julia Saner

Easily my favorite look of the collection. That buttery cream color next to the iced blue is spectacular. I love the gradual fade at the top, but the stark contrast in the skirt. The blue as a sheer overlay to the cream color was an inspired move. The draping of the skirt, the asymmetrical neckline, and the romantic wintery feeling this look gives off – all of it is simply beautiful.

Christian Dior Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Carolin Loosen

Genius. An absolute work of art. I love that you can see the body-conscious shape of the dress, with the excess fabric draped behind it. It’s so thought-provoking. The minty green color is fabulous, especially on those shoes. And I’d kill for those pink gloves.

Christian Dior Spring 2011 Couture. Model: Georgina Stojilkovic

Say what you will about Christian Dior – they bring the drama like no one else.

© Democracy Diva, 2011.

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