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Continued: Christian Dior, Giambattista Valli, Versace, Schiaparelli energize Paris haute couture week

  • Article by: THOMAS ADAMSON , AP Fashion Writer
  • Last update: July 1, 2013 - 6:15 PM

A series of truncated full silk shirts, that flared from the waist, softly blossomed thanks to myriad ruffles cut — in a masterly touch — on the bias. While myriad floral embroiderings added a delicacy.

One black and white bustier dress with tulle sported an exquisite satin in lilac blue gathered silk section that flowed over the model's hip, and billowed like a loose flower.


Shoe hats, lobster dresses, and spiraling goggle glasses could easily be part of a closet inventory belonging to Lady Gaga. But these objects were all spawned from the mind of another woman, one born— incredibly — in 1890: the avant-garde Elsa Schiaparelli.

The house of the influential fashion designer is being revived this year, and Monday saw famed couturier Christian Lacroix rise to the challenge of creating 18 dresses for a presentation entitled "Homage to Elsa."

It was a sumptuous display.

One dress called "Signature," in luxuriant navy wool crepe and satin piping, sported large pockets in midnight blue faille that formed an imaginative peplum. Elsewhere, a timeless black chiffon gown featured a feathered front with a straight white satin bow and queenly gold collar.

In a great touch, the lobster dress was reimagined as a clutch bag.

Lacroix was chosen as a one-off designer, and the house is still to name an artistic director.


Wild nature was in the spotlight for Dutch wunderkind Iris Van Herpen, who produced a typically organic-infused couture display for fall-winter.

The show venue -- among the pillared architecture of the neoclassical science museum - lent itself well to explorations of organisms and exoskeletons that ran through the 11 creations.

The twist this season was a neat fusion with Japanese styles. That featured nicely, for example, on a bronze kimono dress with round, large arms in the shape of a moth. Here, scratched detailing evoked the feeling of a perforated cocoon.

The piece de resistance had to be an incredible oval dark gray mini dress that, in its intricate hard ruffles, teaming sinews and un-human shape, looked like a work of abstract sculpture.

There was a feeling, however, that Van Herpen is having trouble moving forward creatively from her organic themes — though finely executed, two exoskeletal sheath dresses felt a little like a rehash of old-styles.


Thomas Adamson can be followed at

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