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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Obsessed with what's Modern

About Couture. Many people argue it's importance as a place to celebrate expression: somewhere that the theatricality of fashion still matters, and where the whimsical outfits of a particular house's dreamy imagination can still exist. But something changed in Paris last week at Dior's couture A/W 14-15 show, presented by Raf Simons. Exploring the fantastical nature of garments was certainly a key theme in the collection - but so too was practicality.

The convergence of ready-to-wear with couture (via a constant reconfiguration of historical context) could have been confusing - but it wasn't. With a backdrop of wall-to-wall orchids around the circular, spaceship runway, almost every kind of costume was referenced. From aerospace boiler suits to structured pannier dresses, Dior questioned the notion of modern aesthetics in fashion, and in many ways, took a deep step back as a means of making progress. The pairing of incredible gilded overcoats with basic straight shapes called for a very wearable kind of haute couture indeed, but there was still a strong element of dress-up with some interesting mixes of garment and accessory materials (I particularly enjoyed the spaceman-esque leather gloves, and dresses made out of the kind of material that you'd expect from a space suit).

What was incredibly clear from this show is that all of the times that were referenced have past. With this simple idea brought to the forefront of the collection (as a concept), the show succeeded in delivering a fresh approach to couture design - and somewhat memorably, that fresh approach included making these pieces wearable. In doing so, some of the magical of haute couture itself does feel lost. But at the same time, don't those long and embroidered overcoats look incredible?
images via stylebubble