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This Season's Trends

Customize Your Style >
Chantal's Secret:>
Risks and Rewards of the Birkin Bag >
Let the Fur Fly >
Family Jewels >
LA Finds >
Ins and Outs of 2005 >
Young Parisian Chic>
Couture Snowbunny>
Haute Couture Fashion Week>
São Paulo Fashion Week >
In the Bag >
Hollywood's Hottest Shoes >
The Best RTW of Europe >
Looking for Fashion's Spring >
LA Finds Spring 05 >
Hollywood's Hottest Shoes >
The Best RTW of Europe >
Couture Chameleon >
It's Open Season >
Crystal Swim Suits and Lingerie >
Lacroix to Stay >

Featured Designers
Vivienne Westwood >
Jenni Kayne >
Brasil Anunciação >
as four Interview >
New West Coast Designers >
Elsa Schiaparelli >
Louis Verdad >
Au Bar with Alber >
Fashion Blues >
Passing the Torch at Geoffery Beene>
The Legend of Winston>
LVMH Sells Lacroix Couture >
Spring 2005
A Jeweled Passion >
Sculpture to Wear >
Coco Kliks Interview >
Alber Reaches the Summit >
Carol Christian Poell >
Collette Dinnigan >

Runway Report
Haute Couture - Autumn '05 >
São Paulo Fashion Week >
Paris Men's Wear - Spring '06 >
Paris - Fall '05 >
Milan - Fall '05 >
NY - Fall '05 >
LA - Fall '05 >
London - Fall '05 >
SF Fashion Week >

One of the biggest rumors swirling around Couture Week was that Valentino was doing his last show. Indeed, with the pas de deux from Swan Lake among other torch songs included in his production, he was giving us every opportunity to believe the stories. In the years I have covered haute couture I have seen Yves Saint Laurent, Madame Torrente, Emanuel Ungaro and Oscar de la Renta for Balmain retire. Their absences have left holes in the heart of couture. The season is different now. Less daywear is being produced. Couturiers like Gaultier, who created one of my favorite collections this season, showed us that the human eye can absorb and celebrate as much beauty, detail and luxury as a designer can care to give us. Lacroix and Chanel showed us the beauty of discretion, where the fragile, exquisite dress is hidden under a fabulous but protective coat. Coats were the stars of the season. Lagerfeld drove the point home with a circular pyramid of models in black coats. It was almost anti-climactic when the models one by one removed the coats to reveal dresses and suits of many shapes and colors.

Elie Saab continues to create wonderfully glamorous gowns for his clientele from all over the world, (though perhaps most strongly located in the Middle East). He was not a part of the “coat conspiracy”, and I am sure he would prefer his elegant dresses to be seen, not covered up. on aura tout vu showed intricate and desirable wood “pearl” accessories, including oversized head combs and necklaces that hung past the knee. These pieces were important enough that they could be worn over a coat. Dominique Sirop continued to show daywear including coats, (a “tiger print” coat in feathers was outstanding) but drew the line when it came to his revered silk gowns. He too wanted his gowns to show first. Franck Sorbier, one of France’s favorite couturiers, always shows the short jackets he is noted for, that can work as well with trousers as they do with Mr. Sorbier’s beautiful gold lace gowns. He included some embroidered, heart-stopping coats as well.

As always, John Galliano was on his own fabulous and interpretive march, this time a “celebration” of 100 years since Christian Dior was born. He used a lot of intricately embroidered tulle over amazing corsets to show the nipped waist of Mr. Dior’s New Look from 1947. His contract with Dior is coming up. This was another whispered about sensation during the week.

Places to see and be seen---the bar of the Ritz, as always, Hiramatsu in the 16 th serving exquisite food in a small space, with just forty tables, thirty two of which are non-smoking, L’Avenue for lunch which always has the most beautiful looking people in Paris, and Market on Avenue Matignon, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s first Paris spot. Cameron Silver, of the world famous Los Angeles vintage store Decades was overhead asking a couture client if she was planning to buy any prêt a porter during this season, and apparently she looked at him as though he was crazy. Hottest items for men—the interlocking CC Chanel cardigan. And for women, the baby Birkin by Hermes, preferably in hot pink.

For complete coverage of Autumn 2005 Haute Couture Collections, please click here:



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