At Christian Lacroix, High Art Is Reborn
By Timothy Hagy, Paris Editor
PARIS, January 24, 2006 - The winter sun fell softly into night, a
breath-freezing arctic cold one, as Christian Lacroix presented his 38th
collection of haute couture late on Tuesday. Looking over the forty pieces
sent down a runway of golden dust, the indelible print of Lacroix was visible
most everywhere: in the graceful draping of a tail coat, in an embroidered
jacket glittering in eighteenth century brilliance, in the froth of ostrich
feathers that circled the arms and neckline of a gossamer sheer jacket, in
the embroidery of a gown that sparkled like icicles.
As models stepped out from a backdrop, a landscape that hearkened back to
ancient Rome, you got the sense of modern art being reborn from the ruins.
And perhaps that is where couture is in this day and time - an art-form on
the verge of extinction that somehow continues to flower each season in
Paris, struggling through the cold and ice to live on.
Elsewhere, mounds of contemporary-print chiffon were layered to form a skirt,
a dress of gold-embroidered ecru crepeline incorporated a skirt held by a
garland of flowers, a bustier was splashed with color like a freshly painted
canvas, and the wedding dress, a concoction of snow-white tulle and lace,
integrated sprays of pale roses.
The standing ovation that followed the show seemed to catch Lacroix by
surprise, as he emerged hesitantly from backstage. “This collection is a kind
of Renaissance,” he said. Now in the second year of ownership by the US-based
Falic group, Lacroix couture continues to set the standard for the art form.