Haute Gets Hotter

A new generation of couture designers take to the stage
Tuesday , 12 July 2011
Christian Dior Couture A/W11
Christian Dior Couture A/W11
Giambatista Valli Couture A/W11
Giambatista Valli Couture A/W11
Giambatista Valli Couture A/W11
Giambatista Valli Couture A/W11
Giambatista Valli Couture A/W11
Giambatista Valli Couture A/W11
Dior’s creative director Bill Gaytten and his assistant Suzanna Venegas take their bow at the shows finale.
Dior’s creative director Bill Gaytten and his assistant Suzanna Venegas take their bow at the shows finale.

Launching a couture collection at the teeth of a recession may not exactly be the brightest business timing. The immense costs of producing a line of such exquisite, labour intensive clothing make it a rather large no-no for many designers, especially when you’d be competing against the giants of the business. However that hasn’t stopped an array of newcomers creeping out from the seams this year to battle it out and join the cream of the crop during fashion’s most extravagant display of talent.

Giambattista Valli, a Parisian based designer, was one of the gusty few brave enough to join the couture ranks. Having pulled off an astonishing debut, Giambattista showed an astonishing 45 perfect day and eveningwear ensembles with such confidence and clarity it cemented his entry into the super league of designers.

Fashion legend Azzedine Alaïa also made his first catwalk appearance in eight years with his first ever haute couture show. The fiercely protective designer renowned for his strict brand marketing ensured invitations were limited to a select few VIP’s, including Donatella Versace, Sofia Coppola and rapper turned designer Kanye West. The intimate presentation solidifies Alaïa’s new future as a couturier and guarantees his usually irregular collections will now be a fashion week main stay.

Of course all eyes were on the Christian Dior runway following John Galliano’s dramatic departure from the fashion house earlier this year. With Galliano’s right hand man Bill Gaytten at the hem there were big shoes to be filled and expectations ran wild. However the views were less than positive. The bewildering collection came across as confused and hard to interpret with a source stating Gaytten was “trying too hard to be Galliano”. It seems that Gaytten’s future at the historic fashion house is in threads and rumours of a disgraced Galliano’s re-hiring post-court case now seem like an awfully good idea.

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