Sunday, January 30, 2011


Paris hailed its (sadly diminishing) tradition of Haute Couture this past week.  Haute Couture is, by definition, not Pret-A-Porter.  Haute goes beyond everyday fashion.  Designers use it as a venue to push their creative visions to the extreme.

So, while we did see the typically diaphanous and peachy concoctions for Spring,

Valentino, Spring Couture 2011
note Butterfly choker

Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel,
Spring Couture 2011
See the black Victorian-style choker

the real visual delight of Haute Couture came from Jean Paul Gaultier.  Fashion's enfant terrible did not disappoint.  

Gaultier delivered Moulin Rouge cross-bred with Punk, with all the attention to tulle petticoat layers and mohawk hairdos one can expect.  The collection was shown in absolute silence except for Catherine Deneuve's voice announcing the outfits.   Gaultier's theatrical finish was a Parisian cabaret dancer's can-can kicks to -- who else -- Offenbach.

(All following photos from

If you love the art and theater of couture, this would have been the show to see.

Interestingly, did anyone notice the prevalence of chokers and dog collars across designer offerings?  Perhaps, as we peel off our winter layers, attention to the graceful neck is the first sign of spring.

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