Autumn/Winter is upon us, (although here in Doha it is very much still summer), and I thought it was time to reflect on this season's haute couture collections and the finery designers put on display for the lucky people who got to attend their shows.
The great thing about haute couture is that it is viewed by many as a form of art, giving designers the leeway to be as creative and experimental as they want to with their creations.
What makes a haute couture show stand out from the rest is the amount of thought that goes into not just the clothes, but the show itself...we don't just want to see the clothes, we want to see a performance, a theme, we want to see a little bit of eccentricity and a tad of humour...fashion is a serious business but it is also fun to see designers express their lighter side through their creations.
In third place is Jean Paul Gaultier's Paris collection.
Gaultier played on all things quintessentially French; models marched down the catwalk in ensembles nostalgiac of 1920's Parisian glamour, some holding violins, others puffing out rings of smoke from their cigarettes delicately held on long elegant cigarette holders.
The clothes were vampy, the shoulders were high and angular and the dresses draped in all places. Hair was either tucked into tre chic turbans or twisted upwards in ways which made it look like the models were wearing musical notes on their heads.
The highlight of the show was definitely its finale...the stunning Dita Von Teese came out in a long black dress and matching turban, and, performing one of her infamous burlesque routines, eventually stripped down to a nude coloured corset.
Second place goes to the ever-magical John Galliano who never fails to impress with his enchanting and often dramatic shows.
This time Galliano brought the late Christian Dior's childhood fairytale garden to life. Surrounded by giant parrot tulips, models walked the catwalk dressed literally as flowers! Chiffon and silk dresses and gowns resembled tulips, daffodils and pansies in Georgia O'Keefe-like prints with lots of ruffles and ruching and the colours looked like something out of a Van Gogh watercolour painting.
The plastic wrap hats worn by the models over their heads and faces were designed by Stephen Jones and reminded me a bit of Quality Street sweet wrappers!
The question is, are these dresses actually wearable for something other than a fancy dress party?
Finally, first place goes to Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel's fantastical leo-themed Paris show.
Inspiration for the show titled "Under the Sign of the Lion" came not only from the fact that Coco Chanel was a Leo, but also from a small bronze statue of a lion resting its paw on a golden ball owned by Coco herself (and which still sits in her Paris apartment). This little bronze lion was magnified a million times over to become the backdrop to the Chanel Paris show at the Grand Palais.
The models emerged from the giant ball to walk around a circular catwalk from which they could be viewed at every angle, wearing opulent pieces reminiscent of Tsarist-Russia.
The majestic pieces were embellished in lots of gold and silver, embroidered in exquisite floral motifs and came in royal colours. Many of the pieces consisted of short baroque-style jackets with puffed shoulders worn on top of matching dresses with puffed skirts. One of the most striking prints were the gold sunflowers which decorated many a piece in the collection.
The show came to a magnificent finish with model Iris Strubegger emerging hand in hand with the ravishing Baptiste Giabiconi wearing a styrofoam lion's head!
This is not the first time lions have been used in Chanel, as you can see from this vintage Chanel lion's head bracelet:
What I want to know is, what did they do with the giant lion statue after the show?