Monday, February 3, 2014

Les Papillons de Paris

Last week was the Spring 2014 Haute Couture Fashion show in Paris.



Those who have read my prior fashion posts understand that I don't look at fashion the same way most of the world does.  I'm not very concerned at all as to whether or not something is wearable or will sell.

What interests me most is the craftmanship and artistry of the designers, embroiderers, stylists and dressmakers.  To me, haute couture is one of the greatest textile "art shows" and it's free for us to view. 

Embroidery, beading, sewing and embellishment, all combine to tell a story or deliver a point of view.


To be called a haute couture house, a business must belong to the Syndical Chamber for Haute Couture in Paris, which is regulated by the French Department of Industry.

Members must employ 15 or more people and present their collections twice a year.   Each presentation must include at least 35 separate outfits for day and eveningwear.

What I love most is that the entire look from hat to shoe is hand constructed and we can learn a lot about construction and the combining of textile art forms by studying these works of art.


This Spring is the season of the butterfly...


And it was the collections of Jean Paul Gaultier...


and Valentino that captured my heart the most...


There were wool applique coats with organza dresses floating beneath, covered in feathery butterflies.

Eye witness accounts of show attendees marveled at the butterfly coat below when the butterflies quivered as the model walked the runway...



My favorite Valentino dress was this Garden of Eden number...


Check out its stunning embroidery and how the choice of a sheer gray fabric was the perfect complement to the muted shades of olive, ombre and peach...


Did you notice the feather boa that was draped across Eve?

Gaultier took the theme to its most literal conclusion and the result was captivating.  I enjoyed seeing the use of feathers combined with stiffened net to make these butterfly headpieces...


And the collection seems to use a lot of netting that gave the appearance of woolwork or cross stitch.  Combine the gridwork of the netting with sequins and crystals and you get a pretty cool effect...


My most favorite dress being this example below...


I absolutely love how the grid was used to make a pattern with sequins and crystals but still has an overall casual effect.  

Now this is something that we absolutely could replicate...you can bet your last dollar that I'll be looking a grid fabrics in a whole new way...


I'd wear that one in a heartbeat.

This last example from Gaultier caught my eye because of the three rhinestone butterflies on the shoulder, waist and hip of this model...




I have plans to make a few more versions of this beaded butterfly later this Spring.

Happy Monday everyone.  Spring is coming and so are the butterflies...

18 comments:

Kathy -MIQuilter said...

I love your blog and all your hand work so much! Thank You for sharing it all with us.

Lorraine said...

Susan, just love your fashion posts. The year of the butterfly so to speak! I love butterflies and it is astounding to see the variations of these wonderful couture artists. Adore it all - INSPIRATION! Have always adored your beaded butterfly - can hardly wait to see what you come up with later this spring - a video tutorial hint hint...

gracie said...

Love the fashions...love your butterfly.

Starr White said...

I LOVE your fashion posts!! So much to inspire! Though we may not be able to replicate the works of art we see here, we can certainly take inspiration from them. My favorite is the Adam and Eve dress - absolutely AMAZING. Thank you so much for sharing these.

Sonja said...

What about a butterfly class Susan. Count me in if you do

Purrfect Lady said...

Thank you for this post, I have to be honest and say I haven't paid much attention to the fashion shows since the 80's :S
You've made me realise how much I've been missing by looking at them in this light.
The use of fabric embellishment and colour is fabulous.

LisaBelle said...

I love what you see when you look at haute couture. The Fug Girls cover the fashion shows and they concern themselves with the wearability and overall LOOKS presented. And it shows in the photographs they use--full-length portraits of the models in their clothes. There is a lot to scoff at when you look at couture that way. But that you are able to pick out the beautiful parts of a piece gives me the chance to look at couture in a whole new way.

Createology said...

Susan you are such a dear for sharing what I wouldn't have otherwise seen. I am speechless with all the butterflies as they are my favorite and represent 10,000 happinesses. Butterflies and peacock colors together...Be Still My Heart! Pure Bliss...

Reconstructed Fabulousness said...

Your blog posts are so inspiring no matter what topic you choose and your photo clarity is brilliant. Your creativity is inspiring. The Adam & Eve is simply breath taking in its sheerness coupled with the embroidery. Thanks for sharing Susan.

liniecat said...

Inspirational designs and again a cracking post for us to lust over.
Love those embroidered butterflies but I think the blingy ones are best of all!

Amy Taylor said...

This is always one of my favorite postings. Can you imagine being one of the many artisans with a designer standing over your shoulder? And the nimble fingers required for such exquisite work? Do you know where the handwork is done?

margaret said...

Susan thank you for sharing these amazing fashions with us, I would never have seen them had it not been for you, can`t wait to show Helen DD who loves any and every thing to do with butterflies.

Anonymous said...

It's kind of mind-boggling to think of how long it takes all those hand-craftsman and craftswomen to create each of those pieces, and then make additional pieces to sell to clients later. Thanks for sharing the photos - you've curated a breathtaking sampling from the shows. ~ Sheila :)

Rachel said...

Is this the year, I wonder, when I work that needlelace butterfly I've looked at every couple of years for the past twenty...?

nick lemme said...

Agree whole-heartedly with your sentiments on fashion and how you view. I pour over fashion and although I love style, it is texture,fabric and design that pulls me in!

nick lemme said...

Agree whole-heartedly with your sentiments on fashion and how you view. I pour over fashion and although I love style, it is texture,fabric and design that pulls me in!

Rose said...

Love your fashion reporting! Guess I'd better finish my butterfly vest this year since this is the year for it! (Not that it would compare to anything shown in your post - lol!)

Catherine said...

Oohhhh....I love your fashion reports and have to say, that I loved your favorite choices as well!

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