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Paris Haute Couture: Fourth and Last Day

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Elie Saab's runway show, a designer adored by his clients for his embroidered evening and grand soirée gowns, featured an explosion of embroideries and lace, and then again embroideries in gold and tones ranging from black to beige, including pink, blue, powder blue and then more gold and sand. It's the celebration of luxury and haute couture embellished with rhinestone and embroidery and tulle with ornaments and appliqué and encrusted metallics to add shine. Brocades and golden brushstrokes on sleeves and long skirts. The common thread of the show was an oriental-inspired mood.

Valentino's collection, designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, had a totally opposite feel: linear and almost austere with little concessions to opulence and to embroidery with an end in itself. Long pleated gowns in tones of blue with floaty and sheer elements, cashmere capes protected by silk mantles and apparently simple dresses, both in silk and velvet, yet superbly tailored, and then close-fitting jumpsuits in fabrics like brocade but in matching tones. And then also little coats over long flouncy gowns. Each single piece was like a lesson in cutting and refinement. Regal precisely because simple. Modern precisely because outside the standards of classic and slightly old-fashioned luxury.

The balance between true elegance and haute couture is very hard to achieve and since is not that obvious, it's not within everyone's reach. It's hard to get the message across that the less you wear, the chicer you look. But we would need a blog or, better, a dedicated website. Whenever I see such a high level of refinement I wonder if the fashion editors will understand it.

But then, honestly, I really don't care. Clients, those who understand the gracefulness of inborn elegance, do love them, and that's saying a lot.

Jean Paul Gaultier
has gathered together in this show all the most cherished signature themes of his style: from trench coats to tuxedos to high-waist pants to guêpières and fringes, and bras and long skirts for men, and also oriental touches and top hats for women and colors including blue, lime green and purple.

Black was the color that acted as a common thread for a show that was "almost" like a retrospective, apart from blue, lime green and purple. It was very interesting to see the work he has carried out throughout the years and the many trends he has created and started before everyone else. We must give him credit for that!

Who is On Next? is kicking off tomorrow morning in Rome with the presentation of the finalists before the judging panel! Starting all over again!