Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Couture Savoir Faire!

As Haute Couture week comes to a close in Paris for this season I am contemplating what it used to be like. This is before we had the over the top shows, crowds of press and the innumerable cat fights as to who was invited and sitting in the front row. Shows have become a circus for a few (about 17) official members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture who put on huge money losing extravaganzas that rely on perfumes and accessories to boost them up. Now don’t get me wrong I love couture and the clothes are wonderful from an artistic point of few.

Back in the 1920’s and1930’s when there were over one hundred official members; you would think that showings were even more of a circus than what they are now. Not so. Collections were shown to a small very select group of clients and buyers before the press were even allowed to glimpse a button. They were shown in elegant salons that reflected the designer’s design aesthetic. For example the below from Poiret was more than likely decorated by Martine his design school.

The below “Salon de Présentation” from Vionnet is just stunning. I think this is the perfect room for Vionnet’s exquisite creations. Called the “Temple of Fashion", this was a collaboration of architect Ferdinand Chanut, decorator George de Feure and crystal sculptor Lalique. I love the chairs and the murals on the walls. The room is full of natural light and I imagine at night would take on an ethereal glow with the indirect lighting.

To attend a couture showing in these rooms was true savoir faire, sure beating clutching an invitation amongst the crowds and finding a seat!

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