Recently this year the last Haute Couture collection for Jean Patou by Christian Lacroix went up for auction. This was a chance for bidders to purchase the end of an era and the beginning of the next.
The creations hold that un-mistakable Lacroix style, while maintaining some of the Patou design aesthetic, which is important. We have the juxtaposition of a couture house trying to maintain its design roots and the birth of another brand new house as Lacroix then left to start off on his own. When he took over at Patou the house was flagging, and Lacroix seduced us all with fabulous, luxurious shows, which put himself and not Patou in the limelight. There had not been a new opening of a couture house in Paris since Saint Laurent in 1961, and Lacroix’s timing was impeccable. However as the 90’s wore on it became obvious that couture was no longer becoming viable.