This site is a MIX of Haute Couture and other creative endeavors. Thanks for stopping by x

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Carey Mulligan

This is probably old news, since it's the Oct. issue of Vogue.  I wanted to post this one because I smiled when I saw Carey's expressions. I mean, she's got Peter Lindbergh as the photographer, Grace Coddington as the fashion editor, and she's wearing the most expensive, exquisite gowns in the world. The spread is gorgeous, but I felt she seemed a little awkward or uncomfortable, or does she always look like this?

Dior Haute Couture - Printed Organza, Tiered Sheer Cotton Dress, Raffia Belt

Valentino Haute Couture - In somewhat of the same pose and her feet are scrunched up here. Boning and silk organza

Givenchy Haute Couture - Tulle Dress With Embroidered Silk-Chiffon Lace and Hand Beaded Corset. By far, this is my favorite photo and I LOVE the corset.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Love This Picture

If I had another blog, I'd call it ilovethispicture.com . Does anyone know where this came from?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Street meets Couture

So a friend of mine was supposed to do a photo shoot with me last year, before he got called into Spain last minute for an ad campaign. He then had to go to Jamaica, then London..blah blah blah. As you can see, this shoot never happened. His idea was to have a photo shoot with my dresses in the middle of Union Square where all the skaters are. Well....look what I found that was shot around the same time... ironic. Obviously my dresses aren't Versace or Haute Couture...  I wish I knew who the photographer was for this shoot.
 Versace Atelier
 Givenchy Haute Couture
 Christian Dior Haute Couture

Friday, October 22, 2010

Eugenio Recuenco

So I received an email from a friend last night :  "I am having dinner with Eugenio Recuenco and throwing my camera in the trash when I get home"...I thought, who is Eugenio Recuenco? Well, now I know. The video below is for Nina Ricci, the once French couturier and still a luxury brand. Dramatic and absolutely seductive. Check out his other videos here.

Nina Ricci
Uploaded by erecuenco. - Watch original web videos.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tim Walker

Sometimes Tim Walker's photos are a little too much for my taste, but then some of them make me stop in my tracks. Below are a couple worth noting from Vogue Italia March 2010 issue. Lady Grey: Models Stella Tennant and Imogen Morris. Are these dresses haute couture? I have no clue, I don't have this issue. But it's Victorian inspired a gorgeous:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Saint Hill & Von Basedow

I was sketching out dresses the other day, and thought how beautiful it would be to have an endless train with ivory ruffles - sure enough, I came across what I imagined in this photo. Designed by Saint Hill and Von Basedow, the train itself is on ivory silk and ruffles created with French lace. All hand made. (Photo courtesy of realweddings.com.au)

I don't know much about this design house, but I do know that there was a retrospective during haute couture fashion week back in January, at Sir Peter Westmacott, British Ambassador of France residence, in Paris, France.  (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images and courtesy of life.com) 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Guo Pei

I've always been mesmerized by embroiderers who do embroidery all their lives, even until they go blind. Hand technique is such a beautiful art, so that's why I love doing beadwork and knitting. It's not evident in my dresses I design, but just you wait!!  I absolutely appreciate this art. 

I know that one has to be accepted into the world of "haute couture", but there are definitely designers who I feel deserves this title. One of them is Guo Pei, as all her designs are made entirely by hand. 

Check out these "haute" shoes (haha!)  and I also added an up close photo to show you the details her dresses have. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Christian Lacroix + A Great Bottle of Scotch

Since my last posting about Christian Lacroix, I always wondered what he was up to. Thanks to my wonderful friend, Houston based jewelry designer Ana Maria Sanchez, I found out that he designed the bottle for Chivas Regal. Talk D-E-C-A-D-E-N-T. I like using capital letters and dashes...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Clients, Haute Couture: by Juergen Teller 1999

I wanted to know more about haute couture clients, since no one really knows who they are. Back during WWII, there were about 15,000 haute couture clients, and today there is only a handful, although the President of Chanel is saying there's a 30% increase all over the world. 

I came across this photo series by Jeurgen Teller, the photographer who does the Marc Jacob's ad campaigns. He shot these pics back in 1999 for W Magazine.  

Controversy lies in the fact that these are women of wealth who seem to spend on "fashion". To me, they are spending money on art. If I were Chanel and sat in my studio with a handful of fitters and seamstresses and spent over 400 hours on one gown, mostly a lot of handwork,  I think it is considered art - "high dressmaking", as what haute couture means. We can talk about "juicy couture" or "couture" collections later. I have postings already on this and don't want to keep repeating myself... but hey.. you just can't compare a Cartier diamond necklace to a diamond pendant from Zales. Yes, I like using these comparisons. 

The Client, Haute Couture: Ann Getty, Paris

The Client, Haute Couture: Jaqueline De Ribe, Paris

The Client, Haute Couture: Marie-Chantal of Greece, Paris

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Wing Shya

As I was searching for inspiration, especially in the couture realm, I came across this Hong Kong based photographer who did many stills for Wong Kar Wai, a very well respected film maker. This picture is from a 2009 shoot with Flair Italy. The model's name is Egle Tvirbutaite and Vittoria Cerciello as the stylist. This was definitely a couture driven photo shoot, as you should definitely Google it when you get a chance. The photos are exquisite. The great lighting and styling allows you to see the details of the pieces.

And now because I want to complicate things, I have no idea where the costumes came from for his "personal" photoshoot below, but the images are so encapturing, that the costumes look like haute couture. I will never say that it is, but I will say that it looks like it. Model is Liu Wen. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Christian Dior

I can't get over the decadence of Christian Dior's haute couture line. I know that Paris Fashion Week has just passed for ready to wear, but I am really looking forward to the next haute couture shows.
This is Christion Dior in the 50's before Galliano's time . It's like a flower that is about to bloom. Gorgeous. This is a signature dress that I've seen many times before:

Then you have this from last summer's show for Fall 2010. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. These flowers have bloomed.  I am just so in awe of these photos. It's like art. 

So really, I just wanted to decorate my page... 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Princess of Monaco

Wouldn't you think that all princesses would have their wedding dress designed by a couturier? Not Grace Kelly. Costume Designer for MGM Helen Rose crafted her lace adorned dress. The dress still used 25 yards of silk taffeta, 98 yards of silk tulle, and 300 yards of Valenciennes lace. It's still decadent within its own right, but not Haute Couture. Helen Rose continued with her brand and made a consumer line called "Helen Rose Couture", but once again, as I've stated before, it depicts high end in America. It shouldn't be confused with Haute Couture.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Couture Clients

I love this photo of Christian Dior's Fall/Winter 2010. It's amazing to me how each Couturier is required to have 35 pieces, and 15 full time workers to make these shows happen.

According to The Independent, there are between 200 and 2000 couture clients in the world, and the president of Chanel, Bruno Pavlosky has seen a 30% increase in new clients all over the world.

It's hard to believe, with all that is happening in the world, but normally couture clients aren't the movie stars, they are the ones who move quietly. They may create an impact, but you would never know.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Christian Lacroix's Last Show

I want to talk about Christian Lacroix. I love the art of Haute Couture, but when I watched a show about the makings of his collection back in the nineties, I had even more respect for this art. Watching his staff weave a jacket from yarn to fabric to finish was amazing, and watching them sit in the front row of his couture show melted my heart.

Lacroix is a true couturier, who did it with passion and love. With this said, the last show was indeed a sad but memorable show. He found bolts of leftover fabric, the venue was donated to him for that day, his staff worked for free. This is true loyalty.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Revisiting Melania Trump's Wedding Gown

Here is a prime example of a true Haute Couture gown.
As previously noted, "Couture" is used loosely for many bridal houses. It's used to depict "High End" or "Designer". Here's my issue with it. And yes, it's an issue that I've never gotten over, ever since my apprenticeship in Paris 10 years ago.

Couture in America means
6 yards of Duchess Satin
Embroidery or crystal beadwork done by hand in India or China
Dress sewn by an industrial sewing machine in 8 hours give or take, not sure about the beadwork since it's outsourced
3 half hour fittings
1 seamstress, 1 fitter
$5000.00 price range

Couture as in Melania's gown means
98 yards of Duchess Satin making the gown 50 lbs
Hand embroidery encrusted with over 1500 crystal  rhinestones done in the House of Christian Dior
Over 1000 hours of work, with additional 550 hours for applying the rhinestones
4 fittings, 4 hours each
About 28 seamstresses
Cost is around $2,000,000

See the comparison? It's like calling a Mitsubishi Eclipse a Lamborghini. Just doesn't make sense.

Vogue Photoshoot

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I Love Haute Couture

This blog is not associated with The Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. But I do appreciate this art.
Haute Couture is not your wedding gown (unless it was designed by a design house, it is handmade and one of a kind) It should probably cost over $1,000,000.

Within The Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, there are Official Members, Correspondent Members, Guest Members, Jewelry, and Accessories. It's an ordeal and I personally can't stand it when a brand calls their gown a "Couture" gown. They are all being made in a factory. It's an insult. It's like calling McDonald's a four star restaurant.

This year's Haute Couture shows didn't stand out to me. I think that it is a dying art, and I feel they are trying to stay alive by compromising their look to be similar to ready-to-wear.

This is why I am dedicating this site to Haute Couture. When I first went to Paris way back when, the main reason why I continue to be in fashion is Haute Couture. It's the heart of fashion, and a forgotten art.

I hope it doesn't start to go in the sportwear direction because then I will not have a blog anymore - or I'll have to go backwards and revisit all the old Haute Couture looks.

This year, by far, my favorite is Givenchy. I loved it during Hubert de Givenchy's time, and I love what Riccardo Tisci has done today.

Givenchy in the 1950's

Givenchy now Fall 2010/2011