Don't Forget the Details

Only ever seeing collections from a computer screen means you can forget about the finer points that makes clothes what they are. Things like movement and the fact that they exist in three-dimensions rather than the two that LED lit pixels afford us. What was it that Grace Coddington said? "On a flat screen, things look flat". The closest us regular folk can get to the real thing are the videos. But in both video and still image, you can still forget about the details. And in cases like the latest, personally disappointing Rodarte show, the clothes actually look better close up than from afar. If I hadn't stumbled across these over at the Self Service website I would not have known the subtler beauty of the collection that consisted of textural contrasts between silk and cotton, tonal contrasts between black and navy, and tiny barbed wire fastenings.

Prompted by Rodarte I've been making a point to look through all the detail shots of every collection, especially ones I'm on the fence for. Unfortunately the lighting at Roksanda Ilincic was bad, or the photographer seems to have used a far too powerful flash, because in the regular runway images the clothes are super washed out.  But hurrah for the detail shots, because here the true hues shine through, as does the luscious detailing.

images from Self Service and Vogue.com


Valentino Kerchiefs

I'm starting to tire of the new Valentino aesthetic just a little, but I loved these skirt edges which are like folded handkerchiefs.

They remind me of the folds at Balenciaga, which are almost verging on ruffle territory, and which we are all sobbing over *RIPNIC4B*

images from vogue.com


Bouchra and Couture

I really don't understand why Bouchra Jarrar is still doing couture. It's generally acknowledged her collections were never really true couture to begin with, but more a formidably, rigorously tailored ready-to-wear. However, I appreciated her debut in couture as a clever marketing and brand development move. With the less cluttered couture calendar there was more space for her to get noticed, and it made a clear point about the "seriousness" of her label, her skill level, and the kind of clients she wants to attract.

But to be honest, once she debuted at ready-to-wear, I thought she'd give up the ghost at couture. I thought she'd achieved what she needed from showing there, and could focus on the elegant day-wear that she does so spectacularly well. Well, she hasn't given up, here she is, still at Couture.

Having said that I thought that this collection was good. She's riffed on the asymmetrical trend, but because she's Bouchra Jarrar the coats and jackets are far more impeccably tailored than any other effort. I love me any stripes that you can't describe as nautical or French, and this collection was full of 'em. Not a boat neck or ballet fit in sight. And the restrained palate of brown, navy and black was perfectly balanced. The navy was on the almost-blue end of the spectrum and offset the brown  wonderfully.

One thing I can say in support of Jarrar remaining on the couture calendar, is that it keeps up the important discussion about the definition of couture, and what it needs to be in the 21st Century. The arrival of Raf Simons at Dior is of course helping fuel the discussion too, and each season I become more excited to see in what direction couture is now growing.

all images from vogue.com