I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by Bouchra Jarrar this season. Personally, I feel like her garments are safe and rather average. Although I understand that it is couture in the sense of being completely handmade, "couture" collections usually resonate as something distinctly different from RTW, you feel me? (Not saying that everyone has to do it like Galliano did in his time at Dior though, haha) This collection was very luxe and contemporary, something I feel like I haven't seen in the past few collections. I loved the draped chains and metallic accents paired with the crisp trousers and wrapped tops. Absolutely would wear look #2 if I had the chance, 10/10.
Each season, Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad send the most ethereal and impossibly divine creations down the couture runways. Even so, look after look of sheer, head-to-toe dazzlingly embellished floor sweeping gowns in a series of colors tend to get old fast. Thankfully, Murad's color story was rather interesting and he did not prolong the looks to Saab lengths (I don't think there need to be 10 gowns in every color, in my opinion); these three purple-hued beauties were among the few stand-outs.
I love how the graphic of the bare branched trees in the flowing skirt very organically morphs into delicate beaded branches on the bodice. Same for the lavender gown--it's as if they're a heavenly second skin (can I have one?). Although metallic fabric is something I'm not quite keen on, the shimmering indigo of the middle gown caught my eye, especially the beautiful way the bodice is constructed.
I loved this collection for the reason I love most of Mabille's collections, the same signature theatricality was brought to the table. With voluminous silhouettes, full skirts, and fine handiwork visible at every corner, the collection was elegant, aesthetically pleasing, yet thought-provoking at the same time. The pink beaded frock reminded me of my overtly feminine childhood dresses while the stunning high collared black gown had me thinking of Disney villainess Maleficent. Also, I love that lace application in the second gown, perfect!
Pillowy billows of fabric that look plush enough to sleep in are a great addition to any collection if done well. I love the placement of the periwinkle overskirt, allowing for some embellishments on the black skirt to peek from underneath. Also, look at that gold ribbon tied around the white gown! Is it a present for me? (Please?) The uber cool modified peplum with scatterings of faded florals was one of my favorite looks in the collection. Lastly, cascading flowers on a gown will never get old for me. I love the wrapped fabric on the shoulder, however; it gives the gown a special twist.
Valentino is similar to Murad and Saab in that we see the same elegantly tailored, princess-y yet matronly frock or gown and ensuing variations from start to finish with a few embellishments here and there. With this collection, I was happy to see a little deviation from the usual, although most of the "deviations" were not particularly aesthetically pleasing to me (thus, not pictured above ^). My three favorite looks were all very clean cut and rather simple in design and look; the luxe gold brocade/jacquard flower garden on the sharply cut separates in the first look and the pearly tapestries transposed on the cool cut-out cape sleeved beige gown were stunning. I also had to include my favorite signature Valentino red gown, I love the geometric collar detail of it!
This season was probably my first time coming across Yin's incredible work. I researched her a bit and found out that she was one of the few chosen to be guest couturiers with the Chambre Syndicale. As a returning couturier, she did GREAT this season. Swathed tops flowed into whispers of sheer, fluid skirts in an interesting palette of neutrals and muted tones while a few looks were more structured (see: crazy ribbed bodice of the gray look) but still had that airy, feathery feel (the fluffy looking grayscale ombre skirt). I can't wait to see what she sends down the runway next season.