COUTURE FW13 | Top 10


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. 

I can always count on Rad Hourani to wow me with his monochromed unisex collections. Couture is no different, with an exceptional array of finely tailored separates for guys and girls. The layering on the first look is rather insane but I'm getting so much inspiration for fall dressing. A great big lapeled leather jacket can do no wrong while the flaps of layered leather make for a cool hem on that coat. Also, let's talk about the ninja turtle-esque / frontal backpack look, because it's giving me so much life right now. 

I loved this confusingly cool collection by the inconspicuous team at Margiela. It opened with sleek leather separates and closed with languid silk gowns; the whole collection was interspersed with the most banal of denim bottoms but obviously maintained a Margiela touch with the various bejeweled masks. Flowers took on three different forms in the garments, from tapestry-esque weaves to 3-D pieces and flat embroideries. I came to appreciate the collection much more after viewing the up-close detail shots of the pieces (see:). The crystalline heel and arm cuffs were a stunning addition and the agate slice top is something else entirely while the seeming white envelope clutches were in fact invitations with the models' names written on the guest line (so awesome!!!). The devil's in the details.  


All black is a force to be reckoned with and Viktor & Rolf proved it 100% this couture season. I was continuously "ooh"ing and "aahhh"ing at look after look. The looks were cocoon-like concoctions and columnar garments that enveloped the models with beautifully draped and cut blackness. 
Some had amazing fringe details that perfectly complemented the stark black with interesting texture. I don't know how to explain my love for this collection but it is definitely belongs in my top 3 (out of the top 10, haha). 


Ah, Dior. Like many people in the fashion world, I was genuinely baffled at the collection. It initially appeared to be a multitude of various other fashion references reinterpreted into a single collection (Vera Wang, Celine, Armani, Prada, Jil Sander anyone?). Though gorgeous, it didn't seem uniquely or cohesively Dior to me. Nonetheless, the garments were each so stunning and truly well made--my favorite looks were the strong black and cream gowns reminiscent of Jil Sander days. 

Ultimately, Tim Blanks' review cleared the air and truly clarified the inspiration and intent behind Simons' collection for the iconic French house.
It was best said by Blanks:

"That's exactly how the clothes appeared: a different kind of dynamic in couture. Europe shared catwalk space with the Americas, Asia, and Africa: A revamped Bar jacket was followed by a sporty navy blouson; a strapless dress in tiers of spacey shibori (the Japanese process that produces that peculiar spiky fabric) preceded another strapless number vibrantly banded in shiny tribal colors. Dior himself was something of an internationalist (each collection, Simons reproduces two dresses by the old master as an homage), so it would have made sense to him. It should be said that there were some today who saw chaos in need of an edit. They missed the point: The mix was everything."
images via style.com, elle.com, and wwd.com