Haute couture: Gaultier goes Greek, sensual Saab

26th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 26, 2006 (AFP) – Jean-Paul Gaultier sent out a striking spring-summer haute couture collection on Wednesday inspired by Greek tradition, while Lebanon's Elie Saab offered a fresh, youthful spin on the glitz and glamour of the stars of the 1950s and 60s.

PARIS, Jan 26, 2006 (AFP) – Jean-Paul Gaultier sent out a striking spring-summer haute couture collection on Wednesday inspired by Greek tradition, while Lebanon's Elie Saab offered a fresh, youthful spin on the glitz and glamour of the stars of the 1950s and 60s.

Madonna provided her own touch of 21st century mega-star quality when she arrived for the French designer's show encircled by bodyguards, flashing cameras and television crews.

Traditional Greek costume seemed to have lent the tassels that fell from a cap, or loosely around the waist and edged a tiny red waistcoat, as models snaked around the seated audience, which also included French actress Catherine Deneuve.

But Gaultier's collection heralded more than just a Greek summer. It glorified the fine art of haute couture, of which the French designer is a strong defender.

So shimmering sequins and jewels provided ample sparkle, while the couturier, who had looked to Russia for his winter haute couture line, also offered sumptuous chiffon and organza dresses.

Bejewelled embroidery included rubies on a tulle waistcoat or pearls on ribbon. A silver lace bra top re-embroidered with gold sequins twinkled under the black draping of a pant suit.

Jackets featured a trompe l'oeil with surprising cut-outs, soft pleats portrayed a touch of the Greek goddess and trousers were often wide or puffed.

Lebanese designer Elie Saab delighted his faithful followers, wrapping up the official three-day haute couture extravaganza with a romantic range of shimmering knee-length outfits and red carpet gowns.

Pretty bows provided a focal point for both the collection and the female form, emphasising the hip, waist, back or bust of the shapely Saab-clad woman. V-cuts at the front revealed some cleavage while backs were bare.

His silhouette was sensual, be it body-skimming, Empire-line or strapless, and trains gently billowed behind gorgeous floor-skimming gowns. Fabrics were featherlight in tulle, organza or lace, often embellished with tone-on-tone embroidery.

For slightly less formal occasions, Saab, one of many Lebanese designers to show during Paris haute couture week, offered a short Charleston dress in gold and silver, or a soft green dress with sequins whose skirt swished and bounced as the model strode down the runway.

At France's Franck Sorbier, a platform ascended slowly from under the stage to reveal the motionless models, ferns and foliage covering their hair, like flowering plants in an exotic jungle.

Petals sprouted from the top of dresses which were slender and figure hugging, at times textured like vegetation, glorifying the earthy, or vivid tones of Mother Nature.

Then, among the reeds, water jets and bird cries, the glossy black of a bikini top with transparent shawl and a jet black, long full skirt appeared like a bird circling overhead.

Next, the models like inquisitive animals sneaked up to trees or picked at the grass, and the colours warmed to lilac blurring into mauve and purple like ink on blotting paper, then barely-there powdery pink and lime, and finally more intense deep red and burgundy.

The French designer told AFP that his collection was "a tribute to femininity", adding it was "very sophisticated and wild" at the same time.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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