>> First Look: Atelier Versace Fall 2009 —Donatella Versace showed her Fall 2009 Atelier Versace couture collection by private appointment during couture week in July — and Style.com's Derek Blasberg reported of the line's latest edition: "[It's] all focused on the (super tiny) waist, handmade beadery. Really fancy that big blue one, a steal at 100k EUROS." Last night, Diane Kruger wore a Fall 2009 Atelier Versace dress to the Los Angeles premiere of Inglourious Basterds, giving us a first glimpse of the collection; Versace's sketch of the dress is at Red Carpet Fashion Awards. [Red Carpet Fashion Awards]
>> Still no clues about why Anna Wintour skipped couture in Paris last week, but now we know why Andre Leon Talley was spotted at a Whole Foods in Raleigh, North Carolina, neighboring on Durham, where he grew up, instead of watching the latest handsewn creations from Lacroix, Dior, and Chanel waltz by.
Talley was noshing on "Southern ham and baked chicken," he writes, along with 200 other guests July 5 (the day before couture began) at a brunch hosted by Dr. Maya Angelou at her compound in Winston-Salem: "At the end of the afternoon, everyone listened to Dr. Angelou, seated at her writing table in her family room, as she shared her thoughts on the importance of sharing this kind of reunion, a celebration of 'Who we are.'"
Fall 2009 Couture Bits: Christian Lacroix Paid Models 50 Euros, Cathy Horyn Warns Valentino Might Give Wearers "A Rash"
- Models fees are required in France, so Christian Lacroix chipped in to pay his 10 models 50 euros apiece. Normal couture fees are said to be around 1300 euros per show for new faces — every year of experience earns a "raise" of about 1000 more euros. [Imaginary Socialite]
- Jean Paul Gaultier had a 12-lb dress, Chanel had three seamstresses working on the bride look, and Maison Martin Margiela used 2,000 pen caps for a jacket: it's Fall 2009 couture by the numbers. [The Cut]
- Cathy Horyn yearns for Alessandra Facchinett's Valentino; Of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli's couture, she says: "Frankly I’d be worried about getting too close to one of those prickly, encrusted numbers. You might get a rash." [On the Runway] Couture clients, a video of Chanel couture in the making »
>> Just as editors privy to a preview hinted yesterday, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli's second couture outing — for Fall 2009 — was heavy on the black, lace, feathers, and gothic look — "radical," in a word, for Valentino. As Elle's Joe Zee put it, "Not one piece of red in sight. It's a new day at Valentino. Hell, there was barely any long. Just wisps of fabric with bows and frills."
The show took place in an old convent, with the runway featuring moving images of smoke projected on screens. Philip Treacy contributed shredded veils especially for the collection, and though reception to the designers has been tepid in the past, initial reaction seems positive. Says Style.com's Derek Blasberg: "Ok, it was good. But so black! . . . Methinks [Valentino] would be proud." And Joe Zee: "Attention Hollywood starlets: Please wear short to your next red carpet. And please call Valentino for it. Short has never looked so chic."
>> Two Vogue Editor-in-Chiefs MIA at Couture —Anna Wintour isn't the only one who is mysteriously missing from the front rows at couture, an unprecedented move; British Vogue's Alexandra Shulman is also missing in action. Both women have deputies on the scene, but their absence begs the question: Are the September issues causing an issue this year? [FWD]
>> Jean Paul Gaultier's Fall 2009 couture show was a spectacle — pre-show, Sasha Pivovarova sketched backstage, free Magnums and ice cream bars were handed out to help stifle the heat (Jean Paul even ate one as he took his bow). But that was just the beginning: Mickey Rourke never even made it to his front row seat due to the paparazzi scrum, instead taking in the show from the fifth row.
Gaultier drew inspiration from Old Hollywood — the seating was divided into old movie studios; models — including Erin O'Connor — were made up as Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Catherine Deneuve, Greta Garbo; and the dresses were based on iconic movies like Barbarella, Belle de Jour, African Queen, Anna Karenina, and A Star is Born. For the finale, the bride appeared against a backdrop of famous Hollywood faces, with each one in turn projected onto her face.
>> There's been plenty of contention about Martin Margiela's current role at his Maison, and for the label's Fall 2009 couture Artisanal line, plenty of familiar tactics were used: faceless models, nude or black leotards, and handmade jackets out of blue pen caps and vests out of false eyelashes. But as WWD pointed out — "While Margiela played to his artsy tune, there was tamer fare — a leather motorcycle jacket decorated with chains à la Michael Jackson and a shaved vintage fur, which illustrated the house is migrating into more commercial territory" — citing the fact that the presentation was also used to show off the house's second semiprecious jewelry collection.
>> Bruno Frisoni Donated Shoes to Lacroix's Show; LVMH President Speaks on Lacroix Purchase Rumors —If the shoes at Christian Lacroix's Fall 2009 couture show seemed familiar, it's because Bruno Frisoni of Roger Vivier and Vivier owner Diego Della Valle donated them, according to the former: "I called Mr. Della Valle and told him what was happening and he said, ‘Yes, of course, we’re with [Lacroix].” As for the rumors of LVMH repurchasing Lacroix, LVMH President Yves Carcelle said after the show: “Oh, this I don’t know! I’m here as a friend and not as a member of LVMH.” For his part, Frisoni thought Lacroix "has to continue" — "the best thing is to keep the name and do it in a very simple way, like Azzedine Alaia does." Lacroix apparently agrees, envisioning "a move to a different house in a different location and a customer approach that mirrors that established by Azzedine Alaia in his own studio-emporium-salon," according to Hamish Bowles.[On the Runway, Vogue Daily]
>> Although he skipped the oversized set at the Grand Palais last season, Karl Lagerfeld brought Fall 2009 couture back to the usual with a set of four white oversized Chanel No. 5 perfume bottles forming a square in the center of the Palais' catwalk. With guests on plush sofas, models wove through displaying a predominantly high/low skirt silhouette — because long, according to Lagerfeld, looks old. For the finale, one of the perfume bottles opened up to reveal Lara Stone as couture bride on Baptiste Giabiconi's arm as groom — Style.com's Derek Blasberg reports of the duo: "They kissed when they went back in the bottle. And started necking when it closed back up!"