For those of you who missed it, Paris Haute Couture SS/09 Fashion Week took place just last week, from Monday, January 26th to Wednesday, January 30th. While most of us were writing papers or filing overdue reports, models from across the globe were frolicking down the catwalk in the majestic brilliance of designers such as Christian Lacroix, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Dior, and Valentino. I couldn’t possibly allow the week to pass me by without at least giving a runway report on my absolute favorites of the week; Dior, Lacroix, and Givenchy.

Monday mornings tend to be a drag for most, but fashion fanatics arose with smile-slapped faces to attend the 10 am start to fashion week with Alexis Mabille kicking it off at 51, rue de l’Université. Two shows and separate venues later, the crowds shambled over to 79 rue de Varenne, where Christian Dior sent his masterworks down the room at 2:30pm. Dior’s collection featured Vermeer-inspired designs overflowing with puffs, lace-laden necklines, fitted torsos, and a multitude of resplendent ruffles. Designer John Galliano said that he drew his inspiration for the Dior line from 17th-Century Dutch paintings, in which the poses of the subjects particularly captured his eye. Well, Galliano certainly caught our eyes by sending lavish porcelain dolls decked in genteel pastels from creamy white to Bo-Peep blues down the massive hall. Some of the dresses looked more regal, while other designs looked more like my grandmother’s Sunday tea set (in a good way of course, she never fails to receive a compliment on such splendid porcelain pieces of finery). 

Day two of Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week SS/09 brought a mid-afternoon style snack from mad-genius designer, the great Christian Lacroix. The show kicked-off at three-thirty in the afternoon at the Centre Georges Pompidou off of la rue Beaubourg. One of my personal favorites, Lacroix’s work this spring was a remarkably fresh spin on couture. The French virtuoso took his predominantly wild and striking designs down a notch, in consideration of haute couture. But with inspiration varying from retro prom chic to Spanish luxury to Parisian glam, he still managed to throw his crazy, whimsical “WOW Factor” into the designs that make them unmistakably Lacroix. I must say, every single dress was a masterpiece in this show. Always one to go with “the whole shebang”, models wore over-sized earrings and thin, patterned tights. Some dresses resembled fashion-forward flamenco dancers on their night out, while others looked like frivolous teen prom queen prototypes. Polka dots, exotic color mixtures, vivid flower designs, explosive colors, and scrumptious bows were just some of the many luxuries that Christian Lacroix let the world indulge in this fashion week. As per usual, Lacroix has me head-over-heels in love with his lavish line.

Later that night, Givenchy put on quite the show at Couvent des Cordeliers on 15 rue de l’Ecole de Médecine. Now before I go in deeper I feel compelled to say that although never disappointing, Givenchy has not usually been in my favorites during fashion weeks. However, 2009 has clearly been a year of change thus far, and I must say I was impressed with this collection. Succulent necklines stayed high and close to the neck, while the backs of many dresses took the plunge with crisscrosses and droopy layers. Givenchy played with floral prints and light pastels from yellow to mint green, flirting with the joys of spring in material form. Bunched-up material flowers, thin layers of flowing material, and dresses drizzled with lace were some of my personal favorite highlights of the show. The graceful and dainty collection won my heart this couture week, putting Givenchy in my top three for the week, leaving me yearning for a few of the delicately chic pieces for myself! See the backstage photos on our TUMBLR.

In the two days of frivolous footsteps down the runway coated with spring fashion’s finest, designers in Paris have clearly chosen to turn a blind eye to the economic recession deterring most of us from our frivolous fashion splurges. “Of course I’m aware of the credit crunch, but it is not a creative crunch,” Christian Dior designer John Galliano said after his outstanding display on the Monday evening. As we could tell by the ornate three-day extravaganza, the worst of times cannot even kill the life of couture lovers everywhere. A persistent fashion culture that will not allow itself to be doused by any flame? Now that, my friends, is haute.
Photos via Cobrasnake & Hapsical

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