Last week, the crème de la crème of Parisian designers, the courtiers, showed their Fall 2012 collections. The sheer extravagance and prices of these desirable pieces will land them chiefly in high-end editorials and the closets of a very select, very elite global female clientele. But couture also provides great inspirational fuel to fantasists everywhere, including visually-forward musicians and their armies of stylists. Here are some of the most striking looks of the week and the pop females we envision wearing them.
Alexis Mabille – Rihanna
Alexis Mabille ratcheted up the drama this season, creating a conspicuous air of pageantry to rival the shows of Galliano-era Dior or Paris’s former enfant terrible, Jean Paul Gaultier. The show opener was the true winner: a statuesque, black jersey gown with a theatrical front slit, severely outlined in what felt like an infinity of buttons. We can’t help but hope it eventually ends up on Rihanna’s radar; she’ll give the powerful look the imperious, steely èlan it demands from its wearer.
Maison Martin Margiela – Lady Gaga
Little remains of the Belgian designer Martin Margiela in the Maison Martin Margiela web of ready-to-wear, diffusion and couture lines; the avant-garde icon retired years ago and his namesake collections haven’t been the same since. Sometimes, though, there are still flashes of brilliance, especially in the Artisinal collections (MMM’s take on couture), which explore re-appropriation, deconstruction and repurposing. For Fall 2012, that meant delving into worldwide vintage archives and puzzling pieces back together in new ways. We love the deranged “doorknob coat” – allegedly fashioned from a Victorian piece found in NYC. Capped off with a crystalline mask (anonymity is a virtue for Margiela buffs), it quietly beckons Lady Gaga.
Chanel – Lana Del Rey
In Lana Del Rey’s new video for “National Anthem,” the controversial singer resurfaces the tarnished Camelot dream, embodying Marilyn Monroe and Jackie O. The demure sundresses and twinsets she wears in the haunting clip are period-perfect and also harmonize nicely with Chanel’s Couture Fall 2012 offering. We love the pink tweed pencil suit that Karl Lagerfeld pairs with silver latex tights and heels, giving a space-age sheen to the otherwise saccharine look – a contrast we’d love to see Del Rey consider.
Christian Dior – Katy Perry
Raf Simons’ introduction to his new Dior world has been a roaring critical success, with the media lauding his implement of minimal restraint and tailoring to the decadent legacy brand. In fact, Simons explained that he regarded founder (and New Look inventor) Christian Dior as an architect and approached his debut couture collection for the label with this in mind. Most of the looks were stellar, but we particularly enjoyed his update of the peplum waist – a Dior staple, turning into a purple gradated pop art-worthy strapless top and black pencil pant combo. It would illuminate Katy Perry’s more mature, mauve look of late.
Elie Saab – Florence Welch
Elie Saab is the dark horse of Paris couture; he never presents the splashiest spectacles of the week but often delivers the most modern, graceful shows. In his latest collection of streamlined gowns and suits, a lovely green number caught our eye. It is seemingly fated for the celestial presence of Florence Welch, whose tall stature, porcelain skin and red hair befit the intricate seafoam creation beautifully. It’d be a heavenly retort to Poison Ivy.