Fall 2010 Couture: Top 10 Dresses

Let it be said, from the get go, that there is no Dior on this list because Dior KICKED IT OUT OF THE PARK this time around.

Everyone else? Kind of ehh, bleh, and really, this is couture? But Dior? Man, oh man. Dior did what couture is meant to do and you should look forward to a post extolling their awesomeness soon.

So yeah, all the other couture showings for fall were, to my mind, a bit of a let down. That is not to say that there were not beautiful, creative looks–because there were–but overall it all seemed rather ready-to-wear and not at all elevated enough for the distinction of haute couture.

These dresses are just run down in alphabetical order by designer. My absolute fave, I think, is Jarrar’s.

I was unimpressed by Alexis Mabille. I loved the trompe l’oeil booby bows, but not the crazy sleeves. I love the pants. Otherwise: meh.

But I do like this dress. Then again, maybe that's just because it reminds me a bit McQueen's last collection. Pretty, and interesting, just the same. I love the falling petals.

I mostly really like, actually, what Armani Prive put out this time. I think that it was a nice follow up to the Spring 2010 showing. That said, very little blew me away.

This was one that did. The color is lovely, if oft used, but the color blocking and silhouette are crazy, creative, and I'm not even sure what's going on here but I love it.

As you can see the silhouettes and styling are very upper crust 1970s. This, I dig.

I also dig this dress. I'm not sure how one sits in it. But this is couture. It all art and no craft, all fashion and no function. And I think the model looks amazing.

Bouchra Jarrar actually brought out a pretty stellar collection of art deco-reminiscent jackets, dresses, and coats.

But this little number was the standout to me. I love, love, love this dress. I want.

Chanel was so-so for me. I don’t know what it is, but Karl is just kind of bugging me lately. I hate the unflattering length on most of these dresses. It’s a cut that does no one any favors. Even the models come off stubby. Also, these sleeves, showing up everywhere in the collection, are awful: similarly unflattering and awkward. I know it’s Chanel and I know he’s La Lagerfeld, but, just, no.

That said, this dress highlights the best of the collection, for me. The ornate embroidery, the opulent colors, the BOOTS! and the interest of silhouette underline what should be done.

Christian Dior: Again, this was a spectacular show. It’ll be getting it’s own post soon.

Elie Saab showed well, with a long line up of lovely, well-crafted, if unimaginative fancy frocks.

I love everything about this dress: the color, the shape, the length. It hangs sweetly and with spunk, the detailing is dynamic, and, again, the color is grand.

That being said, his looks really were beautiful. I had a hard time picking my favorite.

Givenchy offered a tight collection of only ten looks. While the first few are oddly crotchtastic, the mood is elegant and gothic, the detailing divine, and the tone consistent.

This one was my favorite. Though really I recommend looking through them all. The gold ones were also quite breathtaking.

Jean Paul Gaultier was very true to himself, I felt. Playing up the drama and dramatizing the playful, though there wasn’t much here we hadn’t seen before. The palette was dark, the good old fall back for fall.

This I love. Is it leather or sheer plastic? Lovely, sexy dangerous, and just a touch of crazytown. The perfect Gaultier woman.

This one is also seriously killer. One of each, please.

For Valentino’s run, we got 60s mod in the LA hills: one part classic, one part frill. Not much here screamed couture to me. The materials often appeared stiff and I just don’t like that. I did love some of the shorter, Patty Boyd-ish dresses though.

This one was by far my favorite though, for the invisible color, the ballerina-in-a-cage construction, and the imagination of the look.

More to come soon on the couture shows, including Dior. For now though, I hope that you enjoyed my run down of the best dresses. Thank you and please come again.

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8. So-So Chanel

Click here for the complete collection on Style.com.

Okay, I’m probably going to get hate mail after this,1 but Karl Lagerfeld is just not my favorite. I get that he’s done amazing work but I’m just not sure he’s at the top of his game any longer. I hated the clogs and many of the looks in Chanel Spring 2010 RTW and this collection just feels half-assed in places. Maybe it’s just that Karl (can I call you Karl?) says such crazy shit and I wish his clothes were as noteworthy as his bons mots.2 Maybe I just expect too much from Lagerfeld and the House of Chanel.

I do adore this color. But then I look rad in this color, so there you go.

HATE. (Seriously though, how dead-on cool are these metallic, fingerless, Karl-bot gloves?)

The Chanel tweed is a stand-by and I love it (again and again, I will covet you forever Classic Chanel Tweed) but these iterations don’t do a lot to impress me. The palette does little to woo. It’s certainly season appropriate but that suitability–compounded, I think, by the kitsch and quirk of the awesome hair– comes off too twee for the brand.

Detailing done divine.

In places, the metallic detailing advances the overall aesthetic and adds to the already luxe tweed. In other places, it is overboard, seems sloppy, and risks drowning all that tiny Karl touts so much.

And here the metallic is too much. TOO MUCH.

Things I love: the Minnie Mouse hair, those metallic gloves (le sigh), those spaceman booties, the tulle bows in those bouffant mouse-ear nests and at the model’s swan necks, the pretty dresses, the simple metallic detailing.

See here's pretty dress.

Oooh look: Another pretty dress.

Things I hate: those sparkly tights, the shorts,3 the other dresses, the over-the-top detailing.

The worst dress of some very bad and just not great dresses. This may be the fugliest, illest-fittingest dress in all the land.

1. Yeah right. Like anyone but my friends are even reading this. Hi, friends!
2. Some people hate shorts on principal. I am not one of those people. I just don’t like these shorts. They do not flatter.
3. No joke, Karl Lagerfeld says the craziest, off-the-cuff stuff. Some of it is mean or ignorant, some of it brilliant, and some of it totally bat shit. Have you seen Karl Lagerfeld’s Guide to Life? It’s not real, but fakekarl.com and the real Karl? They’re pretty toe-to-toe on the WTF quotient.