I’ve begun my research into more recent couture. In my library search, I found a book titled ‘Couture in the 21st Century’. I though that this would be a perfect place to start my research. It featured some of the biggest names in fashion today included the re-established Vionnet & Balenciaga. Of course the actual designers themselves are not with us anymore but through teams of modern day practitioners, their legacies live on.
From this book I was able to look further into these fashion houses using resources such as the Vogue archives and also using other sites to look at their most recent works. Although it would seem that Balenciaga is now a more commercial brand, some of the historical designers I’ve looked at remain a part of the couture business.
Schiaparelli’s name is very much still a household name within couture, the styles produced are an entire world away from where the brand started but nonetheless, still mesmerising. It is clear that there are some very directional pieces in their Autumn/Winter 14-15 collection. Each design is so different from the next, it’s clear that each one was intended for a completely different clients. In an extreme comparison, its like one was made for Lady Gaga & the other for the Duchess of Cambridge. Complete opposite ends of the scale.
Couture today can be very ‘out there’, and some would almost say ridiculous. It was difficult to visualise someone walking down the street in some of the garments.
However, when i compared this to the collection of Dior, there was a significant difference. Whenever I’ve come across Dior, the fashions always seem bright, crisp & minimalistic. Their Autumn/Winter collection was like a fresh bed of snow, a sea of whites mixed with a few complimenting tones. It was beautiful & had a sense of classical influence about it.
Couture in the modern world has shifted greatly from where it began. There are still the beautiful billowing dresses that are influenced from history but the finish is much different. There maybe a full skirt but there is more skin on display.
Couture is still a reflection of the wealthy, the finest fabrics & methods used to create these garments. Recently Dior have been releasing short videos that give small insights into how some of their products are made and why they’re worthy of the couture status. By actually seeing the true meaning of modern couture and the advances we have today does make you appreciate the times.
When you see the amount of work that goes into the creation of couture today, it would’ve been much more difficult in 1800. Although there are still handmade, bespoke elements to couture, the execution is very different nowadays.
Looking at this vast difference in changes through couture, I think it would be interesting & beneficial to see something similar in real life. I’m planning a visit to the V&A museum at the weekend to see the Wedding Dresses exhibition. I think that this will have some interesting items on display and also allow me to look at the other fashion displays. Before this though, I am going to look further into the modern designers, especially Vionnet & Balenciaga as their work has become more commercialised and I would like to explore this further.