Many thanks for all the birthday wishes! Emotions have been running high here at Château Gâteau because yesterday my beloved kid brother –who has been undergoing various unpleasant cancer treatments for the better part of a year– was diagnosed with the lung cancer that would kill him and then *JUSTKIDDING* was told by his new oncologist –the guy who invented the surgery (and performed it on Lance Armstrong)– that no, he absolutely did not have lung cancer nor did he have any cancer at all and hasn’t for quite a while, and was perplexed as to why he’d had those last four rounds of chemo and radiation at all.
Yeah. SO. Basically it was both the worst and then suddenly the best day of my life (although I did stress-buy three Hermès scarves in the process which –in retrospect– was a bit extravagant, but at least I paid cash.)
Anyway, with all this hubbub I haven’t really had a chance to chat about the Fall 2009 Couture that showed in Paris a few weeks ago. With only nine houses showing it was a slim season. Here’s a sampling from the first three shows:
I gotta say I’m not just crazy about anything Alexis Mabille’s shown in his three couture collections. In fact, my first and predominant thought is “couture? really?” He’s like that guy at work who is PRETTY good at his job, but not really good enough to have made partner/vice president/whatever at 26, so you sort of wonder if maybe he doesn’t have incriminating photographs of senior management giving cocaine to a schnauzer while wearing a Hitler costume.
Anyway, Mabille’s barely 30, and although he worked at Dior and YSL before creating his own house, I think he’s still finding his sea legs. I don’t think he’s ever going to have the Boy Genius rep of Lee McQueen or Galliano, but he might age into a sort of interesting Old Faithful house, like De la Renta. His concept, which seemed to be a fairly literal take on a girl tangled up in her bedclothes, didn’t merit such a monster collection –47 looks!!!– but I did like this robe
2. Armani Privé
I’m never quite sure what to make of Armani’s couture collections, it’s like my mind is still rebelling against him even doing a couture line, and although all his looks are very Armani what with the slouchy pants and the suits and the muted colors, I find my favorite looks from the collection are looks that I’d expect to see from other houses. The shoulder trend of the past few seasons continued strongly throughout his jackets and there was a good deal of Marc Jacob’s excellent Spring 2009 collection to be seen in the luxe fabrications of the shirting and sportswear-influenced pieces. Finally, while I appreciate that unlike Mabille and his wispy bits of voile nothingness, Armani’s actually made clothes appropriate to the season, his whole collection seemed unusually heavy, stumbling under the weight of its own self-referential 80’s encrusted glitz.