Paris Haute Couture Week 2012 officially opened it's doors on Monday to world class designers and stunning supermodels, displaying an array of exquisite clothes. This is an updated view of some of the most impressive collections. Click on the pictures for a larger view.


 Donatella sent a small group of Glamazons down the Versace Haute Couture runway for the the first time in 8 years. Glistening dresses seemed to be moulded onto the models, with sculpted corsets, extended hip flounces and rounded strapless necklines. Subtle metallics paled in comparison to the striking shades of tangerine, yellow and lime. High pony tails and smokey eyes completed the glam-warrior looks. I wished for more pizazz, less shine.


Azure skies to starry nights - every shade of blue was represented at Chanel's 2012 Couture showing. Models in faux mohawks and fascinators walked down the aisle, set to look like the inside of an airplane. Tweed dress suits in powder blue, drop-waists and pocket seamed shifts with high cuffed necks, a scattering of blue sequins that shimmered like the sun on an ocean wave. Longer length gowns were displayed in midnight blue and the palest shade of blue chiffon. A couture take on air hostess outfits - if only!

Giambattista Valli

 The Giambattista Valli Couture show expressed sensual femininity: cream and black sheer lace dresses, petal-smothered skirts, sequins, satin and bows. I can picture someone like Olivia Palermo in the feathered frock, pictured second on the top row. Splashes of raspberry red, plum and fuchsia stole the scene with billowy evening gowns. Models wore elaborate floral headpieces, cohesively fitting in with the summery floral print gowns.

Christian Dior 

 Christian Dior's Haute Couture collection brings forth vintage-inspired shapes, from the swanky 50's to the more opulent Victorian era. A-line dresses were embroidered with floral designs, while pencil skirts were seen in houndstooth and grid prints. There was an interesting juxtaposition of 'heavy' sheerness. Layers and layers of see-through tulle were skillfully constructed into dramatic gowns with sizable skirts. Ruffles are certainly having a moment.

Armani Privé

Blue was to Chanel as green is to Armani this Couture season. Viridescent shades of green illuminated the striped catwalk, bringing with it chic reptilian-like jackets over mesh shirts and folded silk skirts. The under-the-sea extravaganza continued with a blinding neon gown rolled in sequins, graphic prints unfolded to reveal an inner black bodice, multi-layered mermaid gowns wrapped to resemble seaweed and a conspicuous shade of chartreuse which will ensure that this is an Armani range to be remembered.

Stephane Rolland

Stephane Rolland's Couture collection is one of my favourites from all featured in this post. Because he reimagined the basics, creating avant-garde designs and innovative silhouettes. Exaggerated origami-folds, geometric cut-outs, gold metal panelling, unfurling ruffles and architectural shapes. He chose to express these spectacular designs using a simple colour palette of black, white, red and lime green (which has been quite popular so far). Beautifully draped gowns swept the floor in silk jersey, gazar and organza. A masterful collection with an aura of confidence and allure.

There was a feeling of regal antiquity surrounding Valentino's Spring Couture collection. If modern monarchy existed today as it did in the 18th century, I can imagine that this is what real-life princesses would wear. Prim white-to-ivory knee-length dresses, woven from the finest cotton and latticed lace. Feathery light floral frocks, demure as can be with high-frilled collars and sheer organza sleeves. A range that charms with it's maidenly grace.  

Zuhair Murad
Zuhair Murad's Couture collection is 'glitzy as charged' for Spring 2012. Extravagantly beaded gowns were dipped in champagne golds and varnished metallics. Black floral embroidery was starkly contrasted with nude-tone slips, while hourglass-enhancing silhouettes were shaped to perfection. Crystal-embellished gowns featured plunging necklines and tails of tulle. It's luxury meets sensuality. I can see many a country-singing-star lapping this one up.


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