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Christian Lacroix Fall 2009 Couture


This one needs a little more context:

"It was one of the most poignant and emotionally fraught haute couture shows ever: a collection produced on a shoestring at the last minute, and only made possible by the collective will and donated time and skills of the seamstresses, embroiderers, jewelers, milliners, and shoemakers loyal to Christian Lacroix. As the whole world knows, his future is in limbo after his former owners put the Lacroix business into administration and laid off all but 12 workers—an unclear and messy situation that leaves one of the greatest creators of the genre out on his own. Only the models were paid—€50 each, according to French law — but they too ended up in tears. "I didn't want to cry," said Lacroix, amid a standing ovation and a tumult of support from clients. "I want to continue, maybe in a different way, with a small atelier. What I really care about is the women who do this work."

If the collection was a pitch to new backers, it was one that showed Lacroix at his most restrained and approachable. Without access to the oodles of extravagantly hued and embellished materials he has lavished on his couture fantasias since 1987, he pared it back to mainly black and midnight blue, concentrating on shape and wearability. Little caped coats and coat-dresses, short and flirty bell-shaped skirts, peplum jackets, and bunchy taffeta party dresses all brought rapturous applause from a packed room of friends and clients. Fantasia it wasn't, and couldn't be. Yet no financial constraints can detract from Lacroix's mastery of his art: Witness the simplicity of a floor-length navy one-shouldered dress swooping into an asymmetrically curved back with a satin bow nestled into one side. Then there was the extraordinary wedding dress, an eau de nil satin gown with a gilded headdress, a vision evoking an image of a saint in a devotional church painting. As the designer came out to lead the bride in the finale, the whole audience stood to honor him."

We wouldn't think of answering this question on our own as it's definitely one for the scholars out there, but we're wondering if the need for (and apparently strong feeling for) restraint didn't result in one of the most starkly beautiful collections we've seen from Lacroix in quite some time. This laser focus on form and silhouette is a reminder that underneath his normal excess, there has always been a masterful designer.





































[Photos: firstVIEW]



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91 comments:

I've never commented before but I MUST say: "Unbelievably, incredibly gorgeous" I want every single piece. Bravo CL!


fashionablylate

Absolutely STUNNING, I love it all!


Oh, GAWD! What is this world coming to?

LaCroix that I absolutely am crazy about!!!!!!!!!


I love clothing that makes me admire the woman. That asymmetrical, backless piece makes me think of an Ingres painting, so lovely.


Stunning! I hope he continues designing, his work is truly of a genius.


I have always disregarded Lacroix due to his excessiveness in the past, but this collection is absolutely stunning. I hope that he does get new backers and that they keep him on a short leash so that he can do more of this extraordinary work!

Peri


It would take too long to cite chapter & verse. But some of these garments could become iconic fashion photos - I hope they get the editorial treatment to make it happen.


Such a lovely collection. The detail work on the black cape is stunning.


He is such a great designer. His brides are always so innovative with out being parody. I sincerly hope he finds another backer. His house parfume C'est la vie! was my favorite, but they don't make it anymore.


Wow!

J'adore.


God, what an amazing collection!

Look #13, the black dress with the gold-ish embellishment on the front looks like a LBD, so can someone way more savvy than I please identify what he DID to it to make me want it so badly? I mean, it's a black dress with gold trim, why does it inspire this feeling that it's new and different?

Dress #1 and that AWESOME coat with the two gold buttons are my favorites. Makes me want to grow a foot and a half and lose 80 lbs!


BTW, is anyone else reading this collection as a big F*#( YOU to his former backers?


I am shocked that I love this. SWOON.


heavy. . . kind of a religious feel. . but absolutely gorgeous.


Love love LURV!

Every single one makes me wonder, "how much would it cost to buy that?"

and then start looking around for a bank to rob.

(and in the current economy, the banks might not even have enough money ...)


I don't love it. sorry. I love the backless dress, but everything else, eh.


the first lulu

Refined and spectacular. GORGEOUS! Love the pop of cobalt blue, a favorite color of mine. This indeed proves that true creativity will always shine through no matter the constraints. It's about time someone did a wedding gown reminiscent of a religious icon. It must have brought the audience to their feet.


So beautiful, and so sad!


the first lulu

LOL—guess I need to read better, it DID bring the audience to their feet.


Now THAT's a fashion show!

mr. lacroix should have a major crisis more often.


I do love it, but a few of the looks reminded me of Lucy Ricardo in her Paris fashion, Little Edie Beale, and Mary Poppins (mainly due to the head gear).


heavy swooning, and i think i got a lil emotional! I WANT!


Looking at the collection again, this is how it's done with grey, to kick it up a notch.


I see I'm in the minority, but I don't like. I feel like I'm looking at other designers, not Lacroix.

Except the wedding gown, which is fabulous.


My favorite from Lacroix ever. What a gorgeous collection.


I hope he can continue. I am secretly hoping that the Olsen twins become his new backers---one of them wore one of his couture pieces to the Met ball and it would be a great way to increase their profile in the fashion world. I know many people don't like them, but how perfect would that be?


Just jaw-droppingly gorgeous. I WANT.


I feel just awful for what has been happening to Lacroix lately but I'm glad he had enough loyal followers to put on this lovely show. The final look reminds me of when I was in Spain visiting the cathedrals and seeing the beautiful paintings of saints, stunning.


Other than the last two looks I would wear each and every piece.

TampaBay


I am so in love with this collection! It's so beautiful!


*drools*

I can't remember the last time I saw a collection that I loved like I love these.


Anne 7/13/09 12:52 PM said,
"Look #13, the black dress with the gold-ish embellishment on the front looks like a LBD, so can someone way more savvy than I please identify what he DID to it to make me want it so badly?"

I don't know - proportion? balance? fit? simplicity? It has a certain something that is so appealing. I would own that garment in a moment and then have to manufacture places to wear it.

Also, the handwork on the black cape is stunning. He is right to care about the women who do this work.

The wedding dress? Sorry, but the bride looks like she comes equipped with her own altar to me. That, however, is just a quibble since everything else is so beautiful.


Lacroix, DARLING! Oh, that midnight gown with the low-draped back made me suck in my breath. Stunning.

and can I say how happy I am to see capes back? I adore capes. With all apologies to Ms. Mode.


wow. just wow.

never been a huge fan of cl cause of all the excesses hes used in the past. his clothes always seemed to busy or manic.

but this collection is outrageously beautiful. every line, every seam, every embellishment. its all so purposeful and precise. restraint does him justice. this is a collection for the ages. truly his finest. LOVE!


*sigh*

The Death of ANOTHER couture house and the compromise of yet ANOTHER designer.

Although I also like these pieces I want to cry.


The only comfort is that thanks to "that theif Lagerfield" (Pret-e-Porte') the house of Chanel will live for a few more generations and at least one couture house will not need to compromise.


Lacroix. I am sending my love to you and all your admirers.


Anne on 7/13/09 at 12:52 PM said... "Look #13, the black dress with the gold-ish embellishment on the front looks like a LBD"

What is LBD?

TampaBay


love all, but last piece... it looks like Pope's bride...


You had me until Our Lady of Guadalupe at the end there.

But it's Lacroix, sweetie. Lacroix. So all is forgiven.


TampaBay, I believe it's Little Black Dress.


OMG...I absolutely adore every single piece. And TLo, "starkly beautiful" certainly describes this collection. I cannot stop looking at these creations, surely the most beautiful show, IMHO, I have seen in a long time.
The wedding dress, not so much, but the surprise element of the gown at the end of the show somehow signals the word "promise and rebirth" to me.


Beautiful, functional pieces. And I love the Virgin Mary wedding gown!


Financial distress agrees with him, this was on of his best collections in recent times. It had artistry, but it was still relateable. I think the economy is causing some of these designers, especially the haute couturiers to be more creative with a soupcon of pragmatism, rather than just indulgent.


Who knew that global depression would make Lacroix tasteful? I love the proportions of these clothes, and it's easy to see them without fabrics that make my eyes bleed. Even the wedding gown, which so many people find over the top, is gorgeous and reminds me of Byzantine princesses in a good way. Props to CL, and I hope that this collection brings him new backers while teaching him a long-needed lesson about excesses.


It is so amazing, so astonishing, so.. I can't even think what to write that would adequately articulate my feelings about it. It is almost surreal in its beauty and original design aesthetic. That's it...I am speechless.


This collection is absolutely stunning. As someone who has never been able to connect with Lacroix on a practical level but has always appreciated him on an artistic level, he hit this one out of the ballpark on both counts. Here's hoping his business sees nothing but good fortune from this beautiful collection.


Very Edward gorey-esque!


Perfectly beautiful.


Oh man, if I were a celebrity and/or had a few extra million, I would run out and get 5 or 6 of these for myself. So amazingly beautiful!


another laura

I just got chills. I never get chills. One of the most beautiful sets of runway photos I've ever seen. Absolutely freaking gorgeous.


Ohhhh, this is a gorgeous collection. I love every single piece!


Stunning--
I wish I could have 5 or 6 pieces.
Or one-- but I didn't win the lottery this week.


I just love that a show that is supposedly restrained ends with a bathtub madonna walking down the runway.

On amore serious note, there are stunning pieces in here, and the textures and silhouettes are gorgeous. It just goes to show that one designer's restraint is another's extravaganza.


4th last... so beautiful. But really they all are. It's a very sad story but this is a beautiful chapter..


The jackets ... the jackets. *sigh*

You know CL is a master of sewing & construction himself because he knows what he can ask of his craftspeople to brng out their best work.


SO stunning.
It's almost ethereal.


The first dress sticks in my mind. It just seems so... fabulously French!


I never minded his excess before because it was always coordinated excess. The color combos, textures and workmanship are/were incredible. I've mined his designs for color combination inspiration multiple times. Hope he keeps designing in some form or another!


They look like paintings.. all of them. I say that even before I read. Just gorgeous!


I would like to second formarlyAnon's hope that this collection gets a fabulous editorial treatment, and for all intents and purposes it should. This is a beautiful and perhaps THE most beautiful Couture show that you gals have put up. It is stunning. Lacroix was burnt into my mind from the Ab Fab days as a designer of heady excess but he is so sharp, so ingenious, and so magical. Timeless pieces.


So, so, so beautiful. I hope to see Tilda Swinton in that backless number on some red carpet. I love the warmth in some of the models' eyes, the hint of a smile you rarely see on the runway. I think they must love these clothes too. I was reminded in some of them of Little Women (of all things) when Amy is in Paris and has to "freshen" her old ballgown with "illusion" (tulle). There is illusion here too, and it's elegant and gorgeous.


I am in awe. Every bit of that was nothing short of gorgeous.


Am I the only one who doesn't get the colourful flowers in the middle/bottom of the wedding gown? They look out of place among the expensive and intricate gold and satin. And did he have to choose such...basic colours? I could maybe understand (but not like) the roses at the top but what is with the stuff down halfway?

That said, this was a gorgeous collection; I especially loved the first two pieces!


#3, I think it is - the blue coat with black lapel and black hat - oh, i love it. it may be a little Mary Poppinsish, but then, I've always like MPoppins' look ;)

But lords, this is a gorgeous collection, beautifully staged and photographed. That backless blue (?) gown is unreal - the photo from the back is a work of art all on its own (i'd ditch the red bow, it's distracting, but even with it, the look is amazing).

Whoever posted that this looks like an Ingres is right on - that's EXACTLY what I thought, too! When you get clothing, models, setting and photos that look like fine paintings, you have done something truly extraordinary.


Abso - freakin - lutely beautiful! Amazing, stunning, sensual, gorgeous! There are not enough adjectives to rightly describe.

KnitWitNurse


Anne said: that AWESOME coat with the two gold buttons are my favorites. Makes me want to grow a foot and a half and lose 80 lbs!

Exactly what I was thinking! I can't even type anything complimentary enough - a-fucking-mazing!


honesty.not.pc

So lovely! I know I have very commercial taste (evidenced by my hatred of the Kristin [sp] editorial that I was in the minority on) but I loved this. So many peices that I liked but that backless dress with the orange bow was just STUNNING! Fabosh!


Some amazingly classic pieces here. Perfectly executed and really stunning.


I had to go back and look at the one shoulder backless navy dress twice-it was that stunning. Lacroix forever!


Breathtakingly gorgeous. Every piece is a work of art.


That one shoulder grecian dress with the red/orange tie in the back slays me.


bitchybitchybitchy

I just keep going back to the photos of the bride. that is so spectacular, and so beautiful.

One hopes that there will continue to be a place in the fashion world for LaCroix


Now THAT is what couture is supposed to be. Exquisite collection, Mr. Lacroix.


Anonymous 7/13/09, 1:22pm--I love that "I Love Lucy" episode!! It's my favorite. Her "hunger strike" where she was hiding food in the dictionary, "Page 23, BAAALONEEE!!" Then when Ricky gives her a fake Jacque Marcel dress, "Leave it to Jacque to be the first to use burlap."

Sewing Siren--I got a free sample of C'est La Vie perfume. It was beautiful.

Lacroix gets a bad reputation for being over-indulgent. I'm too much of a midwestern dippy white chick to wear his past collections. American Vogue doesn't know what to do with his work. Because they show outfits VERBATIM and he doesn't transfer to the U.S. very well. I still admired his originality and imagination from afar. This one I can wear, but never afford. Thank you again, TLo. You bitches know what we love to see!

Frances Spencer


TLo, how did you get the extra detail of the back of the dresses? Style.com doesn't even show any extra detail of his work like they usually do of other collections.

--Frances


Adding my voice to the chorus. Beautiful! Yes, the starkness really shows off the construction, and paired with the embellishments here and there, it's fantastic.


Gorgeous. Love love love. I hope everything works out well for him.


He is a GENIUS! I was married in a Lacroix gown. I treasure it and will pass it on to my daughter.


What a beautiful collection! He's truly a genius.


Just wow.

It's great to see *real* fashion. I hope that he can continue to create in this vein. Bravo, Lacroix!

--Lina


Anonymous said...
He is a GENIUS! I was married in a Lacroix gown. I treasure it and will pass it on to my daughter.



Oh pretty please post a picture or link. To honor Lacroix. Please..


Oh, my. This is going to go down in history as one of the great collections of the 21st century.

In an attempt to explain it to my geeky boyfriend, I arrived at "It's as if they told George Lucas he had to make a Star Wars sequal, with a $5 million budget. Wouldn't that be a great movie?"


Beautiful collection! The last one creeps me out, though! Reminds me of the statue of Mary at church.


The pared down LaCroix is just magnificent. Thank you for posting.


These ARE beautiful, and soooo uncharacteristically restrained. Fabulous.


Exquisite...!


Is that the Infant of Prague?


Amazingly stunning!!


I love most of the pieces, but my favorite is the coat, 3rd row, left pic. LOVE.


Holy shit, it's the Mantilla of God! What we are seeing is a collection of outfits that will become holy artifacts of the Haute Couture religion.





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