|Van Cleef & Arpels' magical land Peau d:Ane Collection|
IS COUTURE DEAD"? The pinnacle of luxury, Haute Couture, au contraire is alive and in fine fettle with a new generation of younger clientele flooding the market from as far away as China. These are women who covet high fashion and high heels and are thirtysomething devotees of the made-to-order craft, the mainstay of France's luxury trade.. As the couture shows go into high gear Dior is hosting a client event to introduce its latest high-jewelry collection with a dinner for 120 people at the Palace de Versailles. At one time couture was exclusive reserved for mature women, mothers, the occasional movie star or celebrity.
Today fashionista daughters with dollars to spare, big buyers that are not affected by the global economic situation, are appreciating and purchasing this exclusive and high high-level form of fashion,. Here in the United States among the intelligentsia, the women who have scaled the glass ceiling are calling couture their own right. They can well afford to look "haute" and wear exclusive clothes to differentiate themselves from their peers and subordinates. Granted these executive women tend to order more daywear, but special eveningwear takes priority for special occasions and red-carpet galas.
For women who are on a more restrained budget they can only dream of wearing couture, but when I worked at the House of Guy LaRoche in Paris, instead of reimbursement for my service, I was paid in the bounty of a couture dress and suit, and I can attest to the fact that when you wear couture it really fits quite differently and you carry yourself with a new "Hoity Toity" manner.
By the way, Didier Grumbach has stepped down as president of the Federation Francaise de la Couture, du Pret-a-Porter des Couturiers et des Createurs de Mode and Ralph Toledano, has succeeded him as president of the fashion trade group.Mr. Toledano, president of Puig, a fashion and beauty house based in Barcelona, will retain his position while taking on the new responsibilities.
MAGICAL MOMENTS WITH APRELS Talking about sumptuous events Van Cleef & Aprels created a magical kingdom in which unicorns exist and Indian elephants and other mythical creature roam the Loire Valley's Chateau de Chambord in France. All this movie-star hype to launch its latest high-jewelry collection "Peau d'Ane (or Donkey Skin) inspired by the Charles Perrault fairy tale of the same name.
The chateau was privatized for for event and the first day the magical kingdom parade of models and creatures was given exclusively for customers and the second for the visiting press. Guests were welcomed into the 16th-century chateau, which was transformed for the occasion into a magical realm with masked dancers in medieval costume, men wearing deer's heads and performing owls.
Everything about the collection was magical from the Chateau Enchante clip centered with a 39-carat oval-cut Brazilian emerald to the Gateau d'Amour ring made of white and yellow gold with gradated yellow to brown diamonds and centered with a 4.48-carat emerald. The magic wasn't over until the guests were treated to a medieval-style banquet followed by a performance of songs from "Peau d'Ane," by opera singers Natalie Dessay and Laurent Naouri accompanied by musician and composer Michel Legrand, who wrote the original score.
MOURNING BECOMES YOU A different kind of fashion history comes to New York this fall when the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Anna Wintour Costume Center unveils "Death Becomes Here: A Century of Mourning Attire. The predominantly black palette of mourning dramatizes ensembles with jewelry and acessories. Curator-in-Charge Harold Koda said, "Even in a subject so fraught with emotion, clothins becomjes a physical manifestation of grief." Approximately 30 ensembles will reveal the impact of high-fashion standards on the satorial dictates of bereavement rituals as they evolved over a centuryl. Mark your calender: Opens October 21 to February 2, 2015.
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