The Best of Haute Couture Fashion Week Spring 2012 – Paris – Plus OSCAR Predictions!

PARIS—Couture Fashion Week 2012 has now come to a close. With only a selection of accredited and hand selected designers showing off their collections, it was hard for the ICON editors to pick the best from the rest. After a detailed and storied report of the Dior drama and Gaytten’s comeback collection, we thought it best to show you our favorite pieces from our favorite collections. We truly loved them all, and these selected designers, have not always shown our favorite collections, but this season we just couldn’t resist their cream based colors, heavy beading and sexy designs.

Couture, or rather, Haute Couture, is a specific class of designers and dress making style that derives from the French phrase meaning, “high sewing.” With a rich history that dates back to the late 19th Century, designers who show during Haute Couture week must be invited, approved and hold their collections to the highest degree of standards. They are governed by Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, and in France the term Haute Coutureis protected under law. That’s why the following 12 brands who showed their collections last week have some of the brightest and most talented designers behind their name. They included: Alexis Mabille, Armani Prive, Bouchra Jarrar, Chanel, Christian Dior, Elie Saab, Giambattista Valli, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, Maxime Simoens, Valentino and Versace. Okay, enough with the history lesson, let’s get to this season’s best looks!

Versace—Donatella returned to the couture scene after 7 years of being away, and on the heels of a massively successful and interesting collaboration with high-street retailer, H&M. Her collection was sexy, daring and in some cases bottomless. Nonetheless, it was an intricate and high fashion interpretation of some of Versace’s signature styles. Designs included gold-trimmed corsets with sexy ruche and a palette of grey, yellow and orange. It will be interesting to see which stars wear her designs at this years Oscars.

Angelina Jolie shone on the red carpet in a red and nude silk gown from Atelier Versace at the 2012 Golden Globes ceremony earlier this month.

Elie Saab — Feminine, romantic and exquisite are some of the adjectives that describe this designer’s latest couture collection. Always one of my favorite, Saab presented a soft palette of pastels in coral, turquoise, cream and pink that screamed Spring and also had one wondering, which stars will be wearing his designs on the Oscar red carpet. Mila Kunis, Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams? We will have to wait and see.

Giambattista Valli— Does this designer do anything wrong? Recently invited to show as a Haute Couture designer, Valli presented a collection filled with white designs, black and white combos and a few injections of vibrant colors, like the fuchsia gown seen in the middle above. Always, ladylike, always elaborate and always on point, Giambattista Valli surprised and satisfied his audience with old-Hollywood glamour, large bow-ties and sexy gowns to be worn by international royalty and celebrities alike.

CHANEL—Karl Lagerfeld is having quite a successful run lately, so one can only wonder why he is so blue. Probably one of the best known names in high-end fashion, the creative director of Chanel, had a life-sized airplane built to showcase his designs. All of which,  featured the color blue. From the hair-raising designs to the strappy and sometimes sequined shoes, blue was the color du jour. And while Dior’s Bill Gaytten looked to the past for his inspiration, Chanel looked to the future. Dresses featured tulle, heavy lace and packets placed mid-thigh. Interesting conical high collars that in some instances reminded me of Elizabeth collars, demonstrated a possible new era of design and Jet Jetson imagery. My three absolute favorite pieces from the collection are pictured above.

Did you have a chance to view all the Haute Couture collections? Did we get it right? Let us know in the comments section below, and remember that The Icon Concierge will be attending New York and London Fashion Weeks next month! Super excited!

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