The sartorial vision of Alexandre Vauthier is beginning to blossom. Vauthier, who used to assist Thierry Mugler and headed the couture studio of Gaultier for ten years, is one of a small band of new couturiers proposing a fresh raison d’être and modern relevance to couture. He’s the only new designer on the couture calendar that has fashion students, young accessory designers and fans desperately blagging their way into his show which is exciting for a craft that’s always been regarded as stuffy. Vauthier’s couture is worn by performers and entertainers looking to create a dramatic, ultra-womanly impact: Kylie Minogue, Roisin Murphy et al. That said, amongst the crowd were women unmistakeably wearing his structured body-con dresses. Off the catwalk his recent capsule collection for French catalogue company 3Suisses beat their own records as 15,000 women are said to have bought the lower entry price version of this unknown designer’s creations. On with the show. As models in high, pointy stiletto boots gingerly sashayed down the mirror runway (would one slip?) audience members were taken by the drama of his vertiginous necklines, larger than life shoulders and sizzling cut of flowing silk long skirts that rose up to dangerous highs on thighs. There was one colour today, deep cherry red that was echoed on lips, shoes and heels. Hair was scraped back into a precise bun. Silk, cowl hooded harem jumpsuits were worn with long sleeved fur bolero’s that revealed a bare back. Neoprene, long a signature material for Vauthier, was sculpted into the Vauthier cocktail dress that has a ‘V’ cut into the front panel across the hips. The final piece set upon a long, figure hugging dress can only be described as a three dimensional, heavily constructed (think scaffolding not padding) shoulder armour, almost gladiatorial in look but shaped like giant petals cut from silver metal and encrusted with Swarovski crystals. Vauthier has a lot of distance to go before he reaches the status of designers that have gone before him but one thing is for sure, the message of the ‘Vauthier woman’ is becoming more and more vivid.
Photography: Valerio Mezzanotti / NowFashion.com