The Scene: Alexandre Vauthier Fall/Winter 2014 Haute Couture at the Maison de la Radio.
The Inspiration: You can’t help but watch certain haute couture shows and think about the A-list women who will soon be sporting these artful, handmade clothes on a red carpet (ideally before anyone else, if their stylists hold any sway). At Dior, you eye with envy the gown that will look perfect on Charlize Theron or Marion Cotillard, while at Chanel, it will be something with a bit more edge that will draw the attention of Kristen Stewart. Alexandre Vauthier has his de facto muses as well, from Heidi Klum (an early champion) to Rihanna, ultra-glam women who embrace the ability to take a few chances when they step out for those high-wattage moments. Vauthier’s Fall 2014 haute couture collection indeed seemed tailor-made for these adventurous beauties, filled as it was with sultry looks sure to set the red carpet ablaze.
The Look: There was an undeniable play about these fabrications, both in the way they draped and wrapped on the body, as well as the techniques applied to the fabrics themselves. Especially good was the fusion of python with lace, a slithering sensuality married with the delicacy of Chantilly, wrapped bondage-like around the models in a below-the-knee sheath or single-sleeved top paired with high-waisted carrot trousers. And then there were the diaphanous chiffon gowns and their graphic-meets-strategic fabric placements (it’s up for debate whether the nipple-fest on the runway was intentional or merely the result of models moving around in these floaty gowns). Klum, meanwhile, would look stunning in the yellow chiffon halter gown that descended from a gold choker, falling in a flurry of layers to a train that puddled at the feet. If it’s beading you’re after, Vauthier offered up among the most luxe of the week: a slouchy, off-the-shoulder minidress was completely covered in chunky blood-red crystals (everyone loved it even as they contemplated its weight), while pearl beading was also employed for a variety of looks, from a wide band that ran around the hips of a white satin military-inspired dress to an even more vital application, the band that joined fabric together across the model’s bum. Shocking? Hardly: Donatella Versace climbed to similar heights to kick off the week (and lest we forget, Rihanna has zero problem with turning up pretty much naked on a red carpet), so Vauthier only proved that when it comes to the couture, boundaries are rarely a concern.
The Beauty: Sleek hair parted in the middle and the part-tribal, all-glam look of a slash of liner under the eye that sparkled as though crafted of tiny crystals.
The Takeaway: High-wattage clothes not for the faint of heart. Of course, it’s not as though Vauthier doesn’t know how to craft pieces that don’t fully focus on sex: He also represented plenty of day looks here – some great jackets paired with those high-waisted trousers – while he created a lovely series of noir gowns that perfectly framed Bulgari’s bling for that famed house’s high-jewelry party earlier in the week. But let’s face it: the runway looks ideal for Heidi or RiRi? They’re infinitely more fun—and don’t those ladies know it.