Couture Round-Up Day 4

Here come the brides

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The bride is the crystallisation of everything the couturier wants to say, the finale of every couture collection without which it wouldn’t be complete, the cherry on the cake.

So what can this season’s couture brides tell us about their makers? At Versace, she wasn’t really a bride as such more of a 24-hour party girl in the form of Stella Tennant in a fluorescent yellow thigh-high mini dress with sweeping train: a typically non-traditional, rebellious little minx from Donatella.

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At Christian Dior, there appeared to be at least five contenders for the role of the Spring bride – two with (Stephen Jones) bonnets. But the very last ensemble - an off-white silk coat and bustier evening dress that had been embroidered with thousands of tiny amber pearls resembling caviar eggs was Raf Simons to a T: direct, modern, a woman who dares to be different.

Giambattista Valli’s bride looked like a princess, befitting his clientele. She wore an ‘evening bustier tea rose ball gown of sparkling tulle’ with a bronze floral sculpture around her waist and neck: pretty and unique. Another excessively opulent bride stepped out at Elie Saab yesterday. She looked tiny, as if she had almost been swallowed up by the vast acreage of ivory baroque floral lace that made up her vast crinoline.

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Chanel marked the atelier’s supremacy by having twin brides; not much of a surprise there as Karl never does anything by halves. Mr Lagerfeld made a statement with his two brides: ‘The child told the story!’ he said, referring to the young boy, also dressed in white, who appeared with his ‘mothers’. Anyway, they were artfully distressed, made from a zillion frayed organza feathers, modern but full of tradition and unbridled femininity.

Jean Paul Gaultier’s bride summed up the designer and his collection when she hoiked up her catwalk-wide crinoline to reveal four children hiding beneath. After they’d run off down the catwalk, laughing their cute little heads off, she followed revealing a rucksack with a large plastic toy doll sticking out of it with a dummy in its mouth. A kitsch moment from the rebel designer.

At Valentino, where Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli preside, they didn’t call their finale gown a bridal dress – why would they when so many of their creations fit the wedding bill? But it crystallised everything – them as designers, the prowess of the Valentino atelier in Rome, the rarefied world of couture: ‘La regne du Printemps’ dress in tea rose silk tulle embroidered with lilac lame, pearls, crystals and raffia took 1,500 hours to embroider. Now that’s bridal couture gown.

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