Two looks from Valentino's Fall 2010 Couture collection.
Valentino: Style.com’s Tim Blanks calls Valentino’s fall 2010 collection “haute couture for the Twilight generation,” and indeed, this array of short satin dresses is as awkward as the sexually-frustrated love saga penned by a Mormon author with chastity in mind. Oh-so-moody black and moonlight white are speckled with vampire-blood red and prepubescent pink. The color palate encapsulates not only the basic content of these books-cum-movies, but the average age of their tween fans as well. The dresses’ baby-doll tops and low-waisted skirts don’t even make them worthy of prom. When envisioning Valentino’s girl of the new decade, Designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli seemed to want to give Disney Channel stars and little heiress-ettes something to wear to the eighth grade dance.
Two more looks from Valentino.
The seams partition the bust and the torso, and combined with a high collar, it would be impossible for anyone who has or wants to look like she has breasts to pull this one off. Cinched in all the wrong places, these looks do absolutely nothing for the torso, hovering at a limbo between snug and loose that neither flatters nor covers the body with something interesting. One of the particularly horrendous outfits even juxtaposes an enormous satin white rose across the entire front of a sheer-sleeved black dress, creating the illusion of a blood-drained cream puff. But hey, Valentino’s Spring 2010 couture was likened to Avatar, and in the spirit of these enormous Blockbuster successes, Chiuri and Picciolo will probably be raking in big bucks without giving their work much thought or subtlety.
A couple of looks from Givenchy's couture collection.
Givenchy: Givenchy’s fall 2010 couture is nothing short of regal. But with its sweeping skirts and decadent embroidery, the collection recalls the gilded facades of Peter the Great’s Winter Palace rather than the costumes of the royal family within. The color palette of the 10 floor-length gowns is warm and subtle. White lace dominates, but mellow gold livens up the mix, priming the eye for the single, striking black number. The architecture of the gowns mimics the elaborate floral designs sprouting in symmetrical, stylized bunches across a baroque palace interior.
A few more looks from Givenchy.
Designer Riccardo Tisci seems to have played it safe, not going to great lengths to make a novel statement but instead personally contributing to a longstanding tradition of European art. The models look like the maids of honor in Diego Velazquez’s “Las Meninas,” their dresses meticulously draped like the finest palatial curtains. Tisci adds a contemporary twist to some of the gowns, opting for sheer skirts that leave the wearer’s lower-half partially exposed with opaque details climbing up from the feet. The collection seems to challenge the viewer: “Wear only if you possess a supreme monarch’s grandiosity and legs like Beyonce.”