The House of Worth Couture Presentation S/S 2011

26 January 2011


After the strict, corseted jackets of the House of Worth's A/W couture collection, expectations were high for designer Giovanni Bedin's Spring collection, his third for the house, when it was presented yesterday at Paris Couture week. A selection of dresses on mannequins were displayed over two rooms – one themed ‘day’ and the other ‘night’. The dresses contained in the day room had a light, sugared almond colour palette, while those in the dimmed ‘night' room were all black with accents of gold, or fuchsia.


Photos by Dominique Maitre for WWD

Each gown featured an elaborate beaded and embroidered bodice with an extravagant tutu beneath it (all detachable, Bedin assured us) and each was embellished with different motifs and symbols. The designer soon filled us in on the back story to the collection. In the course of his research he discovered an ancient Worth gown, with a huge skirt and many allegoric symbols embroidered all over it – the sun, the moon, flames of passion, two lovers kissing, as well as symbolic creatures like bees and butterflies for the day and bats representing night.


Close-up, the intricate handiwork of gowns was breathtaking, which is to be expected from a couture collection. Equally fascinating was the extremely glamorous traffic passing through the salon over the course of the afternoon; Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune, Emmanuelle Alt, the new Editor in Chief of Paris Vogue, Hamish Bowles of US Vogue and most thrilling of all – Anna Dello Russo! We asked what she thought of the spectacular tutus. ‘I love them. I think it is great – the night and the day, and the embroidered motifs. It is perfect for this moment because they are very Black Swan – the movie. I love those costumes and this collection fits very well with that.’ Next, we thought we would ask Anna which of the pieces was her favourite but before we could finish the question she had already rushed over to a black dress with huge golden moon. ‘I will wear this one!’ she cried, ‘La luna! I love Grazia so much! Say "hello" to Paula for me!’ and with a whirl, she was gone.


Pic and video (top) by Naomi

We also took the chance to sip champagne and chat to some of the guests and clients – visiting from different parts of the USA as well as Italy. The couture is treated as a social reunion as well as a shopping trip – a chance to meet up with their gangs of fashionable friends and gossip while nibbling amazing French canapés, against the luxurious backdrop of the exquisite sequinned creations. Apparently no-one places their orders on the day of the show itself – they're here just to look around and get ideas. Then, in the following weeks, the clients will make private appointments for fittings. We asked if people would buy Worth to wear, or as a collector's item (those corsets were TEENY!) and the answer was – ‘both’.


Wow. What a brilliant glimpse into a fabulous fashion microcosm! Could it be true what Daphne Guinness says, when you start dabbling in couture, that you wil get ‘bitten by the bug’? We think probably so.

- Naomi Attwood


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