Sunday, January 31, 2010

2010 Paris Couture Show: 1915: Blood and Opulence

I was perusing the NY Times this past weekend and found myself in the Style section (as usual) checking out the latest couture fashions fresh off the Paris runways. Of course there they were, the usual suspects; Chanel, Dior, Balmain.......When suddenly the picture below appeared and stopped me in my tracks. These dresses made me swoon. How sensual yet very strong. And the colour....what a red ! The metallic texture of the silvery dress with the khaki military coat....outstanding. Now these were dresses for real women (at least in our dreams, right ladies ?). None of that frou frou silliness or sexy kittenish stuff aimed at 20 something starlets with more cash than taste. No sireee, this is Tilda Swinton territory.

(New York Times website: Style section)

The designer's name wasn't familiar to me....Josephus Thimister. However, I did uncover that he had a rebellious past. Mr. Thimister didn't play by the rules. A decade ago he flirted with politics and fashion...tried to make a statement... politically, fashionably, artistically... and it cost him his job as Creative Director at Balenciaga.

He disappeared. Still worked in the industry but kept a low profile.

Josephus took inspiration from an old photo of a young Russian prince who apparently was always dressed in imperial miltary gear and sadly murdered at the age of 13. This was in 1915 at the start of WW1.

Thimister makes a connection with the beginnings of WW1 and the present through this collection. WW1 represented the beginning of modern warfare; the horror, the bloodshed and the isolation that still plagues us today. But he also reminds us of the dignity of people in the face of war. The noble warrior and the sacrifices of ordinary citizens.

He also reveals beauty.

I totally love this collection; the colour palette, the references and the sheer drama found in simple utilitarian jackets mixed with luxurious cloths and colours.

The uniform. I especially love the capelet and the armlets. They remind me of armour.

The practical, handsome styling of this cape/coat. Isn't it divine ?

I am so in love with this sweeping skirt, military jacket and cross sash.

The red duchesse satin is incredible. And the belting is beyond stylish. And of course the capelet is chic, chic, chic.

Simply amazing.

Wow !!

Where it all began for me. The front of the red dress...definitely my favourite.......

While I'm not one to think that fashion and politics typically make for great partners. I really do believe that Josephus Thimister is a sincere, thoughtful and provocative designer. I for one (fashion outsider that I am) saw this as a beautiful, strong and sensual collection.

All images:; NY times online.


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