Gaultier turns to Rajasthan couture

Updated 24 January 2013
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Gaultier turns to Rajasthan couture

Designer Jean Paul Gaultier turned to the gypsies of Rajasthan for inspiration for his 2013 spring-summer couture collection in a show dominated by the embroidery and vibrant colors of the famous Indian desert state.
Models sported heavy kohl-lined eyes, beehive hair and towering platforms for the show attended by veteran French actress and Gaultier regular Catherine Deneuve.
The eastern Indian state’s influence was clearly visible in a string of bright and extravagantly embroidered looks including an orange patchwork halter neck dress worn with flowing pink shawl and a selection of swirling multi-tiered skirts.
Other looks standing out included a tight-fitting black and silver off the shoulder evening dress that flared from just above the knee and a tiny pale-colored mini dress with sheer pleated skirt and Gaultier’s iconic conical bra, much worn by Madonna.
For the finale, Frenchman Gaultier gave full rein to his Rajasthani fantasy with a vast full-skirted embroidered wedding dress perfect for the dramatic denouement of any Bollywood extravaganza.
Chinese-born French designer Yiqing Yin, meanwhile, sent out an avant-garde collection described as developing her thoughts about how time makes “things grow and decompose, and about ties that bind and break.”
The enigmatic young designer, one of 11 taking part in the couture shows as invitees, certainly avoided playing it safe with necklines that plunged to the waist and one top that was completely transparent save a few sequins.
“Clothes fit the body like a second skin, as if they come from the body itself. Flesh and fabric entwine, embroideries with crystals and beads appear as precious growth from the skin, revealing a new reality,” the house said.
Picking up the designer’s focus on the symbolism of thread, models faces were partially obscured by long white strands.
A floaty sheer pale pink dress was draped vertically in red thread while white thread covered a high-necked black robe in an irregular skeleton-like horizontal pattern. Rather more wearable designs included a long grey jacket with layers of fabric to one side forming a wave-shaped pattern, and a long blue one-sleeved dress slashed to the thigh. For the piece de resistance, however, Yiqing Yin took the thread theme to an extreme with the long white strands trailing from hoops creating a six-foot wide head-to-toe structure almost completely concealing the model.
Earlier, Lebanese designer Elie Saab went for a more conventional look, with a succession of long, often sheer, dresses embroidered with floral motifs, sequins and lace petals to produce what the designer called a “fragile elegance.”
Saab sought to explore “degrees of transparency,” the house said, in a show attended by Swedish Little Dragon singer Yukimi Nagano and US burlesque performer Dita Von Teese.
Catering to no more than 200 of the world’s richest women, the label “haute couture” is protected in France, awarded based on strict criteria such as the amount of work carried out by hand and in-house.


Meghan loved her veil embroidered with tribute to the Commonwealth — designer

Updated 20 May 2018
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Meghan loved her veil embroidered with tribute to the Commonwealth — designer

LONDON: When Meghan Markle walked down the aisle to marry Prince Harry on Saturday, she had with her the 53 countries of the Commonwealth — each one represented in the embroidery of her veil.
Recounting the discussions over Meghan’s dress and veil for Saturday’s groundbreaking wedding, designer Clare Waight Keller said the new Duchess of Sussex had welcomed the idea that her veil could be designed to hold extra significance.
“The veil was a huge part of the conversations that we had early on. We talked about what we wanted to do in terms of trying to embrace some of the royal connections in there,” said Waight Keller, who became the first female artistic director at famed French house Givenchy last year.
“And a lot of the work that she’s going to probably do in the future is going to be connected to the Commonwealth ... and I said ‘wouldn’t it be amazing if we took the 53 countries of the Commonwealth and embroidered a flower and some flora and fauna from each one of those and that they would go up the aisle, that journey up the aisle with you’.”
Keller said Meghan loved the idea of “all of those countries walking with her through the ceremony.”
Just last month, her now husband, Prince Harry, was appointed to his highest-profile public role to date as youth ambassador to the Commonwealth, the 53 nations bound together by the shared history of the now-defunct British Empire.
Those working on the hand-drawn veil spent hundreds of hours sewing the design, and had to keep washing their hands to keep the tulle and threads pristine.
Meghan’s choice of a sleek sculpted dress, and the five-meter long veil and sparkling diamond tiara, was praised by fashion experts.
Waight Keller said Harry had thanked her for her role in making his wife look “absolutely stunning” after the ceremony at the 15th-century St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, which was watched by royals and celebrities up close, with millions of others tuning into television coverage.
“I saw her after the service. She was absolutely radiant,” said Waight Keller. “There was just a glow to her, you could tell they were so in love ... and she had just looked absolutely exquisite.”