If you follow me on Instagram, you probably noticed my last post about Haute Couture. For those who don't follow me on Instagram- well do! But also, here is a short recap:
Haute couture literally translates as "high dressmaking";
and in order to be a member of the Federation of Couture Houses, three criteria must be met:
1. It must design made-to-order clothing for private clients
2. It must have an atelier in Paris with at least 15 employees
3. It must present to the French press a collection of at least 25 looks (both day and evening) TWICE a year.
So, actually quite a lot of rules, huh? No surprise that a few years ago, we thought that Haute Couture was on the brink of death!
And actually, it was founded in 1864; by 1939 it counted 70 members. It has now 15 official members.
Amongst some of the famous members who have now retired from Haute Couture there are Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, Emanuel Ungaro and Valentino.
So, is Haute Couture actually still standing?
Have you watched the Inauguration of Joe Biden this week? Classic example of how fashion and politics are intertwined together.
First of all: they were all dressed impeccably. A long shot from Trump's orange hair and Melania arguable sense of fashion.
Not sure anybody remembers Melania wearing this very jacket whilst visiting a migrant child detention centre? Talk about a fashion statement- a very bad one.
Anyhoo- they're gone. Good riddance and all.
Not sure if you noticed: almost everyone dressed in monochrome, as it conveys security and togetherness- especially the colour blue in men (i.e. the Ralph Lauren's suit that Biden was wearing). Many women wore purple, both as a homage to the suffragettes, but it also sends a bipartisan message. Just imagine, if you put Democratic blue and Republican Red together, you will get purple. So it was quite THE strong statement- a big let's start over together, rather than keep on fighting. THESE are the fashion statements we want!
I particularly loved the look that Ella Emhoff, stepdaughter to the vice-president, has chosen. The white collar top was reminiscent of late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And what a woman she was!
In the slide-show: Ella Emhoff, Dr Jill Biden, Kamala Harris, Michelle Obama and Amanda Gorman.
But back to Haute Couture:
Lady Gaga in Schiaparelli.
For those of you that don't know (and I definitely didn't, before I started studying fashion) Elsa Schiaparelli was Coco Chanel's worst enemy. I honestly feel that Schiaparelli has always been more relatable that the snobby Coco (maybe because I'm Italian, who knows?). In my fashion-ese lessons on Tuesdays I will dig deeper into both these women, so fear not: everything will be revealed.
But again, this dress is just gorgeous. Lady Gaga looked MAJESTIC. And as brand creative director Daniel Roseberry said, it is "a love letter to the US" after four years of turmoil and darkness. So no, Haute Couture is most definitely not dead.
Inauguration Day in the US is always a big deal. I remember when I was living in the States and Bush was reelected in 2004. Despite George not being my favourite President, I still remember going down to DC to join the celebrations. For better or worse, the nation unites and celebrate that democracy has won again- even for George Bush. And I think we haven't really witnessed the joy of democracy with Trump, have we?
But, this week, seeing this string of incredible women (and Biden) rejoicing in Democracy really helped lifting my mood. And the fashion that came with it, well, that was just a plus.
There was one woman (and the love of my life if she will have me) that was missing from this day: AOC. Just when I thought she could not get any cooler, she spent Inauguration Day supporting striking food manufacturer workers on picket line. She is just brilliant.
Also, if you haven't seen the memes yet: good ol' Bernie and his mittens. Please do google him. Worth to just have a laugh- God bless him. The story behind the mittens is quite endearing actually, but he really could not look any grumpier.
So this week had its highlights, hadn't it? Or so I like to think. I'd much rather looking at the glamour in the world that anything else at the moment.
But also, good news: Lady Gaga's look is not too difficult to recreate. And obviously on a budget.
All you need is a maxi skirt and a buttoned top. Maybe a cheeky headband to accessorise your hair.
Obviously if you don't have a huge statement brooch (who does?), a big necklace would do. Shoes- wise, you can do whatever you want: this maxi skirt looks great with heels but also with converse (and so very Kamala).
So, all in all, I decide to look at this January with an encouraging perspective- the vaccine is out, Biden is in the Oval Office, and Melania is wearing bright colours again. There's hope.
Take care out there