Fall 2017 Couture: The Great, The Good, and The Not So Good

Lucinda Chambers, exiting editor at British Vogue has just been very plain about her feelings on the falseness of the fashion industry, and while I don’t agree with everything the famed fashion icon said, I think there is a great problem currently in the fashion world. As older editors, and younger bloggers fight to keep their seats at the shows, we have stopped criticizing collections. Miranda Priestly’s pursing of the lips is now a thing of the past, and collection after collection, in a bid to keep the hearts of designers, criticism is gone. Whether you go on Vogue.com or The Blonde Salad, every show is complemented to the skies, whether or not they really should be. And while we all understand the need to protect our connections, the only way to grow is through criticism. Obviously there is artistic license, but just because you are an artist does not mean everything you do is spot on, and the sooner people learn that again, the better.

Couture season has now come and gone, and as Paris empties out, it’s a great time to examine which couture will stand the test of time, and which will fade out.

The Great


I adore this collection: it is playful, unique, and extremely well-styled. Each piece has an element of the fairy tale, an element of the modern, and an element of a sort of new future.

Maison Margiela 

The interesting thing about this collection is that it is great, but I don’t like it. I decided it was great because it is: it is true couture, beautiful pleating, sculptural shapes, and something new. I would never in a million years where this, but it is great couture.


Giambattista Valli

My personal favorite collection, Valli used incredible embroidery and detailing to give this collection one of the best wow factors of the year.

Atelier Versace 

This surprised me because I am not usually a fan of Versace, but this cool, sculptural collection had everything couture: a common theme, extreme attention to detail, and the looks of a Met Gala collection.

The Good


There was nothing wrong with Chanel’s collection, except for the fact that they had done it before. It was pretty, but it looked like every Chanel collection ever. And while there were certainly pieces of art in the collection, many could have been ready to wear.

Elie Saab

Again, this is by no means a bad collection, rather it is just a bit of a disappointment from one of the most elegant designers in modern history.

Alexandre Vauthier  

These are some of the best pieces in the collection, and they are beautiful, but they are lacking the crucial impressive factor required of a couture collection.


Like Elie Saab, Chiuri is one of the most beautiful designers of the day. And there were some stunning pieces in this collection, but very little differentiated these pieces from the ready to wear collection last fall. The one piece in the collection that blew me away as far as structure was the black sweetheart gown (below, left), which was a masterful feat of structure.


I think I understand what happened here, but tell me if you think I’m wrong. Paulo Piccoli is on his own, and trying to differentiate himself from his former partner Chiuri (now at Dior), whose ready to wear collection had very strong notes of the last few seasons of Valentino, raising the question of to whom success is owed – were the marvelous details at Valentino all due to Chiuri? So Piccoli attempted to show is range and skill here, but it didn’t really pay off.  It was bizarrely filled with bag like drab colored gowns which tainted an otherwise masterful collection. Particularly, the gold beaded gown (see bottom right) was absolutely breadth taking, but because of some poor choices, it is not the most masterful collection.

The Not So Good: 

Viktor and Rolf

This was arguably the worst collection in Paris. I’m actually not sure if the collection is any good or not. The clothing is no doubt sculptural and interesting, but those stupid heads ruined any chance it had of being beautiful. There is always room for incredible head wear, but this is not incredible head wear: they look like Bratz dolls.

Alberta Ferretti

2006? Is that you? This collection is not retro; it is dated.



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