The Many Facets of Couture

With haute couture, there is a diversity, an undeniable variety in design. Haute couture could envelop many bright, mesmerizing differences, many unique definitions that are breathtaking in their rhythmic designs. A wide spectrum of significant subjects and memorable histories are revealed within these pieces of worth. Distinct colors, textures, structures, and more bloom magically in each collection. A spirited beauty and liveliness is housed in each individual concept and idea. With haute couture, a discovered modernity accompanies this wonderful diversity that allows changes to be made to the common mold.

This Fall 2013 couture season exhibited all of these admirable differences and novel, modern qualities. With Armani, there is a romantic fragility. With Maison Martin Margiela, there is a decorative reusability. With Valentino, there is a regal poise, an appreciation of nature. The collections carry with them a newness, as well as a remembrance. They emanate a beauty that awakens the sensations of design…

Armani Privé…

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A magical loveliness and an airy softness, a sparkling radiance and a blissful charm, this collection is truly mesmerizing in its lovely enchantment, whimsicality, and simplistic grace. The stunning pieces created by Giorgio Armani twirl with a chimerical allure. Each design evokes the senses in some way, creates feelings and emotions full of delightful fascination. The pieces travel the runway with a magical, tranquil aura of beautiful fantasy and dreamy elegance. With transparent sheer and delicate ornamentation, with slip dresses and gowns, with fine lace and twinkling crystals, with pantsuits and furs, this couture collection effortlessly dazzles.

Maison Martin Margiela…

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Maison Martin Margiela’s Artisanal couture collection is breathtaking in its wide array of new and vintage fabrics, precise details, and unforgettable looks. The pieces on the runway communicate to the viewer an appreciation of the past… a collage of definable moments in the history of fashion. Maison Martin Margiela, with a lively creativity and exploratory mind, transformed styles and fabrics from years ago and reworked them into memorable, captivating pieces of the present. There are embroideries from the 19th century. There are Art Nouveau curtains. There are coats and sequined dresses from the 1950s. Every fashion presented holds a magnificent uniqueness that evokes memories of previous times and sparkled in their fresh, vivacious charm. Every fashion presented went through a metamorphosis that led to something extraordinary.

Valentino…

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With the fascinating idea of wunderkammer, a “cabinet of curiosities,” for this couture collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli created compelling, exotic creations with an affinity towards the natural world and the thrills of the unforeseen. The mysterious elements and interesting oddities are wonderfully expressive. The powers that each design emits are effective and stimulating. Within this collection, there is also an accompanied feeling of regality, of distinction. There is a majestic sovereignty that is marvelous. Mythical, artistic renderings of underwater forms of life and lions, rhinoceros, and other wildlife creatures…materials of lace, chiffon, cashmere, and velvet…encrustations of pearls, feathers, golden accents, and crystals…and pieces of pure elegance, the collection is incredible.

These collections all exhibit the beauties and possibilities of haute couture in the world today.

The Woman Behind the Painting…La Goulue

La Belle Époque, the “Beautiful Era” was a prosperous, modern, tantalizing period of French history. It was a period marked by technological, scientific, industrial advancement, as well as influential progression in the arts. During the Belle Époque, a new, vivacious world was brought to life…a world full of immensely cultural, golden glory. Joy and creativity were given the opportunity to thrive in a colorful, artistic atmosphere. Modern acts and thoughts were given the opportunity to dance and flirt among the throngs of entertainment. There was noise and there was laughter. There was optimism and there was brilliancy. There was art and there was dance. There was burlesque and there were courtesans.

There was Toulouse-Lautrec, there was the Moulin Rouge, and there was the wild, fearless can-can dancer, La Goulue.

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As mentioned in my post, Seductive Courtesans and a Can-Can Dance!, the Moulin Rouge was a dance hall, brothel, and theater full of pleasurable extravagancy. It was a place where people of all different backgrounds came together to experience the revolutions of society. The morals and boundaries of everyday society were blatantly ignored, as an undeniable elasticity ruled the dance floor. At the Moulin Rouge, youthful dancers moved across the floor with an aura of seduction and inspiration. These dancers came to life among the can-can rhythms and revealing high-kicks. They came to life in the rapidly transformative atmosphere. And one of these dancers was the famous, shameless “Queen of Montmartre,” La Goulue.

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Louise Weber, La Goulue was one of the most celebrated dancers at the Moulin Rouge. She had an outrageous spirit that was daring and outspoken. She had a personality that was captivating in its promiscuous charm. She had a strong passion for dance. Starting at a young age, Weber worked in a laundry with her mother, cleaning the garments of those more fortunate. However, Weber did not allow her laundress occupation stop her from dancing and fantasizing a life for herself in the dance halls of no rules, of transforming roles in society. Behind her mother’s back, Weber borrowed the garments left at the laundry by customers and went at night to the world where she truly belonged, the world of movement and dance. Dancing on tables in small clubs around Paris, flipping off mens hats with her toes, charming audiences with her fearless power and stance, lifting her skirts to reveal a heart embroidered on her underwear, gaining the attractions of the painter Auguste Renoir, and downing the contents of nearby customers drinks, Louise Weber became “the Glutton,” La Goulue.

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When the Moulin Rouge first opened, La Goulue was there with her dance partner Jacques Renaudin, otherwise known as the very flexible “Valentin le Desosse,” ready to shine under the flashy dance floor. Performing the “chahut,” an early form of the can-can, La Goulue became a permanent headliner of the dance hall. She became a seductive sensation, a wild woman of fame. She was the highest paid entertainer of her day, gaining her earnings based on her captivating audaciousness and exciting movement. She was a dancer of much interest, becoming one of the favorites of Toulouse-Lautrec, the artist, who immortalized La Goulue in his many works of her. Toulouse- Lautrec was overcome with the beauty and energy of the bohemian lifestyle of Montmartre. He was enraptured by the thrilling theatrical sights around him, more specifically the provocative moments in the fashionable Moulin Rouge. A regular at the dance hall, Lautrec captured the setting and the dancers in many unique, telling artistic pieces, whether they be prints, paintings, or illustrations. With much talent, he captured the essence of La Goulue, her spontaneity and proudness, her character and her spirit.

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Using his style of simplicity, Lautrec depicted La Goulue and her partner on this boldly minimized, colored advertising poster for the Moulin Rouge. With darkened silhouettes surrounding her dancing form, all attention is focused on La Goulue, her star power, and her thrilling allure. And the simple fashions help add to this allure as well. With bright white petticoats lifted vivaciously in the air, with a dazzling poked dotted top and maroon stockings, La Goulue is shown as the woman she always was, a woman who lived freely, without constraint. A woman who danced with a gaiety that was hard to turn away from, who danced a magical dance that was impossible to erase from memory. The fancier apparels around her do not faze her–she still moves without a care in the world. She defiantly appears to all that surround her. Her salacious livelihood and her originality dance with a risqué, revealing quality.

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Through the doors of the Moulin Rouge, Toulouse-Lautrec could be spotted capturing fascinating moments of activity…

And La Goulue could be spotted dancing with a wonderful freedom.