Animal Instincts

Rarely does one wake and think to themselves, you know, I think I’m going to wear that absolutely stunning couture gown I happened upon last week to work today.  It’s not that we haven’t dreamt of the day when we will finally parade around town in corsets and capes, adorned in fine jewels, teetering atop seven inch stilettos, but let’s be honest - that simply isn’t practical. Luckily, practicality isn’t the point of couture.  Twice a year, the couture collections allow designers a platform to simply inspire.  The designs are elaborate, exciting, often unconventional works of art that push the envelope of what is currently acceptable, both on and off the runway.  The A/W 2012 Haute Couture additions were no exception, exploring a variety of trends– some feminine, some masculine– but one which was notably and distinctively PRIMAL.

[Pictured above: Fierce fanged platforms from Iris Van Herpen HC A'12. Photo courtesy of fashionising.com]

From feathers, to fur, to actual insects, animal inspired details could be found tucked not-so-secretly into a majority of this season's couture collections. 


[Pictured above clockwise from left: Georges Chakra HC A'12, Stephane Rolland HC A'12, Giorgio Armani Prive HC A'12, Stephane Rolland HC A'12, Georges Chakra HC A'12. Photos courtesy of fashionising.com]

The most obvious inclusion of feathers was perfected by Stephane Rolland.  His models flew high on the runway, resembling wild game, yet somehow managed to look more like the hunter than the hunted.  Those at Armani Prive and Georges Chakra appeared to have taken the spoils of Rolland's magnificent hunt and adorned them with the luxuries of rich hues, dramatic sequins and a decidedly delicate sparkle.


[Pictured above clockwise from left: Giambattista Valli HC A'12, Iris Van Herpen HC A'12, Giambattista Valli HC A'12, Iris Van Herpen HC A'12, Giambattista Valli HC A'12. Photos courtesy of fashionising.com]

Bugs are beautiful!  Well, butterflies maybe, but the rest? Those at Giambattista Valli and Iris Van Herpen certainly seem to think so, making a rather persuasive case for themselves.  With wrists clasped tight by the gold wings of beetles and dragonflies, butterflies circling like halos above their heads and sitting silently upon their lips, Valli's models showcased what is likely to be the hottest accessories trend of the coming season.  Van Herpen took the idea even further, not merely accentuating her designs, but infusing them with an insect-like quality.  Her most affected works included a structured, glossy black, widow-esque gown and an intricately designed mini reminiscent of  bees wax.


[Pictured above clockwise from left: Dior HC A'12, Givenchy HC A'12, Dior HC A'12, Ulyana Sergeenko HC A'12, Givency HC A'12.  Photos courtesy of fashionising.com ]

While  fur (whether real or fauxl) is certainly nothing new to fashion, the versatility of its use never ceases to amaze.  At Dior, it added an element of fun in shades of sapphire and textured silhouettes. For Givenchy, it encapsulated extravagance, draping the shoulders of bare backs and trimming cloaks with glorious detail.  Then, coming full circle this season, it returned to Ulyana Sergeenko in its most primitive state as a utilitarian necessity to her militaristic couture creations.