“Seducing through a single detail…”—this was the mantra that opened the Haute Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear Collection liner notes and set the tone for the runway presentation. Whether a slit at the elbow that opened to reveal a sliver of skin, a notched lapel that brought to mind a British foot soldier’s jacket, or a jewel collar bedecked by baguettes, the aesthetic was rich with decorative design elements that elevated the collection’s organza capes, wool blazers, and silk dresses. Dual influences overlapped this season; the layered silhouette gently hinted at a 1940’s femininity while the delicate prints cleverly suggested an oriental atmosphere.
Shape, palette, and texture were skillfully manipulated to create the collection’s forty looks. The play on proportions was evident throughout the show; some covetable ensembles included: a voluminous fur-trimmed parachute jacket in the softest shade of salmon paired with a riding trouser and knee high boots, the tobacco leather jacket with three-quarter length sleeves, ruched bodice, and puffed shoulders, a long flowing dress in a botanical print balanced by a cropped army green anorak, an updated black mandarin style jacket with a bell sleeve matched with a chocolate silk tapered pant, and a nude short-sleeve turtleneck layered under a fringed bustier atop a fuller-cut silk pajama pant.
The rich saturation of color—indigo, burgundy, espresso, and ebony, to name a few—was complimented by the sublimely muted tones of ivory, blush, taupe, and grey. Abstract prints provided another nuanced element to the color story; this season we saw artistically reinterpreted harlequin, medallion, and floral patterns punch up traditional menswear tweeds. Textural cues balanced the sartorial yin-yang, blending the sweet (lace skirt) with the sexy (velvet shift) and the soft (fur car coat) with the edgy (leather jacket).
The neckline seemed to be the focal point of this collection, either left open and bare or shrouded in a series of collar pieces, necktie blouses, scarves, and chokers. The Chinoiserie references such as the mandarin closures and Asian-inspired prints were subtle, yet impactful. The Post World War II Era genre could be seen in the militant separates and pencil skirts. At times, a softly deconstructed direction gave the collection an underlying romanticism. Carefully tattered and hand-dyed separates underscored the renewed individuality that has permeated collections in recent seasons. The Haute woman is a walking paradox, blending the best of naughty and nice. She needn’t sacrifice her femininity when she displays a tougher side. She’s the modern woman, challenging mid-20th century conventions, antiquated social practices, and chauvinistic political propaganda—and her wardrobe wholeheartedly embraces that message.
Images provided courtesy of Haute.