Alexandre Vauthier remains faithful to his glamorous, sensual aesthetic
The sun still hadn't set on the Rue de Rivoli in the heart of Paris but the dozens of guests crowding around the entrances to Alexandre Vauthier's Haute Couture runway knew that they were heading for a singularly nocturnal rendezvous. And the French designer, famous for his 80s-inspired disco aesthetic, didn't disappoint, presenting a show which bet on admirably faithful reinterpretations of the codes for which his brand is best known.
Last season, Alexandre Vauthier recreated the 80s with a show at the Grand Palais. This time, however, he opted for the Musée des Arts Décoratifs as the location for his winter 2018 show. Sparkle and luxury were the constants in this collection which used 250,000 Swarovski crystals between the buckles of the oversized belts that formed the centrepieces of its first looks, and the various details that adorned its revealing evening gowns. It's a winning formula and signals the 13th collaboration between the two brands. A number of other accessories also stood out on the catwalk, including Vauthier's classic knee-high boots and a series of black wide-brimmed hats.
The colour palette proposed a study of black and white in different structural shapes, with reinterpretations of the little black dress accompanied by bow-shaped designs, capes, boleros and blouses with lacing at the collar. Flashes of colour were rare and well judged, with bright orange, red and navy blue all making an appearance, although it was yellow that snatched the spotlight in a spectacularly voluptuous pleated skirt. Special mention should also be made of the wild vibe that underlay the whole collection and accentuated the sensuality of Alexandre Vauthier's models – from the feline print used on two designs to the giant feathers which covered the asymmetric neckline of a black top or transformed into the magnificent dress that concluded the show, worn by Spanish top model Blanca Padilla.
Having learned his trade under the tutelage of Thierry Mugler and Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexandre Vauthier began producing Haute Couture in 2009, but didn't show on the official calendar until 2014. Recently the designer opened a pop-up store at Paris' Montaigne Market, following the example of brands such as Vetements and Avoc, and has become something of a favourite with celebrities including Kendall Jenner, Lady Gaga and Bella Hadid. Despite the absence of Hadid, who usually opens the designer's shows, Alexandre Vauthier's latest runway lived up to the expectations of the moment without relinquishing the brand's signature aesthetic – even if he did swap the disco soundtrack for hip hop by Kanye West.
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