The notion that haute couture should be what women dream to wear is always touchy, because it suggests that only the incredibly rich are afforded the chance to achieve their sartorial desires. But there is no doubt that Georges Chakra’s collection of delicate pastel lace and luxuriously draped silk looked as if it were fashioned from a dream. The tulle trains and ruffled mermaid hems gave the pieces such fluidity it was hard to remember a spring breeze was not actually blowing across the runway. And although many dresses featured floral prints, they were far from predictable. Rather, the juxtaposition of heavy and light, satin and sheer textiles emanated a refreshing quality of youthful grace.
The looks perfectly married whimsicality and wearability, with painstaking attention to details such as the individual leaves of overlapping lace stitched to the collared top. What first appears to be simple geometric patterns are hand embroidered crystal motifs. And the staccato of two-pieces and jumpsuits further distinguished the show from the monotone parades of beautiful but forgettable flowing dresses that spring collections are in particular danger of being lumped in with.
All of the looks were styled with simple silver platforms and lightly curled hair (with the exception of the short-haired models), which added to the fresh-faced glamour. The lavender lighting and breathy ballads also contributed to the romantic ambience. Of the 57 looks, the robin’s-egg blue hand-painted corset gown (above, far right) was by far my favourite – the intricate neckline, the pearls and metallics complementing the gentle sheen of the satin. It wholly embodied the controlled beauty of flourishing flower gardens, where the wild rose bush is tamed and taught to grow even more exquisitely.
While I cannot say I appreciated the bolero in Look 13 or the feathered shrug-jacket hybrid in Look 38, which I felt detracted from the minimalist elegance of the dresses beneath, the rest of the collection was delightful to watch. The surprise ending was especially personal to Chakra, whose daughter will be married in summer later this year. In fact, the upcoming ceremony was the inspiration for the entire show. With such personal significance, it is hardly unexpected that this season’s couture collection fulfilled his vision of an intimate celebration of “modern refinement and absolute glamour”.
All images courtesy of Georges Chakra.