Article by Frank Cierpial
Nostalgia is part of the human condition. Millions of people visit the Notre Dame de Paris everyday to see this relic that stands in Paris since the Middle Ages. Coming here for the first time from New Jersey was like going into a time machine and coming out 7 hours later my mind back in the Middle Ages. Old innovations and technology like flying buttresses still grace the streets of Paris and the outside of her cathedrals. While we are looking to the past with admiration and inspiration, those who lived in the past were too. French authors during the French Renaissance gave new life to stories from the times of the Greeks and the Romans. At this past Paris fashion week, haute couturier Ludovic Winterstan gave new life to their fashion.
Winterstand’s collection was a dark, mysterious, and incredibly well conceived collection that left everyone satisfied. The collection started out with black and gave off a sense of antiquity. The Roman Helmet on the first model was the first indication. We saw black skirts and and gowns that were a perfect mix of a glamorous yet gothic esthetic. The first three pieces in the collection boasted black sparkling bodices. The detail on each of the pieces was exquisite and with different for every single one.
As we proceeded through the collection, it became increasingly more white. We also started to see more patterns and different kinds of cuts. The middle of the show was all white and a quite different appeal. The end of the collection was when we started to see the color with the grand finale being a beautiful fitted gown blood red on the top graduating to all white on the bottom. The contrasting colors gave it almost a mermaid effect.
Truth be told, I love haute couture. It is where fashion can truly be art. Careers in fashion start with dreams and end with anxiety and hopefully fulfillment. It was a turbulent and emotional connection that touched me deeply. It was the kind of collection where the effort spoke for itself. Mr. Winterstan himself was a light and delightful man who told me how hard they worked especially on materials. It is evident in these pieces that materials were worked to the core and were strategically placed to invoke a specific vision. That is the magic of haute couture.