The haute couture runway is a rare, wistful place where lucid consideration of reality is completely irrelevant. Would you wear a floor-length gown covered in freshly plucked roses and Swarovski crystals to grab a casual morning coffee? Though your answer should be, “Yes,” it’s most likely, “No.”
Thankfully, couture doesn’t answer to the dull restrictions of daily needs, carving out a world of fashion that revels in fantasy and frowns upon the idea of even owning a lazy go-to outfit. Silhouettes are more exaggerated, concepts are more abstract and fabrics are more luxurious—a time-honored standard that rang true throughout this season’s rich presentations.
We’ve rounded up our favorite spring/summer ’15 shows, highlighting the three designers who really delivered this season.
1. Viktor & Rolf
Designer duo Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren channeled their collective insanity for SS ’15, pulling inspiration from the “raw energy” of Vincent van Gogh’s iconic landscapes. They cited the chilling van Gogh quote, “I put my heart and soul into my work and have lost my mind in the process,” and blared a remix of, “la la la la,” from Rosemary’s Baby during the presentation. Despite such a dark, manic core, the collection felt light and airy, like flirty, dramatized interpretations of mythical water nymphs. These complex, contradictory ideas, however, are what always make a Viktor & Rolf show so unbelievably dynamic.
2. Christian Dior
Designer Raf Simons has vocalized his slight discomfort about designing to fit within the ladylike Christian Dior aesthetic, leaning more comfortably toward his menswear roots. It’s fitting, then, that Simons looked upon the androgynous alien David Bowie for inspiration this season. A perfect fusion of femininity and masculinity, Bowie’s provocative look pervaded the Dior couture show in the form of psychedelic floral prints, retro colorways and vinyl thigh high boots. The show seemed to marry the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s with a signature Simons finish that felt brilliantly fresh.
3. Maison Margiela
Tremendous pressure rode on John Galliano’s debut as the newly appointed creative director of Maison Margiela, but the British designer didn’t at all disappoint. A collision of DIY, punk culture and dreamy, opulent pretention, the comeback collection looked like a romantic exploration of Galliano’s inner demons. Some elements felt calm, tailored and demure, while others read more ragged and wildly rehabilitated. Models appeared equally vulnerable as they did triumphant while wearing the clothes, likely reflecting Galliano’s state-of-mind after such a vicious public plunge a few years back.