Seen it Be-tore
Is imitation truly the highest form of flattery? Or is it merely a lack of originality? Another couture season has come and gone, this time, with countless designers referencing their contemporaries in a big way. It wasn’t a pattern here or appliqué there, however many houses took direct inspiration from the past, similar to how Joseph Altuzarra famously paid homage to Tom Ford’s fall/winter 2003 ready-to-wear Gucci show for fall/winter 2010. Looking at this most recent couture season, Raf Simons’ global collection for Dior showed a few undeniable similarities to Pheobe Philo’s FW 2012 collection for Céline while Giambattista Valli also looked to FW ’12 and mimicked much of what Sarah Burton showed that season at Alexander McQueen. The first show of the week, Versace, relied on classic underpinnings to serve as the basis on a majority of the looks much like Jason Wu did for spring/summer 2013 and this season, Jean Paul Gaultier sent his bride down in the runway in a gown almost identical to the final few looks in Viktor & Rolf’s spring/summer 2011 show. Similarly, the Dutch duo made subtle references to past collections by the equally avant-garde Rei Kawakubo for their premier couture presentation. Seeing as how this season marked the return of the house of Schiaparelli, maybe designers took that as their cue to make this couture season all about taking something old and making it new again.