Designer Christophe Josse went medieval on his fall/winter 2012 haute couture collection. Inspired by a visit to an armor exhibit at Les Invalides Army Museum, Mr. Josse tried to bring the architecture and the structure of body armor from the 15th and 16th century into the modern world of high fashion.
Thankfully the references were done with a light and dynamic hand. The armor aspects appearing as an outline of black beading on a see through blouse, as an inverted triangle breastplate of sliver crocodile skin lovingly finished off with a sheer black silk or in a thoroughly modern way via a liquid lacquered effect that dripped down the shoulders of a jacket or over the hem of a skirt.
The hourglass silhouette of the daywear had carapace stiffness to them. But the floral lace coat, snakeskin dress and a full short skirt puffed out with plumes, worn by models sporting Joan of Arc bobs, brought a womanly counterpoint to the masculine power of the armor features in the designs. Long and draped eveningwear came fitted to the torso with gilded feather breastplates or secured with straps encrusted with silver beaded “scales”. When the gowns then showed up sculpted to the body in shimmering metal sequins or horizontal pleats that finished in a flurry of fabric down the bodice, it was a fine finish to a haute couture collection that created a perfect mix of power and fragility.
Above the knee for daywear and floor length for after dark attire.
Cream, black, midnight blue, ruby red and plume. Also metallic hues from gun metal gray to tarnished gold and gleaming silver.
Organza, taffeta, crocodile, python, tweed, silk mousseline
Hourglass daywear with above the knee hemlines. Eveningwear came out both flowing to the floor in fluid fabrics or hugging the body down to the ground
Limited to pearl drop earrings or a black metal cross necklace. All the looks were paired with black patent leather heels and opaque black stockings