Alexandre Vauthier Fall 2021 Couture Collection

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Reviewing a couture collection via Zoom is as frustrating as looking at a succulent plateau d’huîtres while on a fasting regime. No matter how effective your wireless connection, the sublime handwork and savoir faire of the métier gets mostly lost in translation. “I’ve worked the collection focusing on the most amazing couture techniques,” said Alexandre Vauthier, trying his best to show this reviewer close-ups of his sexy all-black concoctions. But WiFi frustrations aside, Vauthier’s ebullience made this Zoom meeting as entertaining as any IRL showroom visit.

Zinging back and forth across his showroom, he said, “the collection being monochrome is a parti pris, black is an excessively Parisian code. It’s also a sort of a metaphor of a clean slate from where to start anew after all we’ve been through.” Like champagne and oysters, Diamonds and Black (as the collection was called) are a mariage made in heaven. Vauthier sprinkled his nocturnal numbers with crystal sparkle “like a night with a sky full of stars.”

Paris via Nevada was the jazzy turn he took this season, giving the proceedings a sort of Folies Bergère-Las Vegas vibe punctuated by dramatic crystal fringed and feathered ponchos, Lesage-embroidered black leather perfectos worn over sequined bodysuits, and see-through pleated chiffon capes veiling crystal-embellished bikinis. A black-feathered, punky head-to-toe headdress fit for Le Lido was worn with a sweetheart-neckline, barely-there leather minidress, fringed with the help of Lemarié, while a heart-shaped feathered fluff of a dress was accessorized by a see-through plumetis catsuit and a pair of cowboy boots treated to couture therapy, studded and embellished with abundant crystal intricacies.

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Vauthier is a master tailor and has a trained eye for balancing dramatic excess with sophisticated restraint— a very Parisian attitude indeed, honed during his days at Thierry Mugler and Jean Paul Gaultier. He introduced a few sharp-tailored options to offset the collection’s exuberance, among them a nonchalant three-piece tennis-striped suit with high-waisted wide trousers and a belted trench coat with an undulating storm flap. Impeccably made as they were, they nevertheless exuded the sexy je ne sais quoi that is a Vauthier signature. As he said: “French couture is all about the allure.”

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