A look at the Spring 2011 Haute Couture shows only leads one to further reevaluate the basic relevance of Couture yet again. While half of the nine designers presumably attempted to maintain Couture's stale red-carpet appeal, the others managed to produce tepid extensions of their own banal signatures without a single inclination of moving things forward. That being said, the true wizardry of Couture at least lives on in the craftsmanship of the few stand-out collections. And while the few favorites we do have for the season couldn't escape there own banalities, there was still plenty to applaud and admire.
Ricardo Tisci's confidence at Givenchy continues to thrive beyond the need for exploration as he is becoming an increasingly indulgent master of his own domain. For him Couture may be an outlet for gratuitously highlighting his much beloved signatures with thousands of hours of treatments, but for the Chambre Syndicale, in our books, he is currently Couture's most important man.
Newcomer Bouchra Jarrar is currently the only woman in Couture and while there's need for improvement for this Balenciaga vet, she does have a handle on spare, sensible pieces with a graphic strength.
Like Ricardo Tisci at Givenchy, Pier Paolo Piccioli and co-designer Maria Grazia Chiuri have quickly assembled a strong vision for the Valentino girl and Spring's effort was an ethereal update to their many signatures. And like at Givenchy, while the shapes and neutral palette relied on soft simplicity, the true focus lie in rigorous craftsmanship.
Take a look at every one of our favorite Spring 2011 Haute Couture looks here.