Tuesday, April 04, 2006

from laurel to lacroix, part 2

when christian lacroix was part of the LVMH stable of luxury labels, we heard from some fashion insiders that it was the least profitable of all. as in, the biggest loser of the lot. a money pit. the cost center. the bottom of the barrel. the reason for this was that christian lacroix was the most expensive fashion show to mount: the yards and yards of luxurious fabric, the no-holds-barred embellishment on every square inch, the intricate hand-stitching that takes weeks to complete—and all this for just ready-to-wear! you can just imagine what goes into haute couture! although lacroix did have his share of loyal royal (real and hollywood) clients, his problem was he did not have a strong fragrance and accessories line to support his name. and we all know that while we can't wear galliano's over-the-top dior creations everyday, we sure can do with the fragrance, makeup, handbags, shoes and eyewear—that's where the big bucks lie. finally, after 18 years, LVMH sold the christian lacroix label to the falic group a little over a year ago. well, thank you, falic group because we want to keep seeing lacroix's loud, crazy, extravagant, whimsical clothes forever! and for the first time we got to view—up close!—his haute couture collections (kulang na lang to feel the fabrics, but as in any museum, no touch!). "christian lacroix, dialogues!" opened april 1 at the fourth floor of the ayala museum, and this exhibit is a must-see for any fashion designer, fashion student and fashion lover, even if you aren't a fan of his. there are 63 gowns, dresses, coats, bags and shoes from the beginning of his career to the present. we recommend viewing the exhibit with a seasoned designer who really knows his stuff because you get a very different perspective—it just isn't about the colors, fabrics or embellishments, but the skill in draping, cutting, stitching, detailing and the whole thought-process that may have been involved (as one biatchy guest quipped, "this is the shabu collection"—haha! that cracked us up!). at the opening, we were lucky enough to tag along with the likes of pitoy moreno and randy ortiz. some random pix (click to enlarge)...

some guy from the french embassy told us that this lightweight floral-print coat is the most expensive item of all (we heard it cost 57,000 euros—just for the coat! and it's even missing a sleeve!—but no one would confirm that). it doesn't look that impressive, but you have to examine the details: it's full of stitched-down little pleats, and has flower cutouts from the fabric, which protrude, creating a 3D effect. as soon as he said that, one woman picked up the sleeve and started turning it this way and that, manhandling it like it was trapo! but what was even more shocking was that it took the museum usher a full minute to tell her that touching is not allowed!

these pictures hardly do the clothes justice, so the fash pack highly recommends you see them for yourself. "christian lacroix, dialogues!" at the ayala museum till may 4, 2006. museum hours, tuesday-friday, 9am-6pm; saturday-sunday, 10am-7pm. call 757-7117 to 21 for more info.

1 comment:

anna said...

lacroix --not a mere craftsman but a true artist. one of the few in the fashion world, in my opinion.