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Alexis Mabille opens Couture Week

As the menswear collections end, after a month of runways showing us what’s to come for autumn/winter 2011/12, the fashion glitterati move back to 2011 as women across the globe imagine what they’d be wearing this spring/summer if they could afford to pay £100,000 for a dress. This morning, the world’s most expensive outfits took to the catwalk, as Couture Week gets underway in Paris.

Young couturier Alexis Mabille opened this morning with a subtle, romantic collection that saw the return of the designer’s embroidery skills. An improvement on last year’s vertically splicing, bi-coloured looks, the predominantly white collection is adorned with floral, applique and sheer detailing, clearly attempting to target wealthy brides-to-be. I loved this collection, very beautiful.

However, I didn’t care much for Bouchra Jarra, who followed: too frumpy, too heavy and too oppressive. I’m being unfair. It’s just that, for me, Haute Couture is beautiful, hedonistic, “I need that in my life” dresses and intricate detailing, not heavy layered suits.

As I write this one of the most anticipated shows of the week, Christian Dior, is about to begin. Last year he presented a stunning collection of flower inspired dresses that were so magical, that had Galliano been born in the 17th century he’d have been burnt at the stake.

This will then be followed by Giorgio Armani Privé, which has already been previewed. Tomorrow, both Chanel and Givenchy take to the catwalk, and Wednesday plays host to Jean Paul Gaultier, Elie Saab, Valentino and Stéphane Rolland.

My girl crush

I know that this is ancient now but, still.

Lily Cole easily slips into the role of a screen siren for work found in May’s Elle France. Inspired by by the iconic film noir era, photographer Kayt Jones captures the lovely redhead in Aime le Cinema, where Lily dons a wardrobe of all Dior styled by Christopher Niquet.