Hanging vertically over the white screen that extended to cover the floor, the suspended tube lights flickered on as the first model limbered out into the open space. Jan Taminiau’s fall winter 2012 Haute Couture show was about creating a fantasy, a visual voyage that evoked another time very much governed by nature. Bringing to mind the idea of Savage Beauty, the theme of the MET’s Alexander McQueen exhibit, there was a raw and eerie softness in the explorative textures. The beautiful contrast lay between unmistakable femininity and laboriously constructed effects of decomposition. Known to be a romantic, and for searching within nature to find exceptional forms and apply them to his creations, this collection was no exception.
The girls were like ancient trees, with platforms extending only from the toes of the boots, the texture, like bark, climbing all the way up the leg until the separation between shoe and garment and body was indistinguishable. The themes of verticality and vulnerability were thus addressed; the tall slender figures ready to topple over at any moment. Rosettes appeared as shoulder pads, growing from underneath peplums, and on the toes of shoes, like moss on a rock. The flowing trains and full, layered skirts were ripped and torn as if from walking through untamed forest. And all the while with heads held high over tall collars, standing proudly with the body accentuated by the meticulously placed style lines and directional pleats. Femininity was accentuated in the full, slightly wild Elizabethan up-dos, and the delicate color palette of blushes and nudes.
It is his constant process to search for new ways to construct and achieve forms that are solid and fixed but that adapt to the personality of the wearer. Here, the light yet precise pleating shows the laborious search for a creation that is totally organic. And the use of sequins, used both as fabric and mixed into lace, added a dimension of lightness to what appeared to be the skin that was revealed underneath the billowy silks. One long gown, a dense surface of sequins, split into gussets of fraying strips of feather-light silk, like the delicate covering was being slowly deteriorated and stripped away. As the models cleared the stage, all that remained were the scraps of frayed silk that fell to the ground from where they delicately hung, like leaves in the fall. Leaving all of us looking forward to the beauty of next spring’s season.
- Lee Anderson, Parisian Correspondent
Designer: Jan Taminiau
Designer website: www.jantaminiau.com