On Aura Tout Vu Couture Fall Winter 2013 Paris
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No one does crazy couture quite like On Aura Tout Vu’s duo Yassen Samouilov and Livia Stoianova. After over a decade of visual extravaganzas, they’ve set their eye on the very notion of perception. What is it that our brain actually captures- an image, a color? Whereas other conceptual designers impart a very cerebral –pun intended – vision of fashion, this pair doesn’t. In their hands, couture is a perpetual party.

In a riotous assortment of vivid colors toned down as watercolor strokes, OATV’s fall-winter couture collection revealed an initial offering of leg baring combinations of jackets and up-there hem lengths tailored in hand painted silks. A particularly beautiful piece is a demure knee-length shirtdress embellished with a row of spikes along the shoulder line. As hems move southward, color becomes bolder on hand pleated evening gowns where the plexiglass becomes lightly decorative but continues to figure neural pathways along the spine. The finale white wedding dress’s full skirt of cutouts shimmered in the morning light to a thunderous applause.

The very successful recipe for this was the mixing of classic, almost retro shapes hailing from the 1950s and interpreting them with modern flair and a touch of crazy futurism. One of their recipes for success is the excellent tailoring that underpins each piece in the collection. Whether it is a figure enhancing jacket with a hip defining basque or a shirtdress splitting at the seams to reveal spine-like inserts, there is a sure hand at work here. “Everything’s wearable… it just depends by whom!” the designers said in good humor, but truth be told most of it definitely is, if an occasion called for it.

Here, there’s always more than meets the eye: it can be the painstaking process through which fur is colored in a flame pattern, or just the embellishments. To wit, each plexiglass ornament revealed upon closer inspection to look like intracranial scanned slices that wouldn’t look amiss on a neurosurgeon’s desk. “30 square meters of plexiglass used here,” beamed Stoianova later to which Samouilov quipped, “The surface of your typical Parisian apartment.” As the show came to an end, a voice boomed from the trees “Vous avez déjà vu un truc pareil?” (Have you ever seen anything like it?). Looks like On Aura Tout Vu continues to give us reason to answer NO to that.

- Lily Templeton
 

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