PRÊT-À-PORTER SPRING 2012
When it comes to clothes, what do women really want? I can tell you this: at any age, they want to feel beautiful, sexy and chic. Far too often, people ask me to highlight the season’s trends: What are the colors for Spring? Are skirts short or long? Unfortunately, for them, I don’t believe in promoting trends. Nor does Marcel Marongiu, the Artistic Director for Guy Laroche.
These days, few so-called designers truly create their own work: at many big fashion houses, huge teams (with separate divisions for every market sector) execute a designer’s vision. This is not the case with Marcel Marongiu at Guy Laroche. He–and he alone–is responsible for every step of the design process, from conception to completion. He insists on staying so involved because he loves women, understands them and knows what they want.
Guy Laroche is a storied house (founded in 1957), but over time it became less-well-known outside of France. However, with this collection, Marcel has taken another giant leap forward in his effort to reinvent the brand. In fact, this collection was probably the best I’ve seen since Marcel took over as Artistic Director–and I suspect it’s because he’s starting to put more and more of his own creativity and vision into the clothes.
This collection works for women of any age or size. My personal favorites were the slim dresses (including two navy chiffon pieces that were sublime) and I suspect I’ll be putting in an order for several. I also liked the line of a bias-cut yellow gown, although yellow is not my favorite color–it works well for blondes, but not for me. And Marcel’s deft fabric combinations–leather with chiffon, for example–were unusual and rather fabulous. There were some strong coats, some very sexy dresses (real departures from the vieille dame mood of past collections) and some cute, long shorts. I don’t wear shorts, but many younger women do, and Marcel’s, at least, are perfectly cut. The workmanship of his extraordinary seamstresses really shows.
In honor of Marcel, I wore a red satin dress from his current collection: red’s a great color for me that I don’t wear often enough. I had it altered to be a touch shorter than it was on the runway, because that’s what suits me–and I added a great pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes (produced in collaboration with a young New York-based designer, Rolando Santana). Marcel often accessorizes his designs with heavier shoes, and I suggest he change them–his clothes are so feminine, they deserve a shoe that’s equally sleek and sexy!
I wear many of Marcel’s creations, because, like all women, I want to feel beautiful, sexy and chic. And his work does that for me. Merci, Marcel!
Photographs by Stephane Israël