Franck Sorbier autumn/winter 2016 collection catwalk show for Haute Couture
Franck Sorbier said of his latest collection: “The idea is to present unique couture pieces but also a mini-collection of luxury ready-to-wear [pieces] in a way we have not done until now.”
For a house whose name is synonymous with bringing the drama of haute couture onto the catwalk, the prospect of being yet more innovative seems ambitious. Sorbier’s shows are typically more performance art than simply collection showcasing; with dancers, musicians and beautiful settings, guests to a Sorbier show are willing participants in immersive theatre. His efforts to showcase work differently at this couture season could go one of two ways: does it reflect a hitherto unseen side to the house’s creative team, or does it lose the drama spectators have come to love?
Safe to say, his AW16 collection had enough parallels with designer’s past work to reassure longtime devotees. As in his AW15 show, ballerinas took the place of models and glided down the catwalk, although this season in funereal black dresses, tunics and headwear inspired by traditional Slavic womenswear. Lace was again a prominent feature and Sorbier demonstrated his willingness to play with his traditional theme, pairing a sheer knee-length dress with a black Fez and tumbling lace veil.
Sorbier’s departure from his norm comes with his mini-collection of childrenswear, presented by a troupe of smiling, excitable young models dressed in block bright shades and colourful folkish patterns. This ready-to-wear collection echoed the silhouette of the womenswear pieces: similar hats, in playful colours, were propped on little heads and scaled-down versions of ribbon-adorned, taffeta coats were worn with pumps and handheld lollipops.
The French fashion house’s nod towards the next generation of couture enthusiasts is a welcome and apparently successful one. They reminded guests that couture can be fun, as well as fashionable, and injected some youthful spirit into the catwalk – something Sorbier has never lacked, but that couture houses can never too often be reminded of.
Photos: Ambra Vernuccio