Giles Deacon coming to Paris to show couture for the first time was, along with the Vetements 18-collaboration show and the launch of the new Brioni by Justin O’Shea, the highlight of couture week. Although Deacon favoured a more confidential approach than the two others. For two days, the designer held a presentation in a Parisian apartment overlooking the Jardin des Tuileries. There, we saw 32 evening looks inspired by Lady Ottoline Morrell, the turn-of-the-century literary hosted who counted D.H. Lawrence, Bertrand Russell and Virginia Woolf among her friends.
It was all quintessentially Giles, even if hints of Cristobal Balenciaga popped up here and there: a dark, romantic feeling hovered over each one of the dresses. Most of them bore his trademark huge voluminous skirts and digital prints, yet every piece told a story on its own - ‘each one symbolized a guest at one of Lady Ottoline’s parties.’ explained the designer. An emerald jacquard gown, a shibori tie dyed satin dress and a long draped velvet dress were among the highlights and made it easy to see the unmissable immediate appeal that Giles’s fashion has for his private clients. ‘With couture, you’re going right to the consumer. You’re meeting the client, you’re finding out what they like and what they don’t like,’ he said. The designer has obviously a flair for working hand in hand with the client. So it came as no surprise when, earlier this year, he revealed that he was putting his ready-to-wear business on hold and focusing solely on couture for a while. No surprise, also, since his team already produces around 100 couture pieces a year. ‘We now want to expand it to 250 pieces a year,’ said the designer. ‘Couture is a definite growth area for us. It’s interesting that there are long conversations going on within the retail world about people being able to buy in season, and that’s essentially what couture has been doing all along.’ In other words, see now, buy now, the Giles Deacon way.